2012-11-01 32 34
Besides Yarkon River, between Petah Tikva and Neve Ne'eman
Tal (abandoned me before we got there)
The plan is to go after school, with Lilac and probably Tal if he'll want to join us. We'll take line 76 to the central bus station in Petah Tikva and than walk, first along HaYarkonim Way or through the industrial district and after passing the train station we'll join the cross-Israel walking trail until we'll get to the hashpoint, just next to the river itself. It should all take only a few hours as Lilac said she'll have to arrive at Tel Aviv by six.
The whole school-day before the field trip was filled with excitement knowing I'll be going for my first geohash in more than a month. Tal and Lilac both agreed on coming with me and the hashpoint didn't even seem that far away. The two of them had to be at Tel Aviv by six, but Google maps said the whole thing should take us only two hours from arriving at Petah Tikva, so we weren't supposed to have a problem. After eating lunch at Lilac's, she decided not to go anyway, because of that thing girls have and... never mind. Trying to persuade her didn't work, so Tal and I went to the bus stop without her, Tal already planning on how he'll silence treat her later as punishment. Upon arriving at the last stop, Petah Tikva central bus station, we went to by something to drink and than started walking to what we thought was the industrial district and turned out to be the completely opposite way (but I learned about that only after returning home. That led to the streets we found not matching to the ones we were expecting, and an area in construction gave us the feeling that we were going towards the exit from the city and not deeper into it like we've expected. The right thing to do now was to stop and check where we were going in the GPS device, but we were both too sure of ourselves and too much in a rush to get there before Tal will have to go to Tel Aviv to meet Lilac, him expressing dissatisfaction from the small amount of preparation I had for that trip. Finally we found a way taking through the construction site, that I mistaked to be a different way I saw in the satellite image earlier. Keeping on to persuade ourselves we were at the right way, we kept walking around the streets of the city, sometimes stopping to ask for directions to the train station, and finally connecting to the main road that should lead us to the train station and from there to the Israel Trail. At some point we go of the rims, walked a little on a promenade that was under construction as well, saw some dogs, a car plate, crossed a small mostly dried stream and than had to climb back to the rims to take the bridge that goes over the train rail. At that point Tal took off and got on the train to Tel Aviv while I went off to look for how to connect to the way we were originally supposed to take. Walking alone in the fields was a relaxing experience,that would have been nicer if I wasn't already tired, hungry, still carrying all my school books and if the walk would have been in the pastoral area I was expecting to find and not an area of factories and empty fields like I expected to find. That may have been part of the reason I first tried the nicer looking road towards the Baptist Village and not the one going through the factories area, which was the right one. It was only after walking quite a while on the wrong road and having several cars pass me that I remembered there was the option of trying to navigate using the GPS device and not just the memory of the satellite image. Turning back to the area of the factories, I was finally on the right way, and finding the tunnel under highway 5 that connected me to the Israel trail. At that point two worrying events happened- one, the GPS device died out again, and two, I realized it was getting dark but decided I was too close to give up now. At that point I stop and mention that my parents, Tal, Lilac, the police and the Lonely Planet guide for Israel would all like to say that what I did here was not the right thing to do- if you're alone at a middle of a field you don't know in Israel, your only source of navigation isn't working and it is getting dark, the right thing to do is to turn back to where you came from, not to take out your camera and start taking pictures.
The hashpoint should have been at the spot where the trail meets the riverbank, so while walking along the empty orchards and the few ruined buildings scattered between them I decided I should continue until reaching the Yarkon and than immediately turn back, and also to call my parents just to make sure they knew where I was. Finally I've arrived at what was supposed to be the river, but it was too dark and I wasn't willing to actually cross the bulrush and try and get to the waterline. On the way back I still had the pretty scary walk at the now completely dark fields, tunnel, factories area and especially the very loud and angry dogs that guarded it. At least my parents, a little alarmed from my phone call, decided to come and pick me up from the petrol station next to main road, otherwise I would still have to find my way back to the bus station through the industrial area at night.
Should I get the virgin garticule achievement for that? I'm pretty positive I reached the point or was standing very close to it, but that is based on a geographical features and not on GPS readings or coordinates.