2013-01-08 -38 145
South of Warragul 100kms to Melbourne's east.
Following on from the previous geohash, 2013-01-07 -37 145 - Felix Dance, Tim B, Lachie, Cam, Stevage and Noami in the Springvale Cemetery at night, I continue the scene at the Sandown Racecourse Hotel where we'd ensconced ourselves over a few beers discussing our next move.
The four of us were all feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and our successful geohash before midnight, as well as impressed with Stevage and Noami for spooking us out from beyond the grave (so to speak), so we were pretty pumped for more adventure. Waiting for the next day's coordinates coming out at 12:30am, we discovered the next hash to be at Diamond Creek, 40-odd kms north of where we were. We could do this.
Pounding the pavement yet again up the undulating landscape of the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, we bypassed several promising-looking MacDonalds before settling on the Nunawading one to refuel after 15kms. Inside we rechecked the coordinates over a few burgers. Disaster: Someone (Lachie) had got the location wrong - there was no hash at Diamond Creek.
Deciding to part ways, we barely looked at the ~100km distant actual hash points, focusing instead on congratulating ourselves on an excellent Monday pub night of nocturnal frivolity, and glaring at Lachie. Then, one by one we glanced at each other in that knowing way. We would attempt one of these hash points: the one near Warrigal, 94kms from our current location. The night's total ride would be 144kms.
Soon after bringing everyone on board with this absolutely outrageous scheme of awesomeness (only Lachie had work the next day but he is the most psycho), we were back on our bikes and retracing our steps to the Springvale Cemetery (which was annoyingly positioned on the way to the next hash). It was ten minutes to three in the morning.
The first 60kms were a blur of the dark Princes Highway, late night roadworks, sleeping suburbs and gradually diminishing signs of civilisation. Stopping only at a petrol station in Pakenham for a bite around 5am we made good time to the highway turnoff at Nar Nar Goon. From here the fog descended on us, at first hovering intimidatingly a metre over our heads. Rabbits darted out of the wooded roadside, traffic barely bothered us, the stopping signals of the adjacent train line glared out through the mist like evil red eyes. Soon signs of sunrise beset us, but actual sunshine was thwarted by the opaque air. Further along, towards Longwarry, the fog gradually lifted and trees dripped their dew on us as we underpassed them.
All four of us were roughly evenly matched in fitness, so we kept up a fine pace with few pauses and soon were descending on Warragul. Stopping at the station there to check train times, for Lachie to enjoy a long borrie and for the rest of us to be entertained by a local drunk, we soon proceeded to the actual hash point, which Tim B amusingly convinced the rest of us was a thigh-shattering further ten kms away. After only 2.5 hilly Ks of actual riding we were suddenly there, standing outside the fence of a farm, 20m from the hash.
Opening the gate and crawling under the live electric fence we were soon at the exact location, taking photos of ourselves and GPS phone while a lone cow looked on from up the hill. Exhaustedly, yet supremely triumphantly, we returned to the train station to board the 7:51am to Melbourne. Yes, we toyed with the idea of either riding or training to the Rosedale hash 75kms further to the east, but it was never a real option in our state.
We all tried to sleep on the train before parting our separate ways: Tim B to pack for his permanent move to Sydney on Friday; Lachie, heroically, to go to work that morning; Cam to make good with his girlfriend waiting for him at home (I also had to do this); and I to return the overdue EPIRB from my recent remote Tasmania bushwalk and then sleep through the day.
This was the best Monday pub night ever, and one of the more extreme geohashes in which I've been involved. Good work to all participants!
Here is the route we took for both hashes.
Hash reached: 7:20am
This is day 2 of a consecutive geohash achievement. For the other days, see:
- Day 1: 2013-01-07 -37 145
- Day 2: 2013-01-08 -38 145
- Day 3: 2013-01-09 -37 144
- Day 4: 2013-01-10 -37 145
- Day 5: 2013-01-11 -38 144
| Lachlan Gordon, Cam and Tim. earned the Consecutive geohash achievement
| Felix Dance, Tim, Lachie and Cam earned the Bicycle geohash achievement