2013-11-04 58 12
Skepplanda, Ale kommun, Västergötland, Sweden. A small paddock in the forest.
I had been at Göteborg for about a week. Hashes fell, well... not so good, and I didn't really consider any. But I didn't really want to leave Sweden without having visited a hash, also... I wanted an adventure. I wanted to see swedish landscape, not just cities and tourist places.
On the last day there was one that looked reachable. However, the bus connection wasn't good but can that stop a determined geohasher? However, the sad thing was that there were no buses between early morning and noon, so I had to go around noon.
I took a train to the station of Älvängen, which turned out to be a quite boring suburb. From there, a bus took me to Skepplanda, which turned out to be a small settlement with a shop and not much more. And when school was out, another bus went off from there to bring the children to the remote farms and small hamlets. And me to a stop called Hålan. Hålan was just a little collection of nothings along a road that wasn't even paved.
I hadn't really been able to find out how the hash might be accessible. I just took the path that I knew of from some map which came closest and hoped I'd find a way through the wilderness from there. And then it turned out to be much easier in the end: The path continued further than the maps showed. The hash itself wasn't in the forest but on a small paddock which was currently empty, and the gate was open. I could just walk in and find the place. That's almost disappointingly easy for a place that's supposed to be in the swedish wilderness, isn't it?
Anyway, this meant I still had a bit of time left until it would get dark and the last bus would leave. There was a series of caches not too far which I simply couldn't leave untried: It was named Vad gjorde ekorren? - "What did the squirrel?". You see my nickname in there? That's it, exactly - I took it from swedish language. Well, so if anyone knows what ekorren did, that should be me, shouldn't it? Ok, I might fail at knowing what I do, but then probably nobody knows.
Er ok. I tried to find the way to one end of the cache series. Succeeded to find the first one and proudly signed the logbook. Then I followed the cache route for a few kilometres, along long walls marking ancient foot and animal paths. Some intense piece of history, a route that had been taken by people hundreds of years ago before any kind of road was built through this part of wilderness. The only sad thing about it being that it was already afternoon, and november days in Sweden are short, and I didn't really want to end up on a lonely unmarked wilderness path alone in the dark. So, just in time before the darkness got hold of the forest, I made it back to the road. Also just in time to catch the bus on its way back to Skepplanda. The driver welcomed me back, with the question:
What does someone do at such a place as Hålan?