Levels Valley, Timaru, New Zealand
What an exciting Saturday morning it was! In the early hours of the morning a notification was received (that I’d set up some years earlier) from Nathan Woodruff’s notification service. This was for a notification that the Global Hash for the 18 of December 2017 was a mere 94.85 miles away from home!! So this is what greeted me when I woke up on that Saturday morning. Oh, what excitement! Of course, would it a) be on land, and b) be accessible. As I nervously checked the coordinates, the answer was ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’. Even more conveniently, the hash was still two days away, so I had 48 hours to prepare.
The hash was on a farm near the city of Timaru, a bishops move to the south-west of my home graticule. Now private property in New Zealand is handled a bit differently to some of the places in the world where geohashing is carried out. You cannot just wander onto someone’s farm without first getting permission. Otherwise, you are deemed to be trespassing and the police would likely be called and, well, it could all get a bit messy.
I found the address of the farm and a good friend of mine who 1) lives in Timaru so was nice and handy to the hash; 2) knows about my hashing past-time so at least one less thing to explain; and 3) is female which has got to be useful when asking for access to someone’s farm, agreed to negotiate access for the following day.
So on the Sunday, the day before the date of the global hash, my friend knocked on the door of the farm owners (at this point she was a mere FIVE HUNDRED METRES from the global hash). Oh, but alas, it turned out that the owner of the farm was incredibly suspicious and refused to give access to the global hash of the following day! It turned out that the owners were migrants from a continent on the opposite side of the globe and not the usual kindly and understanding type that I’ve come across before when accessing private property, who in the past have always listened patiently, nodded knowingly (as if this sort of request is a normal part of one’s day) and have always been only too happy to join in on the hashing fun.
So I put Plan B into operation. And that was: find someone who knows the owners so that I had someone that could vouch for our good standing and sanity. So I spent the rest of the day contacting everyone I knew who lived in Timaru, and people I knew who I knew knew people in Timaru. This brought some success. I was put onto a friend’s cousin who lived 6 kilometres away, but unfortunately didn’t know the owners. They knew the previous owners very well, however, so knew of the farm - so close yet so far.
Global Hash Day (Monday)
On the day of the hash I found a phone number of the owners and so called them up in a last attempt to bring them around. Despite all my attempts of diplomacy, the owner stuck firm. “I don’t know what you people want, but you are not coming onto our farm. I've taken your friend's car number plate, and given it to the police.” What could I have said that would have made the difference? Perhaps I could have said, “You do realise that as soon as I hang up I am going to burst into tears”. Yes, that could have made the difference, but of course, I didn’t think of saying that until after I’d hung up, at which time, it became a very obvious thing for me to have said.
So my dear readers, close but no cigar (aka global hash) today. Any condolences gratefully received! And here’s hoping that hash-luck will shine on me a second time this lifetime and I get a second opportunity for a global hash some other time in the future.