1985-10-26 51 4

From Geohashing
Sat 26 Oct 1985 in 51,4:
51.8305558, 4.5936990
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This is a Welcome Back to the Future hash. An unique retrohash, that can only be done on 2015-10-21, the day Marty arrived from 1985-10-26.


In a patch of trees close to the largest rail yard in the Netherlands.



I'll take a train to Zwijndrecht and then attempt to walk to the hash. It's about 3 km there and 3 km back again.


I cycled to the station in my town and took the train to Zwijndrecht as planned. After that, my plans had changed a bit though. A later appointment was cancelled which meant I'd have to take the train back home after I was done, instead of going further south. I decided that if possible, I'd try to end up at station Barendrecht which was about 5 km northwest of the hash. On the way there, I noticed it took the train about 7 minutes to get from Barendrecht to Zwijndrecht.

I got out at Barendrecht... and quickly found out that the hashdroid app completely freaks out if you try giving it a 1985 date. So I'd have to do this the old-fashioned way, with Google Maps and manual input of coordinates.

Then, I started walking. Click to see the route I followed. Click that link and set it to kilometers if you want to follow along with my description.

Getting close to the hash was easy. Just follow the rail tracks. First of all, I had to get to the other side of the high way. I had decided that taking the underpass right before the highway crossed the rails would be the fastest. However, that was an industrial/business area which wasn't very pedestrian-friendly. And on top of that there was some road construction going on. So I had to do a bit of sneaking between those roundabouts to get to where I wanted.

Once I crossed the highway (1 km mark), things immediately got less annoying. I took the route through that little city park, and after that (2 km) I walked through that rather narrow park. Once I crossed that road just beyond the 3 km mark, I was out of town and things got quite a bit quieter. I couldn't really see too much of the rail yard, there was a row of trees in front. At some point around the 4 km mark I saw the fence and the 'trail' you see in the photo. The sign said that it was fine to walk through that small forest as long as you stayed on the trails, which was good news. However, that trail looked rather... wild. Slightly concerning.

I wasn't exactly at the point where my GPS told me to turn left yet, but I saw a tiny trail going into the forest. It seemed to go straight to the hash. Once I went into that trail I realized I was closer than I thought, just a few meters later my phone said destination reached. I took a few pictures... and then I needed to decide what to do.

My plan had been to go back to the road parallel to the railway, and follow that until I ended up at the next station. But looking at my map, the trail going further south looked interesting too. For one thing, I was wondering what was up with that church that seemed to be in the middle of nowhere at the southern edge of the forest. And, even though they had predicted rain and it was cloudy, it wasn't raining yet and I thought it'd still be a while.

The trail was actually rather muddy, but just around that first corner, it joined with a much more solid part with many horseshoe prints in it. I followed that for 20 meters or so, before I was presented with a choice. To the left, the muddy path veered off, with a hiking trail sign pointing that way. To the right, the more solid trail continued, with a horse-riding sign pointing that way. After thinking it over for a minute, I decided I'm not a horse after all, and went for the muddy part. Who needs clean shoes anyway?

It didn't matter too much, after a little while they crossed again, which was just before that bridge over the river. Another interesting thing just before that bridge was a little shed. First thing I noticed, when I approached from the right, was a sign that it was property of the local water board. So I thought it might be a pump house or something. Then I noticed the door was barred and the window was broken. I took a look inside. This was definitely not a pump house. Inside, I saw a lot or rubbish, but also the remains of a bed and a small propane stove. Had some homeless person used this as a shelter or something? Weird.

A bit further there was a sign saying that this area was off-limits during spring because of the bird nesting season. Good thing it wasn't spring. I followed the path between the river and the wet place. It wasn't that muddy, and I was surrounded by reeds. I even saw the sun trying to get through all the clouds.

Just after the turn, before the 6 km mark, I saw the church at the other side of the river. Turns out there was a tiny village there, which apparently survived the urbanization of the surrounding areas. While I was walking along there I found myself wondering why there was suddenly such a terrible smell, reminiscent of the Sto Plains. No surprise, there was a field on the other side with the remains of a successful cabbage harvest.

Anyway, the path ended at the road where I passed the 7km mark. A rather boring car road. And at this point I got my first rain of the day. Luckily it didn't get too bad, and didn't last too long. The road led into Heerjansdam at 9 km, another village which had some nice historical houses. Finally arriving in Barendrecht at 12km, I decided to find out what that criss-cross path over the rail tracks was about. Turns out, that as a noise prevention measure, they covered the tracks completely with a huge tube, and then built a park / butterfly garden on top of it.

I reached the station and took the train back home.

I think I could've claimed some non-retro achievements if this hadn't been a retro hash. So that part is too bad. But, I had some nice nature time and a good stroll, so as far as I'm concerned, the expedition was worth it.

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CO2 earned the Welcome Back to the Future Ribbon
by visiting a 1985-10-26 retro geohash on 2015-10-21.