2024-03-21 -37 145

From Geohashing
Thu 21 Mar 2024 in -37,145:
-37.9100831, 145.0043121
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On a footpath in Brighton, in Melbourne's southeast.


Expedition 1:

Expedition 2:

Expedition 3:

Expedition 4:

Expedition 1

I had Gretel in childcare this day, but I also had a packed day's worth of activities already, so I was kind of hoping for a bad hash day.

But when it was down in Brighton I knew I wouldn't be able to face myself if I didn't go for it. So, after completing my various tasks, including doing an all grain brew, I jumped on my bike and set off. It was 1:30pm and I had to pick up Gretel at 4:30.

I raced through Royal Park and then the city, taking the most direct route and ignoring the beach on this beautiful autumn day. When I was just getting through the city Tom messaged the group announcing that he too was attempting the hash - and the race was on!

I sprinted as fast as I could down St Kilda Road, past the Melbourne Metro works, and then onto the Nepean Highway. Strangely, even though I was having favour with the lights and pushing it as hard as I could, Tom wasn't dropping away from me but instead gaining on me, albeit along a side road that took a direct southerly approach. Tom is a fit dude!

I had a slight headwind, a disadvantage that Tom would suffer as well. Still I pushed it, battling the wind, going through orange traffic lights, dinging my bell at potential car-door openers in order not to be slowed down. Tom was a good 500m ahead of me, now seemingly on the Nepean Highway as well, and I was not catching him up.

And then I saw that Tom was still messaging the group! Talking about the difficulty of planning geohashes with a small child... how could he do this and also totally smoke me on the bike?? I also communicated with the group on my phone while squealing through busy highway intersections in order to demonstrate that this was an ability I too had mastered.

I veered off the Nepean Highway to cross at a pedestrian bridge and head south. For some reason, Tom had slowed right down near the hash. Maybe he'd had a flat tyre? Or maybe his location wasn't updating. I barrelled towards him.

I heard his voice before seeing him. He had just got fish and chips and was rounding a bend. I followed the voice and met up with them. To my amazement, there was no bike, and there was Max. To their amazement, there was no Gretel, and there was a bike. I'd been racing a ghost - or rather a different form of the being I'd imagined. They'd taken the train.

We walked together, eating Tom's chips (thanks Tom!). We had a brief sit in the shade at a park along the way and continued along the fancy Brighton streets to the hash. Max was very interested in the magpies and other interactions along our route. He also identified the models of passing trains.

We got to the hash, Max made his pithy remark, and then we returned. Firstly, to the train station, then I left them and rode home, similarly to the way I'd arrived in order to not be late for Gretel. Which I wasn't - I even had time to shower.

Expedition 2

Tom took Max to the hash on the train from the city. They met up with Felix after getting chips from near the Brighton train station and all walked together to the hash.

Max declared "We came all this way just for this?" once the hash was completed and all were returning to the station.

The left Felix to ride home after just missing their train.

Expedition 3


I'm in an unsettled mood as I set off. I've committed the mistake of arguing with strangers on the internet and getting worked up. A bike ride will do some good.

It's a blue sky day in Autumn and the world is full of optimism but it doesn't quite penetrate. It's a familiar route through the city on Canning St. Moomba is long gone, and now it's the Flower and Garden Show in Carlton Gardens. No issues getting through to St Kilda Road, and somehow the Metro Tunnel chaos is less chaotic than usual. But the traffic noise is enriched, one might say, by the sounds of racecars doing laps of the Albert Park race track, only a kilometre or two away. It's the Formula One race this weekend.

Is every city like this? Everything is changing everywhere always. Buildings that look like they have been there forever but I swear they weren't there last week.

I try a different approach to get to Barkly St through St Kilda Junction. Last time I tried being a car and following the traffic to the right, leaving me in the middle of busy traffic on both sides. This time I followed the cautious approach, a series of hook turns that left me stranded on the side of the road with no obvious way to get over to Barkly St.

Buzzing St Kilda gives way to peaceful Elwood as I try to navigate my way by feel and make a few too many left turns. Suddenly there is a primary school blocking the road. It's awfully confusing. Can I...get through the primary school? Is the park part of the school or something different? Flummoxed, I retreat to a nearby bakery and commune with a nutella donut.

I come back for round two with the primary school. There are tiny people running around everywhere. I take one of the little paths that seems to go around it. It works, but I'm still confused.

Now I'm beside a stinky canal full of rotting vegetable matter, which makes a lot more sense to me. There's a sign with a picture of a turtle, so now I'm turtle spotting. I only succeed in seeing a mallard. And more rot. It's great. It has been such a long time since I've come down this canal, a strange oddity in Melbourne that I somehow cherish.

I'm finally on the beach trail for what will be a short distance. There must be a recumbent bike group on an outing, including the uber-rare tandem recumbent. In my acerbic state I fantasise about hurling bags of dog poo at the mansions that line the foreshore, and wonder about the best ways to prepare the bags to maximise splatter.

I'm developing a fish and chips appetite, but the price at the fancy Brighton kiosk puts me off, so I turn towards the hinterland instead.

I've been "through Brighton" many times, but in reality it's only Brighton Beach that I have seen. This geohash, smack in the heart of Brighton, is actually one of the first times I'll have properly entered this ritziest of suburbs. What will it be like? I imagine a shopping strip full of fancy homewares shops, clothing stores catering to wealthy middle aged women, everything in a color scheme of white and light grey, the roads crammed with BMWs and Range Rovers.

It is exactly like that.

I marvel at the endless series of stores catering to a market quite unlike myself. Wine bars. High end electronics. Narry a cheap fish and chippery.

The hash itself passes in a blink. I barely slow down on the footpath, confirm the coordinates, and roll on.


I'm entranced and horrified and outraged and envious and mystified and find myself circling back for a second tour down the main shopping strip. There's a large billboard advertising some townhouses for sale, and someone has helpfully used a can of spray paint to provide some additional context for the reader: "Under admin: Court Case Pending". There's nowhere to click to indicate that this was helpful, so I hope a little smirk does the trick.

I'm lost in a daze contemplating how Country Road epitomises the essence of Brighton, rolling slowly down the road when I hear an angry beep from the car behind me. I turn around to give them a piece of mind. Then I see the poor guy is in a BMW that's at least 5 years old and clearly struggling, so I just move over to let him pass instead.

Back on the beach it's now a tailwind and everything is different. Easy. Effortless. Positive. I've got smiles for random pedestrians and little waves for kids. I briefly consider a swim, but the body language of the people in the water is telling me in no uncertain terms I'm better where I am. At the Brighton Yacht Club, there's a sign saying "Say I do here!" So I do say I do, hoping it's a magic door, but nothing happens. We're gliding through Elwood and St Kilda and onto Middle Park and now Station Pier where at last I encounter a fish and chippery I can do business with.

The last I heard, there was some sort of proposal to do something about this derelict pier at Beacon Cove. Now it's an unimaginatively named waterfront extravaganza called "Waterfront" that looks like it's been there forever. I take my grilled blue grenadier and potato chips and find a spot of grass. Awkwardly I've chosen a spot right in front of the only two other people for miles around, but it seems even more awkward to leave.

The fish is unspectacular, and I'm still not a fan of this trend of putting a garlic and crumb coating on. There's some kind of navy ship docked where the Sprit of Tasmania would once have been, and an angry flashing sign telling you both that Staion Piere is closed, but if it was open, you would not be allowed to smoke inside or drive at more than 20 kph. It's a lot to take in.


The sun is getting droopy and I resume my look along the Sandridge Rail Trail. Suddenly it's jam packed with electronic scooters, including some punk who's decided to ride along the tram tracks instead of the bike path, until just now, when he'd like to rejoin the fold. Too much is happening but somehow no one collides.

I'm whistling along the Docklands trail behind a roadie who in a fit of gallantry or guilt or something suddenly decides to slam on the brakes to allow an indecisive pedestrian the opportunity to cross the path. I hesitate a moment before braking hard. I hear a screech of tyres and mutterings behind me and brace for impact, but am spared. The pedestrian looks alarmed and a bit sheepish as she scampers across, and we pick up speed again, me doing that thing where you dodge the speed humps by riding on the narrow edging.

Yet another huge change has occurred while my back was turned, and now there is a gigantic green bike path bridge straddling Footscray Road. It's not quite ready to use, but I feel called to congratulate it on its impressive greenness. You really can't get much more green than that.

The crowd of people commuting by bike barely fits on the traffic island and everyone's looking around nervously, hoping no one gets stranded on the road. But we're ok, moving as one, as we enter a series of temporary bike paths which, of course, has completely changed since the last time I was here. That statement has been true pretty much everytime I have ridden through there in the last three years. It's exhausting.

Past Royal Park and there are golf carts on the trail, and honestly there isn't much interesting to say about them. There's a game of cricket in full swing, and I'm lucky enough to see someone clean bowled the moment I ride past. Less lucky for him.

Finally the local dog park where the local dogs are parked, and it's the same as a few hours ago but somehow I do feel a bit lighter, a bit more joyous, and I'm looking forward to being home.


Expedition 4

Dropped by after uni! I'd say it was about a 30-45 minute detour; instead of taking a more Pythagorean path home from the city via public transport, I traversed the other two sides of the triangle.

Route included a tiny bit scary section on Durrant Street (walking there from North Brighton Station), where there was no footpath on the portion of the road that goes under the railway bridge. I made sure there were no cars (since it's dark and drivers wouldn't expect or see many pedestrians) and then walked on the tiny sliver of asphalt available. I presume that lane is actually for bikes.



Stevage and Felix earned the Bicycle geohash achievement
by cycling 51km to the (-37, 145) geohash on 2024-03-21.
BarbaraTables earned the Land geohash achievement
by reaching the (-37, 145) geohash on 2024-03-21.
BarbaraTables earned the Public transport geohash achievement
by reaching the (-37, 145) geohash on 2024-03-21 using public transit.