Run 1697, 10 June 2015, Pak Ngau Shek

The Abdication At The WeirWeir

As my taxi started the pull up Lam Kam Road towards Kadoorie Farm I saw Eunuch gamely pedalling along in his running kit. He’ll be there soon after me, I thought – the turn-off to Pak Ngau Shek was just a few hundred metres ahead. When I got to village, the new abode of Fartypants and Walky Talky, there was Oranguwank remarking how accurate the map on the blog was. Spot on. Fifteen minutes later, Eunuch hadn’t arrived.

Neither had anybody else, not even the hare. I called Eunuch. “I passed you on Lam Kam Road so where are you?” “We’re all at the start, according to the map,” he said, “where are you?” “We’re at the start, according to the map…” and so it went. Deadlock was broken when Catch Of The Day’s Land Rover pulled up, shortly followed by Zimmerframe’s old jalopy, now Bukkake’s beer truck. The others were all in the next village down, Tai Yeung Che. In due course they trooped in: Eunuch, Penile Dementia, Velcro Lips, One Eyed Jack, Liberace’s beat-up van, Luk Dim Boon on a bike. Beer Tits, Phil and VD on foot. Still no sign of the hare. Then Fartypants turned up and delivered the briefing. “No idea where the hare is, she’s still out setting the run. Haven’t a clue how long it is. Couldn’t tell you how many trails there are. Haven’t the faintest where it goes, apart from past my gaff… I was going to run with you,” he remarked, eyeing the eskies, “but you’ll need somebody to look after all this beer…”

Oranguwank: There’s a path shown on the map going straight up Tai To Yan from here. We craned our necks steeply up to that forbidding ridge. Oh well, here goes. Can’t be helped. Trail started encouragingly enough leading down a road-wide mud track south towards Lam Kam Road. A couple of previously unknown and promising-looking tracks heading north were briefly explored before trail was found on Lam Kam Road and then along the road to Ng Tung Chai. Clever checks and some new tracks kept the pack together as we worked our way towards Tai Om and Ping Long. All seemed well.

Then the raging weir was encountered with its strong current and huge drop-off. Some attempted to leap it, others braved the fearsome undertow. I took one look and turned back, followed by One Eyed Jack and Velcro Lips. But this abdication at the weir led to a wimps trail. On regaining Lam Kam Road we ran east until we picked up trail again and followed it back through Sha Pa, Mai Po Mei and Tai Yeung Che to the start. Oranguwank came charging up the hill shortly afterwards, a long way ahead of Catch Of The Day and Eunuch. Their route had taken them up a knoll with head high elephant grass – there were cruel jibes aimed at the hare, all five foot none of her. Oranguwank proclaimed it to have been 7.8km. The Lam Tsuen Valley tardis had done its job again.

Some locals drove up slowly, then stopped. “What’s going on here?” – to which Fartypants replied in his most unctuous, toadying manner, explaining all about the hash in a repulsively fawning yet strangely mincing way. He does live there I suppose. And what a good hashing venue: toilet block, ancestral hall to get changed in, ample parking, even a hosepipe for the fussy. Topped off brilliantly when Walky Talky, VD and Beer Tits appeared bearing a cauldron of chicken curry, a vat of steaming rice, hunks of torn baguette, a slab of pate, pickled radishes from Golden Jelly’s fertile tracts and a splendid fruit, garlic and Parmesan salad, which the oafish GM proceeded to upset on the gravel.

More of the same, please! – Golden Balls

The actual weir
The actual weir

Non-runners Luk Sup Gow and Chemical Ali

Run 1696, 3 June 2015, Tai Po Market

Not All The Pies

Moonie Tintin copy
Note the guilty little finger

Moonie and Tintin set this run on a sweltering afternoon, then went to the pub where they were discovered by the GM, who naturally joined them. Not the most auspicious of beginnings. The run started at Yuen Chau Tsai Park just by Island House and on the Sha Tin-Tai Po cycling thoroughfare, and seemed to be some sort of stopping point for cyclists – or perhaps they were just gawping at us. This was the location where, last December during the 12 Hashes of Christmas (organised by Moonie and Tintin), the intrepid pair got the start wrong. As the pack ran past, having started at Kwong Fuk Estate, we passed Moonie and Tintin waiting in the park wondering where everybody was. Slack-jawed amazement turned to mutual recrimination as the ex-squaddies accused each other of the balls-up.

Not this time though. They extricated themselves from The King’s Belly and were at the park ready to welcome the pack. A new face, Noah, had found out about the run from this very blog and had run north from his digs at Chinese University until he bumped into us. Catch Of The Day meanwhile was hopelessly lost. “Where are you?” “At a roundabout.” “OK, what can you see?” “I can see a bus…” We started without her.

The trail itself was a pleasant, if atypical, 8km, weaving its way through the suburbs of Tai Po Market and up to the top of Shan Tong Road. The early leader was Bukkake, who guessed correctly at the first check at the Kwong Fuk Road / Nam Wan Road junction, heading towards the railway station. He was followed by Penile Dementia and Golden Balls while Eunuch, Liberace, Noah, One Eyed Jack and Stingray all charged off north. But Bukkake came unstuck at the next check at the bottom of Shan Tong Road, heading out along the north bank of the nullah as Golden Balls and Penile Dementia found trail on the south bank. Bukkake returned to the check, ignored the nullah and went up to the top of Shan Yin Road. By the time he got back the rest of the pack had disappeared down the nullah and he was way behind at the back. Such is the hash!

Eunuch and Liberace led on the long haul up Shan Tong Road. Noah, who had also got lost somewhere, absolutely steamed up the hill, while Stingray and Golden Balls missed a check and carried on up to the waterworks at the top, where they stupidly decided to circumnavigate the ringfenced facility looking for trail only for the path to disappear. They were left clinging to chicken wire. Eventually they made it back to the check and found trail going up the crazy paving into Tai Po Kau Forest. At a junction they met Catch Of The Day and Bukkake coming up from the other side, having gone wrong at a split. Trail then went up to the top of a hill at about 280 metres and steeply down the other side to the posh houses on Yat Yiu Avenue and out to Tai Po Road. A little bit of messing about on paths and underpasses to cross the highway and railway, then it was the cycle track back to the start for a good summer hash. Atypical for a Northern New Territories run? It was 100 percent hardtop.

Moonie had made good use of the eskies while we were away and was in fine form entertaining our audience. When he invited one poor chap into the circle for a beer, the alarmed cyclist said he didn’t drink. “Well if he doesn’t drink, how does he get drunk?” demanded an indignant Eunuch. The moon shone. Catch Of The Day delivered an “icky” to Noah, who gamely gargled a whole-can down down. Then the beer ran out so we went home. – Golden Balls