Rain Stops Play (almost)
Thunderstorms raged prior to Stingray’s run high on Ma On Shan, and the excuses started trickling in. “Can we change the run site?” pleaded Velcro Lips. “Can’t make the run,” said Mango. “Can’t make it either,” echoed QT. “Won’t be able to come – stupid flu,” claimed the GM. “I’m at Science Park – really heavy rain,” simpered Serbian Bomber, while Gaelle Says No countered with “How about the top of Tai Mo Shan? Bet it’s nice up there.”
Thus it was against such a backdrop of craven copping out that the hard core – the really hard core – group of hashers gathered at the barbecue pits of Ma On Shan Tsuen. The RA had done a first class job of stopping the rain. The hare was back, talking about flour, rice and paper, and two stones being an on on, and he couldn’t vouch for anything still being there. Seven hashers set off towards the forbidding ridge to the south, the leaden louring sky.
And immediately got caught out by a hidden check leading to a cheeky path off the road, except Eunuch and Liberace in front, who saw it, solved it, but didn’t bother calling. Pack split already. After five minutes of fruitless toing and froing over the bridge, along the river, the rest of us found trail back just before the bridge. This led to a nice shiggyish section through trees and grass, passing the 240m mine adit, where security bars and construction materials were stashed in what looked like a plan to seal off the mine. If that’s the case, it’s the end of mine hashing.
Trail climbed steeply up from the adit to a road, going past the pagoda where Plod set his epic Saturday run last year, to another shiggy section ending in a chain link fence that we followed to another road, where Geriatric called it a day. By now we’d been out about half an hour. The two front runners were over the hills and far away. One Eyed Jack had done one of his mysterious disappearing acts and Serbian Bomber was within calling distance of Golden Balls and Golden Jelly bringing up the rear.
That all changed after Ma On Shan Tsuen, when we hit The Wall. For those who have never seen it, this is a long (1km?) wall above a ditch that 10 years ago was still runnable but is now a bit of an obstacle course, despite Stingray’s claims to have cut back the worst of the overgrowth. Some sections required you to drop down into the ditch for a stretch and pick your way through the trees before clambering back to the top of the wall. It was great fun, but by the time Golden Jelly and the absurdly uncoordinated Golden Balls emerged onto a mountain trail in open hill country , Serbian Bomber was out of earshot.
There’d been sporadic showers during the run, but now the heavens opened with a vengeance. Ten minutes later the two backmarkers could detect no trail and had no idea where they were. This was because they’d missed a turning and were now climbing again, but assumed trail had been washed out. At the top of a hill they suddenly heard Serbian Bomber calling directly below them – but there was no path straight down, only one leading along the ridge to the north. Following this, they eventually relocated trail, which led out to a road, the road leading up to the barbecue pits and home. Or so they thought.
In fact they were above the barbecue pits. The hare had put no marking at the junction so as not to confuse hashers heading out, but GB and GJ in their wisdom carried gaily – or rather, ploddingly – on upwards away from home, until they reached the pagoda where Plod set his epic Saturday run…by the time they got back to the start it was, shall we say, late.
Golden Jelly: “When the the rain started, we found no trace of trial, only a piece of chalk, we believed the rain washed the flour, rice, paper and even the stone away, end up at the top of a hill, 1 extra km!” To which the rabidly shrill Serbian retorted: “It wasn’t 1 extra km but a 3km shortcut. They came down the north-west side of the hill instead of crossing the hill, going down the south-east side, climbing a spur then descending diagonally down the north-west side!” When asked to prove this (he’s the only NNT hasher that runs with a poncy gps), the telling part of his gps trace had “disappeared” and in its place, a straight line…this was to have ramifications…
The normal circle chaos ensued and we all went home happy. The last word goes to the hare, responding to the GM’s enquiry about the run: “GM sir. Ne worry yourself pas. Je boire an down down por vous. Je suis maintenant un muchos grande homme francais. Last nuit cest Waterloo all over again. Le englais look forward pour le world cuppa finale contre la france dans prussia. Bon chance.” – Cock of the South
Runners: Eunuch, Liberace, One Eyed Jack, Serbian Bomber, Golden Balls, Golden Jelly, Geriatric, Penile Dementia, Gunpowder Plod