Run 1868, 20 June, Tai Po Kau Forest

A Rump Through Paths Well Worn


Perhaps it was the mist in the air or the water on the ground but as I wandered over to the pagoda lying at the foot of the Tai Po Kau nature reserve it finally dawned on me that it was a bit wet and indeed had been raining. Information that will later be relevant but also the reason I had chosen not to come on the previous two runs.
Eunuch and (name forgotten), having arrived early, decided that the best use of their time was a reccie of the trail, ran off to where no prying eyes could reach them. The pack slowly gathered, readying themselves for a battle with the flying bastards (mosquitoes) and flora of the trail. The early arrivals returned from their rendezvous up the trail.
Arrival of the GM and with his call of what time is it? (7:25) beckoned the back over to the hare for a thorough briefing: The original trail set had been washed out and just as fast the hare set trail anew. Watch out for these arrows that have been crossed out, they were set by a group of hikers, and follow the flour that looks like its been shat out by a diarrhoetic boar.
And with that, off we went up the hill into the deep and dark forests of Tai Po, with the first check within spitting distance of the start. Half the pack decided to continue up the road, the other half trying their luck up the stairs along Tai Po Kau nature trail only to find the road was the right path. At this point I can only assume another group decided they had been defeated by the stairs and turned back to the start, as I sure as hell didn’t see them after that point.
Following the road we eventually found ourselves along the Blue walk, another check solved put the rambos along the Blue walk again, with the wimps at the other side of said Tai Po Kau Nature trail. It was at this point it quickly became apparent that only the brave or stupid (or hashers) would attempt to run along the stone paths that the hare had neglected to mention he poured several litres of dish soap onto. The FRBs being very much the latter took off and left the rest of the pack behind.
As myself and One Eyed Jack walked with gusto along the blue trail, we were caught up by Radio 1 and Back To The Future. Passing a stream it was noted by R1 and BTTF that if we turned off our torches we would be able to see the fireflies that the area is renowned for, indeed they were a wonder. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth One Eyed Jack quickly sped up until he was out of sight so he could shortcut in private and give himself an air of plausible deniability.
After following the river for another km, stopping at every stream crossing to ooo and aaa at the fireflies’ lights, we reached a warning advising us the path was not well kept and a danger to all but the most experienced of hikers. We ignored this in the following of the floured path that marked where we were wont to go. As we started this climb we came across Serbian Bomber, who promptly joined our trio. Upon reaching the top and finding a solved check we continued down to the left, eventually passing the half way mark. Realising that there probably wasn’t much uphill left, Radio 1 surged ahead. Upon noting this, Serbian Bomber likewise raced ahead.
‘Enjoying’ the long, long downhill section, we were caught up by our intrepid GM, who had crashed earlier in the run trying to murder his surrounding countrymen (two casualties with a single small green fatality). At this point I decided to throw caution to the wind and charge down the hill. This ended as you would have expected as I found myself flying through the air and landing on my back and knocking the air out of my lungs. With assistance from the GM, I limped the 200 metres back in to the start point and finishing the run in a gentlemanly hour and a half.
A fair turnout of 18 or so hashers completed the circle, which was notable for a renaming as RA Golden Balls accused Serbian Bomber of telling a porky about him doing a 3km shortcut on Run 1866. His full name was already impossible to remember, but now it’s even more so: Serbian Spammer Bomber Baron Diver Von Porky Mooseheime.
With thanks to the hare for a delightful run.  – Qutie
Hare: Dram
Runners: Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Radio 1, Back To The Future, Golden Jelly, Creme Brulee, Qutie, Serbian Bomber
Non-runner: Golden Balls

Runs 1867-69, 13-20-27 June

Kings of June

Since that Saturday run of the 2nd of June and its scorching heat, the RA has done a great job in keeping the runs under water and subsequently refilling his own well. How many households in Hong Kong are relying on natural well water for their domestic and gardening needs?

First was Stingray (Run 1867), who had to redo his markings in a last minute effort up above Ma On Shan on the day the sky started to break down after a long dry spell. The few braves who went for it had only good things to say about the run. Some say there was a short cut that kept them 2 more kilometres in deep doo doo, up shit creek if you prefer. Some other said it was only one km. Guess whom.

The next week was Liberace. On that day, average rainfall on HK territory was 109mm – a month record. He too had to redo his markings. Starting from a tyre-killer car park (Eunuch got a bolt through his tyre) at the shit end of Yuen Long Industrial Estate, with a spark in the eye Liberace briefed us: fairly flat , no shiggy, R-W split , chalk, flour and toilet paper after running out of flour.

Off we went and quickly reached a flight of stairs up the mini hill backing I Shing temple, barely overlooking the surrounding concrete mastodons. Easy stuff. At the top, no more concrete trail, we had to dive into a bamboo groove, dripping 100mm of water all over our back. Quickly the crouching position is the only way to go. Some also level the ground with their bottom to move forward under intricate bamboo, bushes, creepers and other snakes.

The marking is excellent, all made of flour, and leading us left right right left right left down all the way to a fence that prevented us slipping down a filthy nullah. Got to go along the fence, no visible path , just patches of flour among creepers that hold your stomach, your neck, your ankles. Among elephant grass that cut your hand , forearms and cheeks. (And poison sumac that blisters you a couple of days later – ed.) We haven’t got to the R-W split but this is far more than Rambo . It is not about killing others, it is about fighting for your own survival. This is Predator trail! Just take a look at GB’s T-shirt! It was brand new at the start!!!

The gate out of all this mad hell is a 20m long canyon of 18ft high bamboos, ready to go scaffolding. It is all intimidating before returning to the concrete light and grey atmosphere of industrial estate. As Mango put it: The rambo / wimp split was at the junction after about half a kilometre from the dense shiggy. The rambo trail took us left further along the main road and then along a nullah. On the other side of the nullah was an interesting looking hillside but alas trail went right, behind the KMB parking spaces and straight on to another check. It wasn’t long before we arrived at yet another lorry park with a dead end. Dead end yes but for Libs this was fun as he marked paper trail through some shiggy, just for a laugh. Once out of the final shiggy we ran along, sighting an on home along the waterfront. Another kilometre or so and we were back at the car park.

Hare: Liberace

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Mango Groove, Serbian Bomber, Golden Jelly, Radio 1, Golden Balls, Creme Brulee, Dingaling, Dram, Geriatric

The 20th of June (Run 1868) is dry all over Hong Kong, bar one spot: Tai Po Kau Forest. Which is where hare Dram chose for his run. The trail is a bucolic wander through the jungle, with the constant noise of water gushing through rocks. Difficult to keep the balance in those conditions and crashes are inevitable. QT performs best of all. Read his report here.

June 27 (Run 1869) is a Golden Affair: Gelly the Hare Raiser got herself to set the run but, lacking time, Balls would craft it for her. It was suppose to be at Tai Lam Chung. But on the morning of the run, Balls had to go into hospital.

There is a hare position to grab and Liberace takes it with only few hours left. The fate is achieved with the help of Gunpowder Plod, starting from King’s Belly. But on another dry and baking day, Tai Po got drenched again.

I’m late and skip the first loop above KB to reach quickly the bottom of Shan Tong Road. The trail shortcuts through the wood to land near the entrance to Paragon. Back to Shan Tong Road the trail passes the playground on the roadside and takes a sharp left to start the climb through the wood. A welcomed short cut to avoid the lengthy Shan Tong up swoops.

But What a climb! Liberace claims during the circle that it was a proper trail. Dude! in the dark, with mud crawling down, dead trees and creepers blocking the way, it wasn’t bucolic. Even the hoover boys (Gaëlle Says No and Eunuch) struggled with it.
No matter the twist the trail is taking, the full moon is just right up there, bright and beautiful, shattering the last remains of clouds, seemingly under our grasp. But she’s still 384,000km away from us. And the elevation above Shan Tong Road barely reaches 240m… Oh well , next time…. this puny quarter km was good enough. Time to go home. The well is full now, get well GB, King of Rain. Thanks Liberace for those two memorable runs in a fortnight, King of Shiggy.  – Creme Brulee

Hares: Liberace, Gunpowder Plod

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, Creme Brulee, Dingaling, Dram, Geriatric, Liberace, Luk Sup Gow, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, Penile Dementia, Serbian Bomber, Antiseptic, Back To The Future, Beer Tits, Radio 1, T-Bird