A Rump Through Paths Well Worn
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.
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
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
The cooling sea was the main feature of this run at the tail-end of the hot spell – everybody jumped in off Geriatric’s private waterfront promenade after a shady jaunt up into the Sai Kung hills. Here are a few impressions.
Golden Balls: I started off walking behind Gunpowder Plod and Dram, who went straight along the road towards Pak Tam Chung when we came to a check. I followed them, but behind me Hoover, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future and T-Bird claimed that the check was marked up into the shiggy. Bewildered, I called “Are you?” after the two gents, who simply marched on, shoulders hunched resolutely. I thought I caught a faint echo of what sounded like “we’re going to snort butt”… I threw my lot in with the ladies. But they had disappeared into the shiggy. After some wooded trail I reached the next check alone, with no obvious direction marked, so I opted for the uphill. T! Back down, eventually catching up with and passing the ladies, then the butt snorters. Nice trail apart from the one mile return along the road.
Mango Groove: The rambos took us upwards, a few steps, a little bit flat and then up again. Now on any “normal” day this would have been a simple easy bit of trail, but in 30-degrees-plus heat with the afternoon sun cooking our brains things were already getting tough. Liberace and Eunuch kept calling keeping Stunt Double, BJ, Mango and One Eyed Jack informed of where trail was going. Halfway along the rambos the trail took us down before going straight and onto a check back with real trail leading left. The trail kept going up until finally the long descent down back onto Pak Tam Chung road and on home.
Stunt Double: The run was mostly on nice trails from Pak Tam Chung under shade until we came to the top of a ridge exposing us to the sun, must have been 40 degrees, and then down a trail with fantastic vista of Sai Kung’s sea and islands in the distance. Here’s the run from my watch:
Notable thing was Liberace running back from a check like a scared cat saying it couldn’t be this way because there were a thousand spider webs, but after checking other ways, trail was where he had come. I was running mostly on my own so not sure anything else that happened or it was the case of the beers after the run 😬
Back To The Future: I was so excited when I was driving to the run because I had never been to Tai Mong Tsai for hiking. Each time I take my car, I drive as carefully as I can, but this time I did kill two birds with one stone of a big big mistake. In the future, absolutely, I will not allow the same situation to replay.
When I arrived at Sai Kung I saw one man standing at the bus stop, then I got out of my car to ask him the direction to Tai Mong Tsai. At the same time, I forgot to turn off my car and hit someone’s car. The driver said: “That is your fault. If you compensate me for my car I will not call the police.” I did not have much choice, because I even forgot to bring my driving licence.
Sausage fest followed. Thanks to Geriatric and his SP SSP for a great afternoon!
Hares: Geriatric, South Side Pushover
Runners: Dram, Stunt Double, Golden Jelly, Hoover, Radio 1, See No Weevil, Eunuch, T Bird, One Eyed Jack, Liberace, Creme Brulee, Gunpowder Plod, Back To The Future, Mango Groove, Dingaling, Golden Balls, Luk Sup Gow, Beer Tits, Phil, BJ
Non-runners: Electrolux, Catch Of The Day, Overdue, June The Suckond (?)
One more steamy hot sweaty evening run in the tropics!
One of the longest hot weather spells in Hong Kong’s history, 12 days approx so far.
I am sure that is why CB delayed the start (Kong Fuk Bridge Garden) until 8pm for the reason that GJ was bringing ice for the beer and had got lost in Tai Po before the start. She stated that she kept gravitating towards the KB.
The trail was called by the hare TD who had just arrived and prevented the pack from short cutting to the first on-on with G’s and DR’s insiders information. The trail basically went upstream to Kam Shek New Village and then up to Lin Au past the noisy dog rescue kennels. E and GSN had decided to jog the uphill section.
Reached a split:
Left: met with a CB on the Wilson Trail.
Right: met with a T.
CB back over to some graves: nothing.
Back further down the road, E and SS (Shit Sniffer or Anal Corpse Shagger or Rub N Tug or See Faat Kwai (Arsehole) or Eddie Darling or Mango) for those unfamiliar with this name) found trail by the Water Supplies Dept fence. So on down we went to eventually find another CB with an arrow crossed out right next to it. E then disappeared and did his own thing, followed by OEJ, Cutie and SS, then by R1 and GJ. They followed some walkers tapes down a lovely bamboo trail until hitting the contour path above the highway. OEJ went left (shorter route) and SS with Cutie went right.
CB and VL followed the crossed out trail for some distance before giving up and heading back up to the road.
Whilst all this was going on, GSN decided to do his own run and ran though the CB and found trail??? And then followed it on down and home.
He was followed by SB and BTTF.
DR and G turned back on the road and returned to the bucket.
Red lantern awards went to CB and VL.
Shit Sniffer was renamed and anointed with some holy water from the ice bucket ( nice and coooool) hahahahaha LOL. What his new name is, I have forgotten, he has so many! Most of the pack were awarded down-downs’s with TD getting a bucket full on behalf of her co-hare M. She must use her teaching skills to exert more control over his errant ways. – One Eyed Jack
Hares: Tangerine Dream, Moonie
Runners: Creme Brulee, Golden Jelly, Geriatric, Dram, Eunuch, Gaelle Says No, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, QT, Radio 1, Velcro Lips, Serbian Bomber, Back To The Future
Non-runners: Beer Tits, Luk Sup Gow, T Bird
Click on images to enlarge
Trail went out the back of the village heading west then crossed Lam Kam Road before heading east to Ng Tung Chai. After Ng Tung Chai trail led through the villages and streams, losing trail. At one point the entire pack found themselves on a path, lost, when a charming villager appeared demanding to know what we were doing, swearing at us and threatening to call the police, only shutting up when Golden Jelly told him to call the Lands Department as well. Eventually trail was discovered leading back down to Lam Kam Road, recrossing it, then a long mazy route through the villages past Tai Yeung Che then home. Recovering cripple Penile Dementia sniffed out trail most of the way as front runner, but at Tai Yeung Che he and Liberace decided to try and push a shiggy route along the hillside and ended up finishing last.
Hare: Walky Talky
Runners: Golden Jelly, Penile Dementia, Liberace, Mango Groove, Radio 1, Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Eunuch, Beer Tits (list may be incomplete – please advise)
Non-runners: Luk Sup Gow, Fartypants
Sisyphus is this Greek dude, not a yogurt but king of Ephyrae, when Zeus and his assembly of gods and goddesses were ruling the world and everything walking, crawling on its surface. Being a king, Sisyphus started to think very highly about himself , like as equal of the gods and in doing so he triggered their wrath. They punished him for the eternity at pushing a huge boulder up the hill and once at the top, the boulder would roll over, all the way down the hill and Sisyphus has to start again and again and again for the eternity. Some believe he’s still doing it on Mars….
In 1942, Albert Camus took Sisyphus myth to establish his philosophy of the absurd, describing man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values. Does the realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus answers, “No. It requires revolt.” He then outlines several approaches to the absurd life. The final chapter compares the absurdity of man’s life with the situation of Sisyphus and his meaningless task repeated indefinitely. The essay concludes, “The struggle itself is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”.
And it is happily that returnees Sting Ray, Serbian, QT, Lok Sap Gao, Penile Demancia gathered at the Lion’s Pavillon, Sui Wo Rd, Overlooking Shatin’s stretch of lights , ready to discover what Geriatric had up his sleeve. It was without hesitation that last week run Geriatric took up the hare job from Gaelle Says No who had to business travel. He must have got something brewing on the back of his mind.
The beginning is very similar to the run set by Golden Jelly a few month ago at the same spot: going back Sui Wo Rd until the Rd goes down to the right and instead take the alley on the left along the residential wall. En route, we can see One Eye Jack dressing up for the run. Check.
Pushing for the similarity, I follow QT who goes up the metalic stairs instead of following the alley. Liberace is already calling for trail deeper in the alley but never mind we keep going up . It is Liberace after all and we quickly find our own Trail. When QT suddenly stop and does repeated large movement with his arm. « It’s a spider web! » « Ho! come on! » and I take over. After the stairs, the trail goes up through the shiggy and fucking hell, there is spider web every 2 meters. How can spiders rebuilt so fast and so many after the hare went through. Or did he? There is all this fresh marking of flour and toilet paper. How can that happen? Does Geriatric have a way to control spider? Is he spider man? I’m shewing these questions and many spiderwebs all the way to the trigonometric marker. Check! I go for left, QT for the right. And we both call trail at the same time. But I keep going. This is QT after all. The trail is going down,steep. And what the fuck! there’s a light shining at the bottom and going up…. Who ‘s that!?
« It’s a T. » mumbles One Eye Jack, going up.
Alright, let’s take a break here. he was late, still changing while we were deciphering the first check and gobbling the first spiders. But it didn’t take to long to reach the top.! So…. Ok, he’s the king of Shortcutters but still. How did he manage to get there before everyone? … Some Merlin wizardry at work here. More question.
On the good trail, Mango has joined QT. Both are arguing the best way to deal with spider web. QT and his arm. Mango and a piece of twig , fencing the air like a gay Dartagnan. It doesn’t take long for Eunuch and Liberace to take control and lead the way. Down, down, down.
And here is where I start to think Sisyphus. You see, when the boulder is going down, at least Sisyphus only has to follow its trail. But for us, mere hasher, our boulder is ourself, it is our stomach, more or less round, more or less raising up our centre of gravity, more or less hurting our joint. And unlike Sisyphus, we have to carry our boulder up and down. And these little boulder bastards of Eunuch and Liberace are racing down like bananas. It hurts to follow them. And it hurts to think that the more we go down, the more we’ll have to go up.
Thanks Geriatric for leading us to the public lift of Sui Wo Estate. Nice relief in our struggle. First there again, One Eye Jack is waiting for us in front of it with a large teethy grin. Eunuch urges the people to get out of the lift, Mango press the closing button frantically, Liberace arrives just too late, butt of the joke. On the intermediate floor, Mango has a look for marking, I try to push him out of the lift but he’s a heavy boulder.
A good laugh, yes but we are also 30m further down. Thanks Geriatric! There won’t be another lift to push ourselves up!
Although I have a sense that OEJ surreptitiously took the lift back up : once we got to the bottom of the bottom of it, along the East Railway, he wasn’t there anymore. And then, who knows what?
I was told that QT and Serbian , our two bone crippled, were considering the cab option after the lift but they didn’t have money, so they carried their boulder all the way back up. Not thinking that the taxi would take them back to their wallet… Hm, not just the bones are crippled. Along the railway, Liberace is in the hurry to go up, searching marks on every path or stair available on the right but the trail keeps going along the railway all the way to Shatin station. Even on the flat, the boulder is getting heavy, making the ascent more and more daunting .
And it begins, through crumbling shacks and tortuous stairs. How long this is going to take? Liberace and Eunuch little boulders bastards are still going bananas. And Mango slowly disappear in the distance. After the shacks, the trail reach a long stretch of bamboo. The path his littered with dry squames of bamboo, so slippery ! But then much faster than expected, with his warm humanity, up above, Mango give a « on home GM! »
Ô Geriatric , thank you in your magnanimity, after taking us so far down and playing so hard with our nerves, fibres, bones, blood and sweat, thank you in your magnanimity to give us such a swift final. Ô Geriatric! Ô Ceasar (you look like him a bit in Astérix books) : Fuck Sisyphus (he’s Greek after all !) and have a beer in the boulder! – Creme Brulee
Runners: Radio 1, Golden Balls, Golden Jelly, Liberace, Eunuch, Creme Brulee, QT, One Eyed Jack, Velcro Lips, Dram, Mango Groove, Stingray, Serbian Bomber, Back To The Future, Luk Sup Gow, Beer Tits, T-Bird, Penile Dementia