Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Hashing we will Go

Well that was fun, sort of.

You'll remember Michael was knighted "Jingle Balls" over Christmas because of the bells on his elf costume, and ever since he has taken his new alias very seriously. Jack didn't know he should be running in the other direction with his toy.

Here's Michael making his preparations. Hey! You'll note Zura and Jack staring at Michael jumping up and down and taunting them.

Here is where we were going:

View St Kitts Hash in a larger map

This is actually an industrial area, but just behind all the cement factories is a nice long black beach with lush trees blocking the view of the ugly structures. That's where we started.

There were quite a few students on this hash, which probably wasn't the best hash to start them on...

The runners went one way.

The walkers the other.

Normally, the person who sets the hash leads one group while having a partner lead the other. In this instance, the person who set the hash had to leave, which pretty much meant mayhem. The guy who was assigned to lead the walkers didn't have a clue, so within the first 5 minutes we were lost. Those of us in the front walked on and on and on before realizing that we must have missed the turn-off somewhere,

while those behind us had found the right trail leading to the hills and were waiting for us.

So after going about a 1/2 mile out of our way, we finally made our way up to the main road, where we scratched our heads,

and then found our way to the railroad tracks to lead us to wherever we had missed the trail. Sure glad I was with a crowd who knew the area.

We found the trail (marked by cut up plastic garbage bag strips tied around branches). Time to go up!

You can see the ugly masonry plant down there backdropped by the beautiful black beach and frothing ocean.

And then we were into razor grass that went over our heads, and through bushes/trees with huge thorns for good measure. As we went ahead, we could hear hikers behind us screaming "OW" intermingled with a few expletives (these were from the adults, but the kids are going to have some serious potty mouths one day).

When you could pop your head out of the grass, you got a good view though.

We finally broke through the foliage only to find ourselves with more to climb and no end in sight. I just about got trampled by these 4 gorgeous cows (very much on the move in this picture).

Then we passed a sugar mill ruin on the way to an airport overlook.

By now, we had been walking for over an hour (which is normally how long the hikes are total), the trail was still going up, and we still had to make the loop back. We seemed to be following the runner's trail (set with sawdust) which would be twice as long as the walker's trail, which meant we'd be walking a long, long time more to come...You can see in this picture how far back some people were (there were many others behind these guys).

This didn't make sense, so some of us turned around. Apparently, we had missed yet another turnoff (with plastic trash bag ties to follow) so some walkers were already back drinking beers, others walked the whole trail and didn't make it back until it was almost dark.

As a matter of fact, afterwards, the usual ceremonies commenced with the "virgins" (first timers) getting initiated into the group. For the first time ever, we actually had to do that rite 3 times because every time we thought we were done (and half the people had already gone home) another large group of haggard stragglers would come stumbling in. They missed Michael getting called out because he was taking his hash name a little too seriously and stealing his cats balls.

And who is this? Mr. X finally clean shaven. He was chosen because he had been coming in "disguise" for the past few hashes (with a full head of hair and beard).

So overall, the hike was a good one, but I wish the setters would inform the hashers of hazards, like thorns. We would dress accordingly and people could decide if they wanted to bring their kids and dogs are not (kids had welts across their necks from the razor grass). Wonder how many students will come back for the next one?

Jack was happy to get his toys back.