Sunday, August 22, 2010

Christened Hiking Boots

So yesterday was hash day and we decided to see if we could find some hiking shoes on island. We had once seen a store in Port Zante carrying Merrill hiking sneakers and set out to see if they still had them. They did, but in limited sizes. Now, I had planned on paying $45US for some New Balance trail running sneakers from JCPenney but couldn't find any in Puerto Rico and by the time I'd pay for shipping to St. Kitts - they wouldn't be $45 anymore. Desperation set in, so I just paid $90US for a pair of Merrills from Island Treasures (nice people). Sigh. The good news though is that I didn't overpay too much for them. If I had bought them online from Merrill they would have been $80+shipping.

Then we wandered into the main part of town and went into The Sports Zone (very friendly staff there). There was a huge selection of sneakers and trail/running shoes so Michael was able to get a pair too. His cost $83US, and a check online show he actually SAVED money (they're $105US). Now, we could have found another brand in the States that would have been cheaper (and would have), but at least we know that we're not getting price gouged on everything we buy here. It's easy to panic when you see the prices in EC - $225??!! AACK - but an almost 3-1 conversion (really 2.67 to 2.7) shows you it's not as bad as it initially seems.

Time to put the shoes to the test. This hash was in West Farm literally right across the street from Ross University.

While heading there, we got held up by a bunch of bikers that were apparently in a race.

Hmm. Why didn't we know anything about this?! This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm trying to find out! Well, I'm assuming it was part of the Independence Tour organized by the Nevis Cycle & Triathlon Club.

We've been pretty lucky in the almost 2 years we've been here that with a hash every 3 weeks, it's only rained maybe 2 or 3 times. Today was not only dry but clear.

That's Ross in the distance there.

Even Nevis (that highest point in the distance there) was enjoying a mostly cloudless day.

Before we get going, I just have to post this picture.

Fashion-plates, we hashers are not. That's Mr. X (left) and Steve (sorry guys).

We'd start on orange ribbon

and seemed to be heading for this old sugar-mill chimney.

And we're off, immediately on a long uphill (it doesn't look so bad, but take my word for it).

Most of the trail followed a road, but every once in a while, we headed into the blissful shade.

I never tire of the views.

A few animal friends.

It's always a bit unnerving to pass these cows as you don't know if they'll charge you or not. This one did not, but there was another one in the trees nearby that was huffing and puffing and sounding like he wanted to scare someone (I jogged a bit past that one).

We finally made it to the chimney,

went around and were now following yellow ribbon.

There are always ruins in unexpected places - this was on a property with a pretty modern house. It looks like some kind of old storage building.

This went on for longer than we thought it would, particularly when a few of us lost the trail and had to backtrack, but eventually we made it in just about the same time as the runners - which is exactly how it's supposed to be.

Upon our return, we learned that one of the guys who set the trail had tripped over a piece of rebar, gave himself an ugly gash on his arm (another hasher tore off half her tshirt to use as a tourniquet), finished the hash, and was now driving himself to the hospital. We are a tough lot.

The after-hash ceremonies (like the down down) nabbed a couple of hash virgins for being too lovey-dovey (sharing ipod earphones on the trail, holding hands, etc.).

Can you guess why these 2 were called out?

Pink pants?

This dog (Cookie) got it for chasing the goats.

And then there's us. We knew it was coming. The new shoe initiation. Fill shoe with beer and drink from it. YUCK!

And for you hash committee members reading this, I will not stand for a hash name like Jingle Jane! Michael earned his Jingle Ball moniker, and I refuse to be saddled with a name tied to his jingly parts. How 'bout Blogger Babe? Or Shutter Bug? Jingle Jane - sheesh.

Ok, that was gross, but it was made-up for when I got my 25th hash t-shirt. Wahoo!

With the appearance of The Fog-like clouds, we decided to head back (a shower was also very much in order after pouring some of the sweaty shoe-beer over my head).

Our poor new shoes...

BTW, if you're new to the blog (readership is up to over 700/month!) and want to see some great pictures of the island, search on hash at the top of the page and the results of all the hashes we've done all over the island will give you a good idea of what St. Kitts has to offer nature-wise. If you come visit and like to hike, come hashing with us (check the Calendar).