Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rejuvination

Jessica Duhon
First I wanted to everyone for their kind words and thoughts for Elvis and I appreciate the comments from those that live here who understood where I was coming from. For me, nothing revives my positive outlook on the island like hashing and good beach days, so I was happy that Saturday was a hash day. Not only that, but Popcorn recruited several of us to help him set it, and we'd been doing just that since Thursday. The plan was to place tags (ripped up grocery bags and sawdust) all the waaaaaay down there (and across the golf course, but shhhhhh).


We got a late start to the task though (come on!)



Sure enough, by the time we got near the end, it was dark. Climbing the dirt gravel road back up to the quarry was interesting.



Popcorn changed a few things on his own to the walker's trail in the daylight hours on Friday, so Prithy (not sure how she spells it) and I drove it Saturday morning to get our bearings. Then it was time for the real deal. You'll note that it's been very windy and at the quarry site was pretty nippy. I brought every one of these layers and wore most of them (lending others to grateful shivering hashers).


The starting point was a quarry with a very steep road.


Not everybody made it.


A hash before their hash!


The funny thing is that was probably the steepest part of the whole thing and they had to just turn around and go back down. We had great views once we were up there at least.



You can tell a new semester has started as we had a lot of students this time around.



Ok, everybody head down!



We went through a neighborhood and then tried to do a hold at the golf course so we could all go across at the same time (quickly) but it didn't really work out like that.



Once across, we had a long and wet walk down a nice black beach (the one thing I hadn't brought was a change of socks/shoes).



Denise found a nice piece of coral she had grand plans for.


Look how many of these palm trees are dying. They look like headless giraffes.



And then finally we were off.


It's always fun to go through the villages. The people who live there can't figure out why 100 people would be hiking down their streets and are always inquisitive and friendly. We try to recruit them, but usually just get a trickle of kids part-way.



And then we were on the back half of the quarry swinging back around. I still can't believe how green things are. Normally this time of year, things are brown and dry. We've had some rain pretty much every day (early morning) since summer, which is odd, but appreciated.



This is always the best part. Being finished and watching others still plodding along.


It wasn't a particularly hard hash (few hills), but it was long (the fastest walkers took about 1 hour 15 minutes). We got a thumbs up though. This is Steve's last hash (he's moving to Canada in 2 weeks). He might not miss it, but his daughter sure will.



Of course, the runner's trail was even longer and was hillier, but those that did it thought it was good (and challenging). How many places can you live where you run on both a black beach and a tan one in the space of an hour?



Seriously. if you want to see the island and get to know one part of the "real" St. Kitts and its people, come do a hash sometime with us (or go to a local rum shop). The group consists of a great mix of people and all you have to do is show up (it's $2EC/pp + tickets if you want beverages/food). There are some folks (groupies, as it were) who just hang back and wait for us all to return, so even if you're not a hiker, you can still participate. They're every 3 weeks and always on my calendar.

Afterwards, we had some late arrivals, just in from the airport. Michael went down and played shuttle to bring them up.



Even they had to participate in a down-down.


It was time for us to drink ours as reward (punishment?) for setting the hash. Scarily, Popcorn told a perverted joke first. The punchline led to lots of booing and moaning.


It took 5 of us to set the darn thing (Carib Kat, Prithy, Pocorn and the Jinglies), but we got 'er done - drink up! It took me a bit - it had ice in it!



I was glad to have that overwith so I could change and put on all my layers. I was sad to see the sun go - brr! I don't know how Bob & Laura kept the flames up to cook with all that wind either.



You'll recall that Betsy had been patiently waiting in her vehicle on the last hash. This time, she chose the only car with its door open, and became a foot warmer for Mrs. Kramer.



The best part of the after-hash shenanigans was when Padi had to do penance for a false alarm. Just one hash ago, we had a big farewell for Padi who had been here for years. We were all sad that he was leaving and made a big deal about it. He lasted less than a month in the cold, wet U.K. and is back for good. Nothing like a nice, muddy ice bath for his bottom.



Unfortunately, Steve will soon be gone for good. Whaa. Carib will miss him.


One of the late arrivals was celebrating his 70th birthday. Happy Earth Day (as they call it here) Brian!


Popcorn didn't live too far away, so a few of us stopped off for a beer when the cooler's ran empty. Notice how Heather's crutches barely come up to Thorne's waist and are about a foot away from his armpits? 


While the gang continued their imbibing at the Shiggidy Shack, we called it a night. Michael was thanking me later, when he was in slow motion at 4:30 this morning getting ready to take the Shiggidy Express over to Nevis for a 7am race. Ha - not me this time - I'm rolling back over. Have fun!! Still...dark...but a good turnout.



Mr. X beat Michael this time, but not by much; they were 5th and 6th in the 10K. Everyone looking good coming over the finish line - go Ella (5K)! Kat, of course, ran the farthest of the group (1/2 marathon) - this after running a full one two weeks ago in South Carolina. Sheesh.



The winner was a Trinidadian who had come in 2nd place in Barbados. The winning female was from Nevis - way to represent!



I think everyone was happy about the return trip being in daylight.



Michael back with yet another t-shirt (our entire wardrobe is becoming hash T's and marathon gear). And another medal.

I was hoping to fit the beach in, but it's is not looking good - Michael's snoring next to me. The cats completely agree with his plan.


Oh well, I think I'm ready for a new week and what all that entails.