Sadly, this was our last hash before leaving. After allowing my legs to heal up for a week, I figured I should be fine to do today’s hash. Shademan told us it was going to be below Grand Etang, an hour and a half drive away. I started to worry, though, after we got to Gouyave and started climbing and climbing up the mountainside. We drove higher and higher until the temperature obviously cooled by 10 degrees or so. The good and the bad: It will be cooler for the hash but it was going to be mountainous, very likely with steep climbs. I made a new friend on the way: Lea on Victoria’s Ghost. It was her first hash. I asked her about her hiking speed and we felt we might be a good match and decided to hike it together. This turned out to be a good decision for both of us.
Before we could get started, two people were caught with new shoes. Uh oh! You know what that means. Yep, one of their shoes was filled with beer and they had to drink. Everyone watched as they chugged down an entire bottle of beer from their shoe. Yuck!
While waiting to start, we saw this guy with a monkey. It was orphaned and he is raising it and then releasing it to the wild. He does monkey rehabilitation. Awesome! Then the normal announcements were given and two courses were laid out: a running and a walking course. Okay, GO! Off everyone went, many running. I am always caught by surprise by the abruptness of the start. Lea and I found each other and started our walk. It started flat, so I advised that we speed up a little while we can. It didn’t take long to start the climbing. Man! It was steep.
As always, the countryside was gorgeous. Again we were hiking through agricultural land – remember that encompasses 80% of the island. One rule of the hash, though, is that you are not allowed to pick the fruits or vegetables. If something has fallen on the ground, it is fair game. Seems only fair to me since this is the farmers’ livelihood.
We walked through a residential area and were barked at by all kinds of dogs. It seems every house keeps watch dogs, but this was the funniest looking one I’ve ever seen.
We climbed up almost into the cloud forest. Looking out from just below the clouds, the terrain looked surreal with all the green vegetation disappearing up into the clouds. Lea and I stopped a few times to admire the view. Then we stopped to look at a beetle. Then we had to look at a pretty flower. Then we had to pose for a picture.
We were slow, but we weren’t the slowest. There was a group of three medical students that we were behind. As soon as we started descending down a steep muddy slope, the girls came to a standstill trying to figure out how to go down without sliding on their behinds. They should have just done a controlled slide down, because they fell many times anyway. Seeing their trouble, I left the trail and made my own way through the trees. It was much easier.
We met an older gentleman named Ian who brings bags with him to fill with garbage he finds along they way. I hadn’t thought of this but it is a great idea.
We saw him pick up plastic bottle after plastic bottle, Styrofoam plates, plastic wrappers… It was one man’s crusade to make the island a better place. I admire him and will try to remember to bring a bag with me when we return to hashing this fall.
There was another gentleman named Brad that was having a rough time with all the uphill climbs. He seemed to like our speed and fell into pace with us. We also met a gal who joined the Peace Corps and came to the island two months ago. This was her first hash and I tell you she did NOT appreciate the false trails. We had to find our own way, having been left behind by all the other hashers and we took wrong turns several times, coming across X’s that meant it was a false trail. We also lost the trail a few times because it was not well marked.
I recognized the trail when we finally got back to the first part where we started. I knew we were getting close. I told Lea I didn’t want to come in dead last, so we picked up our pace a bit and left the others behind us. Down and down we walked and, as we came around a bend, we could hear the steel drum band playing. We couldn’t see the finish line yet but knew we were almost there. We came around another corner and saw our guys standing on the hill at the edge of the hash party watching for us. I started bebopping down the road like I just had the most fun in my life. I guess Dave was glad to see this because he was worried about me. We finished a full hour and 15 minutes after the first people started arriving. We hashed for 2 hours! Honestly, it wouldn’t have taken so long if we hadn’t gotten off track so many times. He was also worried I’d be grumpy because he knows I don’t like all the uphill. But it was so beautiful; it was worth it. Besides, I was so glad to see the end that I was instantly cheerful. Lea was a delight to walk with and that made the hash even more fun. I’m sad that this is our last hash for a while.
With the last stragglers signed back in, the ceremonies could commence. All virgins were called forward to have their virgin status removed.
They were initiated same as we were three weeks earlier and given their certificates.
Way to go Lea!
Someone was silly enough to let it slip that he was doing his last hash in Grenada. They gave him the drinking sleeve and he tried his best to drink it rather than wear it. But then he had some help. A couple guys shook up beers and sprayed him down, making him miss his mouth (pictured top of page) and wearing his own beer as well. He was the most thoroughly sprayed down hasher I’ve ever seen. With the ceremonies done and all the rest of our group already well on their way to tomorrow’s hangover (of course they had to drink beer the whole time they waited for us), we rounded up the troops to leave the party early in order to make it back to the hog roast at the West Indies Beer Company. All our nonhashing friends were planning on being there.
Shademan made good time getting back and although the pig looked pretty well eaten up, there was still enough for us. We joined Dan and Melissa on Slow Dancing, Cliff and Kathy on Navigator, and Hakan on Unicorn. Dave bought us all some micro brews and we dove into our roast pork sandwiches. Delicious! The brewery should do this more often! The place was packed.
After chowing down and visiting for a while, we climbed into Slow Dancing’s little car as if it were a clown car. Dave sat in the middle of the back seat and I sat on his lap. We had a person on either side, two people in front and one person in the hatchback – where he was accused of taking a nap. Haha! It was only a few miles to walk back to Secret Harbour Marina, but after hashing we were glad for the ride.This way was more fun anyway! ~ This morning I am glad we took that ride. I was woken up at 5:30 AM by a Charlie horse in my right calve. It is a bad one I can’t get to go away, so I guess I am up for the day. Good morning, Grenada. Today we started preparing the boat for haul out in 4 days.