I've been tempted once or twice. The first time was about 35 years ago. Everyone who does it insists it's a lot of fun. It didn't sound all that much fun to me so I avoided it. Thats all in the past now.
This afternoon, I crossed over and can no longer claim virgin status. Steve and Helen aboard Dignity are more than a little to blame. They do it all the time.
Despite the threat of rain, a large crowd gathered at the Grand Etang Forest. It started innocently enough with a short run up the hill into the mist, then a quick descent down some fairly steep stairs to Lake Grand Etang.
Once in the rainforest it's, well, wet with rain. As people rushed by us, the trail quickly deteriorated into a muddy quagmire. There was no escaping what looked like the playpen of a herd of hippos. Broken and rotting branches and tattered tropical leaves were spewed about where those before us had desperately clutched out. It was an effort just to remain upright. Slipping and sliding, we had little choice but to surrender ourselves to the mud. Up and down we trudged the trail around the lake, for what seemed like five miles.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Matt, a self-confessed shoelace-loosener, had his shoes sucked right off his feet once or twice. Karen bravely battled on for hours despite being far removed from her comfort zone. She surely has earned a new pair of shoes, as well as a new dress, some jewellery, etc. - no holding back.
Robert, ever the gentleman, constantly reached back to encourage me through the rainforest and up the most difficult slippery slopes. He guided me across treacherous mud-slicked logs traversing what might once have been small streams but now were giant, gloopy, sticky mud puddles.
At last, the trail leads back down to the lake and the paved road. We take the steep road back up the hill to where everyone has gathered to celebrate their efforts. Matt, Karen, Robert and I are now officially Hash House Hounds, as decreed by the Hashmaster of Grenada Hash House Harriers at Grand Etang, St. Andrews. We're no longer virgins and we have the mud-smeared certificates to prove it. The glory may be short-lived because we're not sure we'll ever repeat the experience, no matter how much muddy fun is promised.
Tonight, as I scrub off the mud and rest my tired muscles, I'm congratulating myself for making it to the end, and vowing never to return to the Hash House Harriers. Despite the sense of achievement at the end of the day, it's too much fun for me!