Hang Hau, A to B (Tin Ha Wan Village).
Hares: Agnes B & Sticky Sex Toy
Hang Hau again, scene of many runs and angry Circles!
Being a local, I took the bus to this weeks hash and walked to the MTR where I picked up chalk arrows to "A', the start in a nearby park. This was to allow the hares to park nearby in order to take the bags to "B". I arrived a little late to find a tightly grouped circle of perhaps 15 hashers being briefed on the run by Sticky. There were a few notables missing, but on the other hand a few rarely seen hashers appeared to make up the numbers including Franz, who had a friend and first-time hasher in tow and Princess Cock Tosser (PCT). PCT, Southsider, Hang Hau resident and occasional LSWH3 hasher, decided to treat himself to a Wednesday out "with two of the sexiest hares you've got". Guess there had to be a reason. Little did he know his "treat" was an especially long trail. OK, an exceptionally long trail. Future hares please note, the longest recent hash, in memory, was Cnutshy's Tai Wai 17.36km run, also a December run, but in 2010. No need to try and excel and claim the #1 spot. The #2 slot was COTD's 15.58km Chai Wan to Shek O run in June of last year. Even Bobbledick's own A to B Hang Hau ballbuster - run no.1651 of 2007, notable for the infamous NurseF***er neck extension is now rapidly dropping down the top 10.
I decided to stay outside the briefing circle and get changed. As we left to put our bags in the hare's car, I realised that there was just one word I remembered from the briefing that jumped out and stuck in my mind for the rest of the evening……..the word "Technical".
We set off down a pathway and turned left along the cycle track by the main road. I was still thinking about that word….something about the run was going to be "technical". Was the trail going to be technical or was it the Checks? Now, if the last few weeks are anything to go by, it can't be the runs. We've been up Lion Rock on the Goulash Run, we've been up the flank of High West on the Gobi run and we've been up Tate's Ridge on the Birthday run. These had been variously described as difficult, adventurous (the Goulash Run) and scary (the Gobi run). These trails were all surely also "technical"? Were the hares going to outdo these runs by introducing rope works, river gorges and suchlike?
Anyway, as we headed down the cycle track, I started chatting to a few hashers, getting left behind in the process. And almost immediately I spotted an "On Home" going up a ramp to a pedestrian overbridge from the footpath. It turned out that others had noticed this, as well as further arrows on the adjacent footpath, but we all dismissed this as trail from another hash. After chatting a while to Octo, I slowed to chat to Dr Evil's about his latest injury, which didn't seem to stop him speeding along with his walking poles. Franz later updated me on a new addition to his family and the recent changes to his work routine. Franz was taking it easy on trail, intent on chaperoning his visitor, all the way on her first hash. This proved to be a life-saver for Mary-Ann as things unfolded. At the top of Mang Kung Uk, they went straight on through an open Check. In the meantime, I tried the usual country park trail but found nothing for some 100metres. So returning to the marked trail, I found the Check further on. Not being a well-travelled hasher, Franz didn't realise that this could be a 'Back-Check'. This was excusable as on LSW they are somewhat frowned upon. Was this the 'technical' aspect mentioned by the hare, coming in to play? I immediately returned to recheck the country park trail and the rest is history as they say. Franz & co were well out of sight and earshot by now and I was on my own well up the hill on marked trail.
Once on the ridge, the next open Check sent us off down the High Junk Peak trail. At this point rumour has it that Hopeless became slightly agitated (I think I can picture the scene) at being taken, along with the whole pack 4kms down to Junk Peak before any chance of getting off the ridge to civilisation. Was it fortunate that the Wimps 'only' went round Junk Peak while the Rambos went over it!! So along the ridge it was and 30 minutes later, as I was descending Junk Peak, I caught up with Toilet Spray. Together, we followed trail through the woods to hit 6km at Tai Au Mun and straight across Clearwater Bay Road down towards Sheung Sze Wan. For a while, Po Toi O seemed a possibility for 'B', but now things were looking like Lobster Bay. But it wasn't to be. Together we followed trail thru Leung Fai Tin and up to the main CWB road at Ha Yeung, thinking the same thing. "B must be somewhere here". After all, rumour had it that the co-hare, Agnes B lived somewhere in Clearwater Bay. Meanwhile the consensus amongst the pack up front was "Back to Mang Kung Uk and cut through to Hang Hau Village via 3km of tarmac". I was still focused on somewhere up CWB road. But amazingly, it was indeed 3km along the tarmac with intermittent markings, which looked as if they had been laid from the hare's car, past Little Palm Villas. And on past Wing Lung Hang Hau Road and on towards Silverstrand, missing Mang Kung Uk altogether. By now we were within a stones throw of 'A', 1/2km to be precise. So it was even more amazing that with 11kms on the Garmin, we turned down towards Silverstrand Beach. But wait, it wasn't finished yet! It was along Silver Crest Road and the usual path through to A Kung Wan Road and the slog up past Acorns pad to come out at the top of CWB Road (AGAIN) by the Caltex Petrol station. With Hang Hau back on the agenda for 'B' it was a quick check up the steps by the bus stop to a 'T'. After which, local knowledge allowed me to guide Toilet Spray onto the right track, the hidden path by Pine Villas which joins the contour trail on the ridge leading down to Hang Hau.
It was at this point that the trail became tricky. It was easy to miss the Check where the ridge widens out. TS was ahead while I was relieving myself and keeping right, she managed to miss the Check. I hit the Check, which was marked off with twigs to left side of the ridge - thanks to the FRBs. In the meantime Theo, who was off-trail further along the ridge heard the calling and came back to join us. After a dogleg up and down the ridge, we hit a split where we opted to take the wimps alternative rather than an overgrown concrete gully. At last we were on concrete and another Check by the pagoda. This had some very faint markings and we split up to check the main alternatives, but not the right one. This had elusive markings (said to have been found by Octo, who was ahead with Hopeless & co), leading into shiggy and thence to the CWB Studios road. Meanwhile, Sophia Tam who was also with this group, had tried phoning the hares for directions home. Others gave up at this tricky Check including Franz and Mary-Ann.
Thinking Toilet Spray and Theo must have found their own way, I headed down to the main road. But we 3 suddenly came together again on the main road at the old Hang Hau village roundabout. We took the underpass and followed the cycle track to the bus stop opposite the hospital where I had seen fresh chalk markings on my way to 'A'. Trail led us to the footbridge where the 'On Home' had been spotted by some fortunate people at the start and in to the finish outside a Dai Pai Dong at the back of Tin Ha Wan village at around 10pm. The actual trail had done a circuit of Hang Hau old village for good measure, coming out on the main road by the hospital before turning right to the underpass and home.
A welcome sight was Gobi Lo, having taken a mere 2hrs 20mins to complete 17km, nursing a huge urn of mulled wine. She manage to raise $400 from those who were starting to eat inside the Dai Pai Dong and from others as they came in. Franz and Mary-Ann sensibly phoned in for the location of 'B' and caught a taxi, while the pièce de résistance to this run was the call at 11pm from Keg On Legs, who was bringing up the rear. This resulted in SST having to go out by car and collect the exhausted man from Hang Hau Village.
An unforgettable ballbuster……..What I wondered though, was what were the technicalities to be overcome - the Checks possibly? And as for Hopeless, well he went home tired and wet with PCT, a mere 10 minutes' walk away from B.
NONE - as everyone soon dispersed. These will no doubt be administered next time the hares show up!