Having missed the previous hash, set by Spin Doctor and Walkie-Talkie, Spanker and I were raring to go when we convened for Inspect My Gadget and Gender Bender's run in Vila do Conde. True, Spanker would rather have done it on horseback and there was a distinct lack of lithe gauchos on hand to ease her passage, but it was good to be back.
In the end, it was a select group of twelve that made it, starting with a whisper of sun on our backs from Vila do Conde mettro stop. This was only after waiting for Snorter to return from the Club to Miramar and back, having arrived without the key to his car, in which lay his hasing kit. There is indeed no such thing as a smooth start to a hash.
Anyway, off we trotted (I'd love to use a more dynamic verb, like 'bounded', 'charged', or 'spang', but I am bound to realism) away from the town and around the football ground. Due to bouts of heavy rain overnight (according to the hares - most of us living in town had only their word for this) there were few chalk signs to be found. Mind you, it was about fifteen minutes before I saw a sign of any variety, so perhaps the hash sign pixies had been to work.
We wound around the margins of the town, over the river and through the woodland on the other side, often touching on old routes, but maintaining a sense of something original. After a while, the clouds drew in and then opened, giving us a few fairly heavy dousings before easing off once again. It was enough to persuade us to eschew a pit stop at a café in the town, so we carried on, moving through the old cobbled streets until heading home. Predictably enough, Bunbasher decided he knew the route home and headed off near the end; almost as predictably, he got it wrong, went in the wrong direction, and got home last.
For all my jibes about the pace at which we set off, this was notable for the fact that there was almost no walking, the whole way round, apart from Droopy, who took about five minutes to break into a shuffle. We were back in time for a leisurely drink before the bash, and down-downs featured most people. It was nice to welcome back Ren for his second hash, around a year after his first, and duly punish his absence.