Saturday 26 March 2011

Fânzeres Frolics

At the risk of sounding as though I'm a catholic in confession, forgive me, hashers: it has been a few weeks since my last post, in which time I have committed two hashes.

Still in February, the two Tonys, Robson and Baker, took us to an obscure area of village, woods and farmland inland from Espinho. It was a good hash, with two namings and a 190th birthday, but I won't dwell on it now - it's all in the hash diary, which comes with me to every hash and bash.

No, enough of talking about other people: let's talk about me. Originally, last week's hash was to be hared by Spanker and me, but my better half couldn't get out of bed on the Saturday morning, so two became one and I set off to set it. The new metro extension was my focus, but as I found out in time, the final station is not exactly where its name would have you believe so I had a bit of a walk before finding a suitable starting point. The slightly convoluted start was echoed on the way to the hash itself, thanks to Hard Drive - who had earlier expressed his mistrust of Google Maps' directions, which I had used - deciding to divert the convoy on a magical mystery tour all of his own creation, for which he later received the requisite down-down.

Eventually, we reached the start. The hills that rise above Valongo had been noted as the cars approached, and, to no-one's great surprise, I think, that was the way we headed. It was a fabulously warm day for March, obviously adding to the joy of the upward paths, but the route meandered rather than took the direct line, so we kept reasonably together and fluid. The views as we ascended were fabulous, stretching down to Gaia, over Porto, the refinery then to Maia and beyond. I knew that once we reached the ridge at the top and headed to the inevitable little chapel, we would be able to take comfort from the café there, so as I brought the tail-enders in to where the rest were enjoying the views and waiting for whatever liquid treat I surely had in store for them, I looked towards the little brick block. That was closed. That was supposed to have been open. Bugger.

Oh well, on, on it is then.

We took another path back along the ridge, gradually veering away from our route out and arriving in the terrain of the paint-ballers. To escape their stray capsules we scrambled down a thickly wooded slope (very Brunei-Babe-friendly) but by this time all my talk of gunfire had rather spooked Alex Mutter, who transformed into the scardiest little hasher for the next few minutes, fearing imminent attack, fearing the downward path we had arrived on, fearing stones and shadows, but, unwisely, failing to fear the increasingly frazzled nerves of his mother.

We got back after about an hour and a half, with plenty of time before the bash, which unfortunately gave time for me to receive multiple down-downs. Excellent chicken and plenty of wine was the order of the day for lunch before we tried to work out how to get home from there. Hard Drive kept quiet.

On, on!