So, where were you all then? Not getting soaked, scratched and knackered in the middle of nowhere, that's for certain for most of you and your lives can only be poorer for the fact.
Unlike the enriched few, the lionhearted eight, who assembled in the inclement conditions, opened their lungs, breathed in the scent of the eucalyptus trees and breathed out again rapidly when they noticed the sort of deposits at the feet of the eucalyptus trees. The valiant band, the hearty handful showed no fear, no lack of spunk (enough at the back there, Droopy) as the thin rain seeped into the sodden turf, although Snorter did show a rather fetching coat and hat ensemble that somewhat obscured that indomitable spirit.
From the cars we plunged into thick woodland then rose like salmon swimming upstream before dropping again and then rising like Pegasuses (no, really, there was more than one Pegasus) up the next incline, descending once more like Dante and Virgil contemplating eternal damnation and rearing back at the next slope like a set of soggy Sisyphuses (alliteration-a-go-go!). At this point you might be detecting a pattern, not to mention a degree of mental instability (it has been a hard week).
Indeed, the hash that Snorter and I set did involve a fair bit of up and down work (Droopy, I've warned you), but it was almost entirely rural and afforded some pleasant country running, even if the weather took off some of the gloss (and I'm not just talking about Mrs Slocombe's bald patch). There was indeed, as there should be, an element of challenge but these, as I think I might have mentioned, were no fair-weather hashers. On no, through the undergrowth they hacked heroically; faced with water hazards they charged like argonauts leaping from Jason's ship in search of the Golden On-On; and when they saw the biggest challenge, a towering rocky escarpment to be acsended they... well, okay, some of the dauntlessness seemed to fade at that point and the stoicism was temporarily replaced by a rather different philosophical school of thought.
All in all, then, it must be clear to you by now that, if you missed it, you missed out. On the other hand, there is a small group, an anointed few who will, one day, when young, enquiring hashers of the future see in their eyes a faraway, ennobled gaze, be able to recall when they spent a couple of hours in the woodland east of Maia getting wet and scratched for the greater glory of PH3.
All hail the eight!
And, anyway, it wasn't as wet as the Povoa de Varzim hash.