My third year of life on the road, as a vagabond. Message
  • Day271

    Bangkok Harriettes #2077

    Yesterday in Thailand ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    It is not to often that the start is just 100 meter from the hotel that I am staying in, but today was my lucky day. We gathered up just about 100 meter down Soi 8, and soon enough we all were headed out on trail. We made our way down the back streets until we eventually entered the newly opened Benchakitti Forest Park or Benjakitti Park depending on where you look on the map. There was a multitude of trails, bridges, walkways, and footpaths to conceal true trail, and we had hounds scampering in all directions.

    Upon reaching the southern end of the park, it appears some of those husky bastards up front wandered off on their own. For those of us that actually stayed on trail, enjoyed a wonderful tour de force through the steamy underworld we call Bangkok. It would be after dark before the whole gang reformed at the home of the lead hare, where the usual snack assortment and beer were available. Once the circle was called to order, it made it way around the pack for everyone to get their assigned down downs, and everyone had a great time on this most excellent trail. The On On On was just across the street at Det 5, where seven hearty hashers continued to celebrate the day. Until next time, On On.
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  • Day269

    Abu Dhabi H3 #2333

    September 26 in the United Arab Emirates ⋅ 🌙 32 °C

    What a day it was on Monday. I was up early in Yerevan, Armenia and off to the airport ready for another day of air travel. I was headed to Bangkok, and had two layovers along the way, in Abu Dhabi (9 hours) and New Delhi (3 hours). While waiting for my first flight, I nonchalantly made a comment on the Abu Dhabi H3 FB group . . . “If I have a 9 hour layover in Abu Dhabi this afternoon, is it worth leaving the airport?”

    Less than 30 minutes later, the first response was “The hash tonight is near the airport if you've got time between 18:00 and 22:00 happy to pick you up and return you for your flight. On On Dingbat”

    I had not even considered looking if there was a hash on (shame on me), but there it was. I pondered this development for almost 1.7 seconds and responded . . . “Let me think abo . . . Hell Yes! That would be awesome. I would probably need to be back at the airport around 8:30 pm for a 10:30 flight, maybe a little later.”

    So the die was cast, further instructions followed. I would need to get a PCR test done, and register for the event. I really did not know what all the fuss was about, but would do as told to pull of this feat.

    As my flight was on approach for Abu Dhabi International, all was well, and as we were coming down at 500 feet . . . 400 feet . . . 300 feet . . . 200 feet . . . 100 feet . . . and then we start to wobble. We hit a wind shear and dropped about 50 feet, then the wings did 25 degree dip left and right, and then it was full throttle on an aborted landing. That was exciting . . . Within seconds we were lifting off again, back up over the airport for a fly around to another runway. 15 minutes later, we were on the ground, safe and sound. Upon entering the airport, I went straight in and got a PCR, then went online to the link provided and registered, no questions asked. At this point, it is 1430 (T -6 hours until I need to be back at the airport).

    Since my itinerary was with two different airlines, I had to check in twice, but my attempts to check-in online for my second leg out of Abu Dhabi were unsuccessful, so now I had to get over to terminal 2 to see about that. But no joy, they would not start checking in until 3 hours prior to departure. I forgot to mention it was a mile walk to terminal 2, and it was over 100 degrees F. So I figure now would be a good time to start hydrating for the hash. Now it was 1530 (T -5 hours)

    Dingbat, true his word, sends me a text that he will pick me up at 1630 on his way home. (T -4 hours). We get over to his place and get changed into our hash kit, and realized I had not received my results yet for the PCR. After messing with this for about an hour, we head off to the venue. (T -3 hours). (The best part of the story has been sealed and locked away for 75 years due to national security reasons).

    By this time, upon arrival at the venue, Dingbat has explained to me that this will be a special hash event. We are going to be running the outside shoulder of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 track, that the hares had spent about 2 months coordinating. They were even allowed to put down a few hash marks to ensure we did not get lost (wink wink) (and add a walkers trail to shorten the 3.5 mile trail). As the pack gathers, some brief introductions took place, and eventually all had arrived and we head into the race track with our phones, so that we can get scanned in. 1830 (T -2 hours)

    We all get scanned in, and circle up for some brief instructions. Then, without any further ado, we start running on the track. Certainly not your usual hash trail, but pretty thrilling for a one time event. We had at least 33 hashers on trail, and most all of us did the full 3.5 mile loop in extremely high humidity. I know I was totally drenched less than 15 minutes into the run, which would play a roll in the rest of this story. We all eventually completed the trail, and then get some water on our way back out to the parking lot. It is now 1945 (T -45 minutes to be back at the airport)

    The circle was about a mile away, outside the parking area for the race track, and we drag the coolers over to another section and continue with our rehydration efforts. I downed a bottle of water, and quickly moved to beer. Working my way around the pack, chatting with a few hashers and waiting for the circle, the GM finally calls the pack to circle up for down downs. 2030 (OK, guess I will have to hustle through the airport in my wet hash attire). The hares are first to be called in, and then the virgins and visitors. I get a down down, answer a couple brief questions, and then it is off for the 15 minute drive to the airport. It is now 2045, and my departure time is 2230 . . . all good, this is going to work, right?

    Dingbat completes his promised logistical support by dropping me off back at terminal 2, and I head straight to the check-in counter as it is now 2100. Mind you, I am still soaking wet, and as I get in line, there are about 30 other passengers in front of me. Check-in closes at 2130, so figured all was well. Anyway, the line gradually inches forward until I at up NEXT. Then there seems to be some computer malfunction, and no one moves for about 10 minutes, and I am still in my wet hash clothes. Finally I get called up, and hand the lady my passport. She starts banging away on the keyboard, and sees that I had tried to check-in via the web, and my seat upgrade was still pending payment. She walks away to get a manager, another 5 minutes pass, and they get that sorted.

    Then she asks for checked baggage, and I say nope, just my carryon backpack. She gives me the story on only 7 KGs allowed, I say it is only about 10 hoping . . . at this point, she will just wave it off. NOPE, please put your backpack on the scale. Well, I know it is really about 15 KGs, so I set it down but hold it up a bit allowing it to read 10.5 kilos. She then asks if I want to check my baggage (for the 3.5 kilos), but I decline, hoping once again she is going to wave it off. NOPE, she spend about 5 minutes filling out a baggage payment form, and sends me across the terminal to pay the equivalent of US $2.25 for my carry on. So I scamper over, hand over the form, and this dude spend 5 minutes filling out another form with the exact same info on it, before charging my card. I take the new form, and the receipt back to the lady, she hands me my boarding passes, and I head to passport control and security check. It is now 2200, and by this time there is no one else waiting, so fortunately I blow threw passport and security quickly.

    Next, I head straight to the men’s room to change into dry clothes. Finding the handicapped stall (pun intended), I strip down naked to give myself a chance to dry off before putting on dry clothes. I come out 10 minutes later I’m dressed and have stuffed everything back into my carry on, and out I come in bare feet, carrying my backpack and my still completely soaked shoes. Many eyes are upon me as I make my way to the first available seat to put on dry socks, before putting my feet back into my wet shoes. Miracle of miracles, it is 2215, I am dressed and ready for boarding. I grab a quick sandwich and soda, and get in line. And that, as they say, is that. I really stink, but I am in mostly dry clothes and I am on the plane.

    Many thanks to the Abu Dhabi H3 for a once in a lifetime hash trail, and especially to Dingbat for executing his promised logistical duties to the tee.
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  • Day267

    Yerevan H3 #11

    September 24 in Armenia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    It’s a small Hash World . . .

    I have been wanting to visit Armenia for a while now, and since they were having a trail the week after the Tbilisi H3 500th weekend, it worked out perfectly that I could visit both. It was an easy 5 hour ride down from Georgia on Wednesday, and I spent the past couple days wandering around the capital city of Yerevan seeing the sights. Saturday finally rolled around, and I made the 3 km walk up the hill to the start. I had been texting the current GM/RA Ginger Balls Cupped for the past month or two coordinating, and he met me at the start shortly after arrival. He is here from Nebraska, and after asking about his work, I mention that I am a vagabond, but did most of my hashing while in the US out in Hawaii.

    He mentions he had been in Hawaii a couple years ago, before the pandemic, and had run with one of the hash clubs. So I asked him when that was, and he said January 2019. I was still there at the time, and wondered if I had hared that trail, so asked what hash/day of the week specifically. After looking at a couple trails, he confirms he hashed with the Aloha H3 on 12 January 2019, and that SeamanatorTM had taken him back to his hotel. I had indeed hared that trail, so I asked him a few questions about it to confirm that was the right one. He was actually at my 3000th hash trail celebration party . . . Drag Queen had helped me hare from Jack Ass Ginger up over the Nu’uanu Trail to the Tantalus Lookout, with the party in Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside Park. It’s a small world that one time we unknowingly hashed together over 3 years ago, we now find ourselves on the other side of the planet in Yerevan.

    Anyway, back to today trail . . . the Yerevan H3 had been a bustling club prior to the pandemic, but after things started open up again . . . and a local war like conflict . . . activities of foreigners around the city were being scrutinized, and he hash had actually been hassled enough about spreading flour and chalk marks around, that they went into hibernation for a while. As you can see, this was only hash trail #11 since the rebirth, and they are still avoiding conflict with the local constabulary. There was only 4 of us on trail, 3 runners (6 Km trail, and 1 walker on a shorter trail). It was a fun trail around an adjacent hilltop park on the outskirts of the city, and we had a short but entertaining circle. After emptying the cooler, we adjourned to a local restaurant for dinner of some delicious Armenian BBQ, and FUN WAS HAD BY ALL.
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  • Day265

    Circular Park in Yerevan

    September 22 in Armenia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    After lunch I continued to wander through the Circular Park. Made it back to the hotel just before the rain came down. You can see all the pictures, but if you want to see more specifically where things are, you can review these video.
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  • Day265

    Yerevan City Center

    September 22 in Armenia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    This is what the capital of Armenia looks like. I had a nice stroll through the city center before lunch. You can see all the pictures, but if you want to see more specifically where things are, you can review these video.
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  • Day264

    Tbilisi to Yerevan via the land border

    September 21 in Georgia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Back in the saddle . . . another travel day. I take joy in the successful accomplishment of all the moves, and they are:

    • Taxi from hotel to obscure street corner on the other side of Tbilisi to catch bus (9 passenger van)
    • Arriving early enough to catch the 9 am bus that left at 8:30
    • Crossed the land border between Georgia and Armenia without issue
    • Arrived in Yerevan (the capital of Armenia) in the expected 5 hours
    • Walked the 2 kms from bus stop to hotel
    • Hotel wanted cash only, so wandered around to find an ATM that worked (took a couple tries)
    • Checked into hotel
    • Turned in my laundry for service
    • Found food and drink (you know what I mean)
    • . . . and now lounging to get the next move set up
    • BTW, hash is on Saturday, YeeHaw

    Photos are random shots from inside the vehicle on the way down. Also a close up of the predominant building structures. Similar to Aberdeen, Yerevan is also known as the Granite city. Whereas Aberdeen is mostly the slate grey stone version, Yerevan is made up of the pinkish granite.
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