I drove up to Chiang Dao for the weekend’s festivities beginning with Friday night. Good times to catch up with old friends, and make some new ones… The run itself was early – we set off in the back of pickups and songthaews at 2:30, with the sun beating down on us, as we were dropped in the middle of nowhere. This would be all new.
I don’t know how many hares it took to set this run, but Boom Boom Baby and Citrus Smeller were on fire for the first few checks – it wasn’t until later we discovered they had helped set that part of the run! I on the other hand was getting everything wrong. An interesting twist to the run was that (allegedly) there were secret eggs hidden close to some of the circle checks, which meant each time we got to a check, people started hunting right around the check, rather than checking properly. This confused the hell out of me, as I had forgotten the harebrief by then. Instead, I just couldn’t hear any “ON” calls because of the sound of rustling leaves…
I was doing a good job of getting everything wrong, and slowly overheating. Somehow I was still near the front, and finally got one right as we crossed an unlikely little stream much to the enjoyment of a local chicken farmer. I got a couple right in a row, and now being at the front, I had a look for eggs – no luck for me! CW got to a check just behind me, and he agreed left was the likely option – I went left, while he went straight. After 120m or so, I paused and turned around, but there were no other calls. I edged out to around 150m, but still nothing. When I looked back now, I saw Shagless coming in my direction. Aha! Inside information! I went another hundred, but still no paper. I asked an old lady sat chuckling by the side of the road, and she told me the paper was further on. After 300m or so from the circle, I finally found paper! Either someone had pulled paper down, or the hares had been too busy yacking!
The next couple of checks were straight on, but each time, it was closer to 200m than 100m… Another circle, so I checked a full 200m, finding nothing. When Shagless (co-co-lead-hare) called it from 300m in a completely different direction, I was half a k off the pace. I decided to gamble as the trail I was on appeared to be bending in the right direction anyway… Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, this time I lost. With the sun burning down on me, it took me some time to loop around, and by the time I found a check, it was kicked out and the pack long gone. I jogged and walked, and finally caught up with 4 lovely young ladies, who were also struggling with the heat. I was tempted to stay with them, but pressed on. Finally I heard voices ahead – with trail going to the right, there were clearly people calling straight on. I did the sensible thing and went straight, hooking up back with the front of the pack, joining them as we headed down a steep bank to the beerstop. I sat in the shade at the back of the songthaew, and the heat hit me… BAM!
I was struggling to focus on anything. By the time I was half way through my beer they were packing up the beerstop, and heading back. I opted to get the breeze on me sitting in the back of the pick up, so missed out on the epic Chuck Wao river crossing just before the end. Saturday night seemed a lot quieter than Friday had been, so most people made it out for the hangover amble.
All in all, a very successful outstation – great job hares!