After yesterday's 'Storm Brian', a hash in the woods was also going to be interesting. Lots of leaves on the ground to make things slippery and difficult to judge. But it was a good size pack: great to see the return of Wobbly and Oddbitz, and it was baby Albert's virgin hash! Later, at the regroup, we reenacted the photo on his day of birth - from 6 weeks ago when he was still in Puss' tummy.
It was one of those 'coat-on/coat-off' days, certainly one of the coldest Sunday hashes this year. But given some of the hill climbs that were to follow - coat off was definitely the right decision. After a couple of successful checks, Rocky and I managed to find ourselves front running, along the edge of the woods and away from Exeter. The the first of the fish hooks allowed the others to catch up. It was all gently downhill at this point, but then started getting seriously slippery and we headed steeply down towards the road. Along the bottom path in the woo…
Another year, another Gathering - and we were back at Pinkery 4 years after the original visit. The Naughty Hashing Fairies (car number plate is NHF) - aka the Bullbait and Child Catcher family - overtook us on the M5, and we followed them all the way up the north Devon link road and up the lane to Simonsbath. We admired their pumpkin on the parcel shelf (see photo later!). They were in turn following Spocky and his trailer, so when he took a left turn off the lane, we were torn about whether to follow him, or stay with the Sat Nav. We decided that he must know the best road to take, but it turns out that he was going to the Saturday pub, the Poltimore Arms. So we backed out and continued!
About 20 minutes later, we arrived. The centre hasn't changed much since we last visited. A few more Damp Patches, and two new ovens with The-Great-British-Bake-Off sliding doors, but only one kettle... there were going to be queues at breakfast time! More surprising than anything else was …
Today’s trail started from a deserted Wonford Sports Centre
car park. A depleted pack (probably
suffering the after effects of the Autumn Gathering) assembled, on time for
once, for Happy Snapper’s virgin lay.
There were very specific instructions given about the
placing of the marks. We needed to
follow the marks on the right-hand side, although we may also find some on the
left, in which case they weren’t relevant until we were going in the other
direction. It was a three and on trail.
Firstly, we headed out into
Ludwell Valley Park, up and down and around fields. It was slippery in places and I saw Blobby
fall over, although I forgot to tell the sheriff and he got away without a
fine! The second half of the trail took
us across Topsham Road, towards the crematorium before taking a detour into the
trees for a sweetie stop.
Next, we headed towards and over
the river (thankfully by the bridge, although I have known hashes go through it
in the past). There was some confusion