Monday, October 30, 2006

on on upwards and onwards!

The lady on the left (0 out of 10 for picture composition) gave me a bit of a supercilious look yesterday as I trotted (ok walked) past her. I did not care for that. Maybe she had seen it all before - indeed she had since I was the last of the running hashers.

Geeez, what a hash in Tbilisi! I have now hashed in four countries (unlike that Irish guy in Kiev who said he had hashed in 107 countries - show-off!), but this hash was seriously challenging.

Dushanbe - flat; Kiev - flat; Vilnius - a wee bitty of hill here and there (and the walkers are already whinging), but Tbilisi - we are talking vertical. The hash was advertised as being 'all downhill' (though, strictly speaking, how could it be seeing we returned to the same spot). As I might have mentioned before, Tbilisi is seriously hilly. For this hash we went by car half way up a hill, or so it seemed. Then we, the runners, climbed 3 km almost vertically (not many people really ran uphill) before corkscrewing back down for another 5 km. The walkers had another route, and got themselves lost. The views on top were stunning, overlooking it seems the whole of Tbilisi. On the top of the ridge we also saw some villages which really looked very alpine. The alpine touch was added to by the sound of cow bells (apart from the belle in this picture who did not have one) Note that I also had a 3km walk in each direction to and from the meeting point. So much exercise was taken.

Not only exercise, alas. The Tbilisi hash has a serious drink problem, in that almost the only drink there is beer, and very little alternative provision. Given that the down downs go on for ever, this is quite serious. The beer comes from the Kazbegi breweri and has a rather wheaten flavour. Why is it called 'wall beer'? Apparently the brewery has a place on one of its walls where beer is delivered by the petrol pump and you fill up your own containers (but apparently it also goes off quickly). This makes it very cheap - apart from the environmental impact of going there with your car etc.... Anyway, much beer was taken, and the walk home was more of a stagger; the night was a bit restless....lesson learnt, here!

And yes, I might have been the last of the hashers passing the coo on top of the hill, but I was not the last one to get back home - on a downhill stretch streaming nicely past a few others who had given up altogether!