On Saturday afternoon (October 13th), I hopped in my car and drove to Beausejour, St. George to join the Grenada Hash House Harriers (G3H) at Philip’s Rum Shop for Hash #749, my first hash. I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into. I knew there was going to be mud, and maybe even a river to cross, but I was still excited.
Here’s how G3H explains hashing:
Every other Saturday, at precisely 1600 hours, a motley group of assorted runners and walkers assemble at a previously designated rum shop, somewhere in Grenada.
After an initial briefing by their leader (known as The Hash Master) they set off in the bush, shouting ON ON.
They follow a trail of flour or shredded paper which takes the “pack” through some of the most attractive parts of the island and they return to the rum shop a couple of hours later to consume large quantities of beer and undo all the good that this running and walking has done to them.
Before the hash got started we received our instructions from the Hashmaster and the Hares (the people who set the trails). Then it was time for the “new shoe” ritual. Hashers who have been identified as wearing a new pair of shoes have to drink a beer from their left shoe.
|Left side off!|
|Drinking beer from the left shoe|
Shortly after all the new shoe beer had been drunk it was time to go. The hashers gathered together and with shouts of On! On! we were off!
We crossed the road and headed straight into the bush. After crossing a small river, the trail took us behind some houses before we got back onto the road. From there we had a great view of Moliniere Bay, home to the underwater sculpture park.
And then came the hill.
As I laboured up the hill, all I could think about was that my morning walks around the National Mall did not prepare me for that hill. When I got to the top of the hill I stopped to catch my breath. It wasn’t over – there was still another hill! The trail took us off the road and up the hill through some fruit trees. I lost my footing a few times, and each time I was ready to set my behind on the ground and stay there. But I continued, because I figured the uphill climb had to end somewhere and we would begin our descent.
|View from the top!|
|And back down on the other side|
By the time I made it back to Philip’s I was thoroughly exhausted. My back ached from the bush acrobatics – my foot got caught in a vine on my way down and I did something of a flying split. (Cirque look out for me!) My shoes were squishy from walking through a bog, but luckily I remembered to bring a pair of flip-flops.
|Aftermath of the hash|
Once all the hashers had made it back to Philip’s it was time for the after-hash ceremony. The hashmaster called all the (hash) virgins together and declared that “after having done it with all of us” we were no longer virgins. And then we were sprayed down with beer (of course) and given a certificate. There were some hash names given (beer) and recognition of a birthday (more beer).
|Beer soaked holding my certificate|
The hash was great and I’ll definitely be going again. In case you’re around on Saturday October 20th and are looking for something exciting to do, G3H is celebrating its 750th hash at La Sagesse Nature Centre. Hashing, food, a band and a beach. What more could you ask for? Visit www.grenada-hash.com for more details!