Ride:- 198Date:- 29/30 May 2004Krating Country Resort, ChantaburiHares:- Anthony Akerman and John CasellaScribe:- UdoWhat started as a wonderfully relaxing stay in the totally deserted, beautifully situated Krating Country Resort near Chantaburi on Thursday when we arrived as first guests, accelerated (as in going downhill) when more and more and then even more mad (meaning fresh out of Bangkok) Hash House Bikers descended to this otherwise tranquil spot.An unofficial, but widely held estimate of some 60 riders climbed their more or less trustworthy bi-wheeled steeds at 1 pm on a hot and steamy but dry Saturday to look for the evasive traces of shredded paper “on your left”, laid by hares Anthony and John.Whilst leaving the Resort already brought top speed marks, mainly due to a steep downhill AND paved track, the trail soon led through the first of many fruit orchards, nicely overgrown with knee-high grass and sprinkled by an assortment irrigation pipes and hoses, rotten fruit and an inkling of hilarious Thai fruit pickers who obviously failed to understand the fun involved.Paved and unpaved country lanes later and past zillions of more fruit trees and the odd check – which was tackled in a very professional ‘spread out and search’ sort of way – followed by the ever invigorating and cheerful ON ON, very harmonically accompanied by numerous whistleblowers (although way not enough – where are those whistles???) at last over the trees a huge, grey, clearly manmade wall came into sight.Getting closer also meant oneself getting smaller and smaller against the massive dam wall and – knowing the prevailing trait of the vast majority of hares – an arduous climb up the steep road leading up became inevitable.All but the most insane (from the perspective of a fitness-level-dwarf) at one stage or another decided to demount and walk up, but all enjoyed the great views ( and the slow but steady decrease in their heart rates). But, no time to rest, the sun was beating down and the trail was to be followed, along that wall and further along the reservoir, than came a choice (sheer luxury) either down a steep ‘ technical’ trail – the technique involved dodging a mass of tree branches across the trail – or a gentle but fast decline following the road. Everybody managed to make a choice AND come down without a crash ( at least none was reported).More country lanes, more fruit trees, and more friendly but bewildered locals along the way to the – earlier than expected - watering hole. Everybody replenished their fluid levels, the last caught up with the first, loads of chit chat and showing off the (minor) sustained injuries so far.Alas, the second half beckons and more or less cheerful On On’s bring us on our way along the as yet unexplored shredded paper route. The second half has no more steep climbs but loads more fruit trees: rambutan, mangosteen, durian and others, all ripe for the picking and some of us do help themselves.Of the bitumen and along country dirt roads, interspersed with the odd muddy water puddle comes the next check and the beginning of a mini adventure cum lesson in human sociology: somebody in the lead decides to follow the trail even though the paper shreds now pop up on the right, a cardinal sin in Hash House land ( where somehow left is good and right to be disregarded), but such is the herding instinct that even though the fact is pointed out copiously all follow the ever diminishing trail ending (not quite but momentarily) at a wicked double ditch crossing.Here the full scope of strength, experience, skills, gentle(wo)manship and self-confidence met fait, kismet, karma and in a few instances sheer bad luck. The different ways to cross the deep water filled incisions are too numerous to mention and most succeeded without a glitch, a few though were not so lucky and experienced the surprisingly deep (but hopefully refreshing) water in the ditches.Having achieved another milestone of cross-country biking and with everybody’s adrenaline level in the green area again the problem persisted: the damn paper was on the wrong side !From accounts heard after the ride the solutions to this obstacle were different: Some followed on back towards the Check and beyond to find the paper, finally, on the left again, others had a change of heart ( or simply not enough adrenalin yet) and turned around tackling the double ditch again and – presto – finally also had the paper on their left. (Now one word about checks for the RA Rebecca – they involve looking for the trail not checking out the size of your thighs!)More country lanes, first unpaved then evolving to bitumen, a few more tricks like a dead end and the long hard slog fighting rapidly tiring muscles led back to the resort and the oh so wonderful pool waiting there.The pool proved to be so irresistible that the ‘Circle’ was held in and around it, which inevitably led to a few watered down beers, pool water with at least some alcohol content (still not worth drinking), a GM clinging to her hubby (and both to greenies) to stay above water and a happy dog stirring up the waters for good measure.PS: Sunday was just as good…but shorter, even steamier and the ‘Circle’ was under shady trees. Hope everybody made it home safely ! See you next time.