Venue:Khao Yai (north), Villa ParadisHares: Paul, Carl and Martijn SDate: 26/27 February 2011.Scribe: SnakeCharmer and Laura II, with inspiration from (and downright plagiarism of) Sticky Trousers and Condomleeza..Saturday: Utter Mudness - “A little stretch of mud” said the hare. “You might want to walk your bike through it”.The downpour during lunch was intimidating to Virgin Hashers, but we experienced Spokes reassured them confidently, “Don’t worry- fresh rain cools the air, makes the ride much more pleasant”. Blue skies beckoned as the pack set out into the green, tree-lined paths. Optimistically, I pedaled out; pleased as always at the beginning of the ride with my few minutes at the front of the pack, enjoying the scenery as one handsome FRB after another passed me by with a manly, “On your right,” or the always titillating, “From behind.” Nothing like a parade of lycra-clad tushes and bulging calf muscles to get the ride going.Rolling merrily along, I began to notice a bit of roll-resistance, which made my still- fresh legs feel slightly stiff, and I considered, “Whew. Maybe a bit heavy on the lunch. I really need to work out more often”. Then I decided, “No, it’s an uphill, maybe I need to crank it up”. Then I realized my shiny black tires were beginning to turn a reddish brown, as clay began to stick. My rear tire lost its grip and slid out and I told myself, “Whee! This is fun, but I had better pay attention !”. Meanwhile the clay on my tires seemed to be getting thicker and thicker until the tread was but a memory.About that time, enough of the playdough had accumulated around the (insert technical bike part here) that the wheels could barely turn. I pushed on, but then I couldn’t, as the mud snowballed around the (insert a second technical bike part here) and all forward movement subsided – in an instant, roll-speed dropped to zero. I got off and realized that I would have to do something about it. I looked for a stick, reluctant to dig my manicure into the slimy clay, but in the end I realized that there is no substitute for the prehensile digits of the human hand, and I reached in and began to scoop, push, dig and scrape. Bringing back memories of carefree younger years in art class, I was tempted to create a rude sculpture, but abandoned the notion when I looked up and found myself alone, as others had managed to push on without me.Back on the bike, feeling a touch of pride at being a Resourceful Hasher, I shifted and stood on the pedal to get started. One turn, two turns, a bit of forward momentum and …. A mere 5 meters later the gunk won and I was off the bike again. This time feeling a bit less carefree.Clean. Scrape. Prod. Mount. Pedal. Seize. Dismount. Repeat. And so went the pattern.I looked up as the first battle casualty came into view on the horizon; he seemed to be headed my way. Emerging through the muck, pushing and carrying a bike-shaped mud sculpture. Returning defeated, a snapped derailleur trailing miserably behind, a metaphor of plans for an exciting afternoon ride.I was, however determined to carry on. Having heard the firsthand account of the defeated, I now knew exactly what not to do in order to protect my precious (insert here another bike part, this time a fancier one, preferably in a foreign language), and I remounted, armed with tips and advice.I went on. I came across other mud-strugglers. We toiled side by side, bent double, like old beggars under bikes; one of the sludge-hags complained that she needed to pee, but lamented how inconvenient it is to have to relieve oneself in the bush, (so to speak). "I feel like a Boy Scout…" she said. At that very moment, Sticky Trousers was passing by and he agreed, "Don’t we all dear; but where are we going to find one out here in the mud?"Around the next bend, another victim of the assault was straggling back to base, the look on his face silenced my queries and I let him pass in quiet anguish. By this time, my motion to scraping ratio was become fractional, and when I looked up from the tedious task, absently rubbing my sweaty eyes with the back of my mud caked hand (and realizing how completely moronic that was) I blinked away a mud-tinged tear to view a horizon filled with defeat, as the odd returner became less and less odd and more and more frequent, stumbling back, slipping, sliding, through knee-deep, shoe-sucking muck, carrying bikes, carrying girlfriends, carrying girlfriends’ bikes, men marched asleep. Many had lost their derailleurs, but limped on, mud-shod.We began to piece together the stories of the horrors to come. Mud-drenched riders, looking as though they had dug themselves from the grave, and smelling like they had dug themselves from a pit latrine, were congregating, strategizing, commiserating, punching mud-dripping buttons on cell phones, trying desperately to get information, any SIT-REP on the battle ahead. Rumors began trickling back. The fear, the trepidation, the agony of the decision was palpable. To continue to forward to certain morbidity and terrors unknown, or retreat in the shame of defeat? One guy described a river too treacherous to ford. Another whispered something about seven kilometers of ever-increasing tire-grasping mud.Seven kilometers! I quickly did the math. At my current rate of 9 minutes to gain 10 feet, I would finish the mud section in … wait…. (insert here a complicated math formula, complete with variables and Greek letters). Well, suffice to say that, in spite of the fact that I know full well that when a man claims a measurement of 7 it is likely to be more like 3 or 4, I turned in the sad defeat of a retreat, toward certain humiliation in the circle.==========================================Day 1, Post-mudWell, many brave souls, certainly Hashers through and through, continued on. Their story comes from someone else, for this writer, alas, shamefully and dejectedly turned back, but only with the idea of doing the hash in reverse to the water break. By this time, two hours had passed, the odometer read 4K and faced with the loss of daylight and having a virgin Hasher amongst our group, SnakeCharmer, the future Loose Zipper, a relatively new Hasher, and the Virgin Hasher followed the ideas of some others to try to get to the water break going backwards. We cleaned the bikes as best we could and set out. Mercifully, we soon came to a small stream that we took advantage of to rinse one of the layers of mud that still clung to bike and ourselves. As we dipped our wheels vigorously back and forth, in and out, another set of Hashers appeared and one was heard to remark, “How quaint! The locals are doing their laundry."We continued, up a mountain, over some red dirt, through some hills and 10 k later still no water break…we carried on for an hour and then turned back towards the hotel. As we got closer to the hotel, a mud spattered Sack of Shit came around the corner dragging his bike with a messed up gear mumbling something about having to pedal backwards and forwards. Other Hashers were seen exhaustedly pedaling into the resort, covered with mud, looking dazed and bewildered as they dropped their bikes off at the power sprayer who would finish the last bike sometime around midnight…more stories were heard…one Hasher was bitten by a dog but fortunately the dog would recover with treatment …Dike Diver, the Hare who was responsible for laying the shortcut route had suffered a mishap and had to redo it and had spent 7 long hours and 70k putting things right and was barely able to remain standing from fatigue…. Weedeater and No Meat had put in 50k and were actually overheard mumbling about being tired (Ed: Sorry, Neil, your cheque didn’t clear my bank by the time of printing).All the Hashers circled up and got ready for whatever humiliation was in store. The usual Monty Python-like shenanigans occurred with the violators brought forward and told to get “On your knees!!” Unfortunately, Pencil Flash was not in attendance and the Hash Music Ass was truly lacking. He was duly called into the circle and punished for his puns. Of course, those cowards who had given up, returned to the hotel, and showered were made to pay for their shame even as they stood there clean and well-groomed. Those who had biked for the rest of the day were somehow exempt. The ultra clean Bike Suit Fetishist was called in by Sticky Trousers both for his attire (Ed: this man was so clean, he was seen making a sandwich with his bike gloves still on) and for protecting his bike so fiercely. The Swiss Guy Look Alike was called in for spreading the rumor about the seven kilometer stretch was put on his knees in loco hashistis. Naming ceremonies were performed, including a former RA who managed to namelessly reach her 50th Hash: forever now known as Loose Zipper. And so ended the day of mud, with several broken deraillers, many clogged up gears, a few snapped off bike seat posts, and plenty of Hashers digging mud out of their ears.==============================================Overall, it was a lovely weekend in the country, one that must have reminded our Hare, Klingon, of the village where he spent his early days of Hashing in the green valleys of his Welsh homeland: Llareggub. Run that backwards and you get everything that really needs to be said about this weekend’s Hash.