It’s Saturday morning after the night before!!! Yeah, normally it would be a severe headache day but it’s Monkey day (Can’t Do Don’t Do) and anyone who’s done any previous Monkey business knows that it’s gonna be a tough day.
Today was blazing hot and not a cloud in sight so, it was down to the corner shop for a ham and cheese butty, chocolate bar and coke in an attempt to charge the deeply depleted battery before moving on to the Thistle Bar. Here the place was already packed with chimps enjoying morning tea. Lots of familiar faces and also a lot of strangers, which is not surprising as most of the hares today were Malaysian and they had brought along a few of their mates (and ours) from the Orang Utan Hash and other Malacca chapters, taking advantage of a local Malaysian holiday.
Very soon we were on the old bus heading towards Sathahip when all of a sudden, Karamba’s name was mentioned and we came to an abrupt halt. Several minutes later, and after dumping his very expensive bike on the side of the road, Karamba was onboard and we continued on our merry way. Within 30 minutes or so we arrived at the A-site just off the 332. We were told to leave our bags on the bus as they would be taken well care of and we assembled for the pre-run circle in the hot morning sun. After the group photo and what seemed like an eternity in the extreme heat, we were on our way up a dirt track heading into a very familiar valley.
Although there were numerous checks on the trail through the valley, a few of us knew very well that wandering off to the right or left on this trail was virtually impossible. However, the checks did their job and the front running fitness fanatics such as Shit Through A Duck and Mud Cracker were caught out time after time allowing the pack to more or less stay together. Very soon the landscape opened out and the checks were even more effective in keeping the pack together as the numerous trails leading off from the checks could have led us in several serious alternative directions. As the checks were 360 degree, STAD and Mud Cracker had their work cut out for them. In truth they were not alone as GI Joe and several others (even myself ) were somehow still keeping up and getting caught out too.
Then we hit the check of all checks. Stuck out in the middle of nowhere with trails leading off all over the place and paper not easy to find, the pack were brought back into a tight bunch again. As with previous checks, this one was actually a back check and it took a good 10 minutes before someone called On On from somewhere and we all converged onto the correct trail. Then things got a bit confused as the front runners suddenly came out of the trees after swinging through a nice trail (in plenty of shade) straight into the path of the rear of the pack. Yeah ok, there may have been a bit of short cutting going on here but not intentionally as they had all heard the cries of On On coming from STAD and simply followed the sound until they stumbled into us.
After running around a small hump and looping up and down a bit, we eventually hit the water stop. On this first half of the run, the hares had been very effective in keeping the pack together as we more or less all arrived at the water stop at the same time. By this time the sun was really blazing down and several of us found ourselves crouching down under a small bush desperately trying to keep out of the sun as we drank our water and soft drinks and chomped on bananas.
We had been told by the hares at the beginning of the run that we would be going back to basics, meaning that everyone would have to try and complete the whole run and no one was to duck out at the water stop. However, as we were hiding under the bushes, someone noticed that the big old bus was parked and hidden a few meters away on the other side!!! Oh no, poor old hares, the cat was really out of the bag now and several chimps witn Monkey mischief in mind decided that they were in no condition to continue the second half and this would be as far as they were going to go on foot.
For the rest of us, no such thoughts and we were soon out onto the hot shade less trail. So, it was into the undergrowth again and heading towards the nearby hills. Although not particularly steep, the gradients very soon started to take their toll as the runners got more and more spread out in the heat. Up and up we went and eventually over a saddle emerging onto a flat plain with numerous low lying hills spread out before us in the distance. Although once again the checks effectively held up the front runners, the pack was by this time spread out so far that the guys at the rear could not hear the cries of On On from the front of the pack. As for myself, I did my best to try and stay with the front runners as did Ball Ringer, Linguini Weeny, Garbage Collector and a few others.
On and on we stumbled with the first casualty being Linguini Weeny who’s shoes completely gave way and soon after, I followed with cramp positively setting in. A few of us guessed that we were heading towards a local golf course and that’s exactly what we did as we came across a trail that ran alongside a decent sized lake with the golf course on our right. This trail led directly to our C-site adjacent to the lake and after hobbling along for a fair bit I finally arrived along with Ball Ringer to find the hares, front runners and several others (who had clearly taken a ride from the water stop) enjoying a cool drink while immersed in the lake up to their necks.
Surprisingly, 5 or 10 minutes after I arrived, STAD ran into the C-site. What happened to him I don’t know as I had expected that he would already have showered and changed by the time I arrived. I guess it must have been one of those back checks!!! One by one the rest of the pack began arriving at the c-site. There were one or two exceptions who were collected from the side of some road after they had taken a wrong turn or two and even one guy who missed the circle altogether after finding a local restaurant and suitable cold refreshment!!!
I can’t remember too much about the circle other than it being a load of fun. The food was good and the beer cold and we were also pleasantly surprised and happy to be given not one but 2 t-shirts. I'm pretty sure the hares sponsored the second, shirt which was very much appreciated. Although a long and hard run in the hot sun, I believe everyone enjoyed the day. Sometime before the sun went away completely, we got back on our bus and headed back into town and the Thistle Bar which was our venue. Here, the hares were very generous and bought everyone their first beer which went down extremely well alongside the excellent Thai and European food the hares had laid on for us. A big thanks to the hares for a very good Monkey # 21 and also the Thistle bar for taking good care of us all.
On On Tampax