Fantastic! one dry day, being the filling in a sandwich of weeks of rain as the monsoon continues. Of course it was not much use to the hares who had been thoroughly soaked while optimistically laying some of the trail on the day before.
Not only dry but also the Pay and Display meter in the car park had a big plastic condom over its head rendering it impotent to the delight of those of us with short arms and long pockets.
Canman brought the sad news of the demise of Max, the dog having unexpectedly snuffed it during the night in the previous week. Dr Blood brought two new hashers, Alexandra and Oleg all the way from Latvia and there was a welcome back for Malibog.
So we set off to look for flour with the hare's expected warnings of steep climbs and slippery surfaces still ringing in our ears. To start with we floundered around on the SDW to the east, not finding anything and then we found two trails south east down Harting Hill, one in the wood the other in the field and both coming together in Kill Devil Copse. Then, nothing, with a capital N, Nix, Zilch, Nowt, all washed away overnight without a trace.
Despite Old Faithful checking for miles around we were forced to follow Dogwhistle until the we reached surviving trail in the little valley below Round Down.
No one really wanted to try the path that climbs up Little Round Down except yours truly and Snake Charmer, but our efforts were rewarded by finding a good trail all the way to the top where we found a regroup. Just out of idle curiosity I recorded the order in which the next few hashers reached the top. Mussolini, Pancsi, Oleg, Sinbad, Flash, Splasher, Malibog, Alexandra, Dr Blood (sprinting the last bit to get past someone).
After a rest and a bit of a natter we headed east in the direction of Telegraph House but then ominously turning north towards Beacon Hill at the next check. The front of the pack were well behaved and followed the trail down to the cross path below the summit while the rest followed Mussolini who made a shortcut by keeping to the high ground and sauntering over to the trig point. Some choice words were exchanged between Mussolini and those that eventually rejoined the pack after an ascent of the vicious climb which the hares had intended for all.
Cor, what a view! etc at the top before the heart in mouth descent into Bramshott Bottom and all down safely. No one was willing to bet on continuing to descend down Telegraph Lane so all that remained was to tread the well known path back to the chariots via Cross Dykes (what were they cross about?). And so it was that we reached the washed out (at least I didn't see it) On-In after one hour and twenty three minutes of quite challenging hashing, well done those hares all things being considered.
At the circle our JM went on and on about hashers that were out of the frame for the Hash-It before awarding it jointly to Alexandra and Oleg for ? what? ? being the first Russians to join us ?. Some then made their way to the Royal Oak at Hooksway for a bevvie or two.