Sunday, October 29, 2006

Day Three the Train Rumble Hash

We started out for our meeting with the train rumble arriving today from Singapore to Chiang Mai, at Sukhothai. The rivers were still swollen and caused us to divert around them, causing us concern about missing the run. Our driver Ooo found a short cut and made up the time. We arrived about 15 minutes before the train arrived, and long enough for a beer and a stretch of our legs.
The train was enormous, with a birth car every other, that seemed to carry on down the tracks for about a half mile. The hashers seem to be weary of the journey, as they've been on the road for well over a week, and according to reports, there had been problems with timing arrival at the events.
The governor had a large group of his folks, complete with band and kids giving out gifts. We quickly got on the buses and head out to our run site. We rode with Enos, who was as always entertaining and we had lots of singing along the route.
The trail ran along old ruins, back roads, a lake and rice paddies, and a farm complete with cows chasing us, and ending at night at the historic Sukhothai heritage site. They had dinner waiting for us on mats, as we watched a great show, by what must have been most of the townspeople. They were in typical Thai costume and the story told of the history of this once capital of northern Thailand. The mayor gave a speech and was given a down-down, along with the hares and GM's. It ended with hundreds of lanterns floating off in formation, first going left, then catching winds aloft and traveling right, as if traversing up a mountain. Great food and entertainment by these gracious people, then it was off to our Thai Village Resort for the night.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Day Two Siem Reap

I woke early to find the monks already begging for food. They'd walk door to door and they would be given gifts of food in a daily ritual. I walked further up our road and found what looked like a nunnery. All of the women were dressed in white standing around a large richly ornate building, while music was being played somewhere in the yard. Banners were stung around between the buildings and it look like some sort of celebration.
It still being very early, I started walking towards the river and away from the hustle of the small cars and motorbikes darting off to work. Walking the streets at this time of day can be challenging, yet it's amazing we haven't see an accident with the congestion and speed they travel at.
I stopped at a small roadside vendor by the river and had a coffee and noodles, while watching people go about their daily business and children off to school. I walked further along the river and finding that nature was calling, I found a toilet and quickly learned how the cleaning up goes when there is no toilet paper. Other than hotels and airports, most facilities are pretty sparce. It consists of a hole in the ground for squatting and often you rinse out the bowl with a cup found in a bowl of water. Cleaning you is even more interesting. The use of the left hand does most of the work of the paper with help from a spray, if there is one, that's conveniently place beside you. Testing the pressure before using is suggested unless you are in need of an enima.
I arrived back at our guest house and found the group enjoying coffee or tea before we rented bike to tour the city. We visited the old market place first. It was a huge complex of small shops selling everything from buddha's to live fish. The food area was most interesting watching the vendors keeping the fish alive in shallow trays. They'd have their feet in about 2 inches of water and would accossionally splash water on them, as they wiggled back and forth.
Everyone was pushing their wares as the cheapest, but haggling was the order of the day. Most things could be had for half to two-thirds the asking price. US $ or Thai Bhatt are accepted and most speak enough english to understand us. Oozing seemed to be best at getting the most for less, or is he just cheap??
It was lunch so we went to a small shop on the main street. All of the people we've met have been friendly, but the shop owners were super. Helping us out with the language and different foods. We then traveled along the river to a small village along a winding dirt road. The houses were not more than shacks on sticks with grass roofs. Most had some tarp or other material to stop rain from falling through holes, but eveyone was cheerful despite the poverty.
We arrived back at the guest house to pack for the ride to the airport. The tuk tuk quickly made there way along airport road and shortly afterward we said fairwell to Cambodia.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Day One Siem Reap

It was 11pm the night before leaving, that Hoover, Oozing, Dry Foot, Fuwangii, Tinker and Short Shorts, and Bondo joined at Chez Basket for a post-trip dinner. We had a few beers and crashed where ever there was room. We'd be off at 5am for the drive to JFK. The drive down was uneventful, save having to retrieve Oozing who didn't bring his gear, but traffic was light and we arrived at 9am. Calls to Sawr'Squat had her joining us by 10 and we were off on time.
17 hr 40 minutes later we arrive in Bangkok, somewhat tired and happy after many beers, wine and 3 meals.
We were concerned that making our way through the new airport would cause us to be late and miss our connection to Siem Reap, but all went off without a hitch. We arrive at Siem Reap airport about 8pm, when we found Mr. Rogers waiting for us, pitchers of Angkor Beer in hand. Our van was already waiting, so we were off shortly. We quickly showered at Two Dragons Guest House, our accomodations, and haggled a couple Tuk Tuks to drive us to the Red Piano. The drive down was reminscent of Viet Nam many years ago, with motor bikes and cars traveling at high speed on the narrow roads.
The bar was neat and the beer cold, so we made ourselves comfortable and had yet another meal. Not sure what we ate, but it was all local fare. We started back around 11 for some much needed sleep, but it wasn't going to happen after 35 hours on the road, we were all too tired to sleep well. The heat and humidity was stifling and we were all up early in the morning, bags under our eyes and looking for our tour guide, Mr Rogers with the van to take us to the temples.
Our first stop wa Angkor Tom, and we were all amazed with the intricate carving and many buildings in this complex. I'll be posting picture on my return. The next temple was Bayon, then on to Prea Kahn, Angkor Wat and finally Phnom Bakhend (sunrise hill) to catch the setting sun reflecting off the ruins at the top and lower valleys.
At night we went back to the Red Piano to meet up with Mr Rogers and his wife Lilly, and Ice Pick and wife L Shirt, a couple Brits we had met earlier. The pre-lube from Phnom Penn was in town and we had hoped to join them, unfortunately they were either crashing after their bus ride or at another bar. We then went in search of them and tried Angkor What and Dead Fish. We had more beers and food, before settling in for a well needed rest.
Stay tuned for day two...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

InterHash Chiang Mai

The RIH3 travel to InterHash in Chiang Mai. I hope to post a daily journal of our travel through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Our itinerary is to travel to Siem Reip immediately after arriving in Bangkok, and spending 2 days touring Angkor Wat. Then back to Bangkok for a Hash there before traveling to Chiang Mai in our luxury van. Travel guide Tinker has booked a 12 person van, and we expect to have onboard: Tink, Short Shorts, Oozing, Dry Foot Fairy, Cumunder Sawr' Squat, Fuwangii, Trail Hoover and other outsiders from time to time including: Mr Rogers (BostonH3) and Bunnie (TDH3).
Our rough schedule in Chiang Mai is the Red Dress on Thursday and the TDH3 Hash on Friday, followed by IH Chiang Mai on Saturday and Sunday. Monday has us driving south and the adventure continues on future 'notes from IH'.
Shots were completed this week, and packing starts this weekend in earnest. Concern about the coup d'├ętat has been flushed away as we hope the flooding may before our arrival, non-the-less, we'll be on our way by weeks end and expectations are high.
OnOn Basket

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Welch Dickey Loop Trail

This past weekend found us hiking the Welch Dickey trail in the White Mountains. Great trail up the two peaks, 2605' and 2734' respectively, with great views of the Waterville Valley and Sandwich Notch to the east, Plymouth and the Mad and Pemigewasset Rivers to the south, and Mt Tecumseh to the north. The trail was mostly ledge with many prominent ridges for photo opts. The Fall Foilage was just past peak, and gave us some spactular views. Oozing spent most of his time learning Thai-speak, and threw out a few phrases we might use at IH, like "I'll have a beer with those little wiggly worms and some grubs, please". The rest of us had a great time enjoying nature and the outdoors, except one. Bondo was his usual annoying self, complaining that we needed to get back to catch the Patriots second half against the Dolphins. We did make it back in time, unfortunately Just Big Shit stumbled at the top, while feeding a brownie in her face, missed a good foot hold and dropped face down on the brownie and granite. She broke a bone in her hand, but did manage to down the brownie before we headed back down. More importantly, we arrived back at Waterville Valley before the half and the Pats squeeked out a win.

Echo Lake Crags

Trail Hover, Oozing and I joined 'just' Tom Bielicki at the Echo Lake Crags in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire to try out some trad climbing. This was a break from our sport routes at Rumney, and the chance to climb on smooth rock was a blessing to our fingertips.
Having seen Tom in action before, we trusted his ability completely, the others, well their ability is, let's say, somewhat less than spactular. None-the-less, we managed to have a successful fun-filled day without serious pain.
Our fist climb was on th 5.5 Cow's Mouth. It was a good warm up the 75' dirty buttress to the grey face. Tom brought the sharp end of the rope up, and belayed me next. While I belayed Oozing next, Tom then led the 5.7 Shield, with Hoover holding the rope.
I was next up, and chose to lead this one. It was a bit more challenging than I had thought as the top crux had an overhang and necessitated pulling up a small crack.
When we finished these, we stopped for lunch and then we did the Bee Line. This is a 5.6 that really seemed much harder, at least from the start. It was our first really thin crack that could only be had by laying back and stepping off a thin flake a couple feet off the floor. I managed to fall a few times getting off the ground",Tom belayed me, and from there on, for most of the day, I donated blood to the rock face and Hoover's gummy bears...more on that later.
All but Hoover made the top, possibly for fear of catching something from the blood smears everywhere. Then we went over to the 5.7 Cooler Sacrifice. This was a twin crack start to a pine tree at 60'. Good climbing all around, but the gummy's weren't happy. I reached in for some carbs while waiting my turn at the face, and Hoover was next and found blood smeared inside the baggie. "Wipe if off you Wanker", she said, and I did, but it wasn't pretty. She at them anyway.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Just when you thought it was safe to surf the web, the RIH3 Blog arrives and now there's nowhere to hide from Basket and company. Any Hashers that would like to share their most intimate thoughts are more than welcome to join us on our virtual hash trail. OnOn
The Rhode Island Hash House Harriers, founded in 1986 by Ole 'Sparks' Vigerstol, has brought much joy and pain to this corner of New England. I've been around for most of it, and wonder just how long it will take me to get some sense and move on. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet, so I'm going to start posting my final notes on this worthless group of malcontents.
We've just celebrated our 1069th Hash and other than Bondo Jovi, the group should last much longer than I entend to. That being said, Monday nights just wouldn't be the same without a shiggy trail and a few beers wi' me mates. The photo above is our annual Dragon Boat Race in Pawtucket, RI. We won the Charity Race and gave a thousand bucks to Dr WHO's favorite charity, and his name on a new wing in his hospital. We finished second in our division, despite emptying a number of bottles of Bondo Brew and other savory delights. Maybe if we practice next year, don't dring too much, and wankers don't leave before the last race, we might even take the final.... yea right!
You can view the photos on my flickr site