RHHH R*n 856 -The Tale of the Lost Scribe…
Apart for a few early birds the reunion party started that Friday evening. People with familiar smiles but unremembered hash names arrived in throngs. Many from Switzerland, some from Ireland, newcomers from England, came to swell the Riviera flock. It wasn’t just seasonal migration; rather an annual gathering of 50 hashers to have fun and in Albenga, Italy again, where the fun can be warmer, cheaper and easier than at home. Why is it easier to have fun somewhere else?
Of course there is an age when it stops being easy to travel but we had only reached the age where the ‘D’ word becomes a problem. A sketch the next day would make reference to this. But the bright T-shirts were anagrammed with each hasher’s name, so it was not a problem today! We could greet each other like friends who had parted only last week.
The T-shirts were all yellow so distant hashers could be identified in crowded old town streets as dusk approached. So the pack could keep reasonably together and finally we lost no one. Though not all made the circle, a repeated theme for the weekend! But first what happened on the trail?
From the hotel the walkers turned left along the Italian seaside promenade while the runners turned right only to return towards the walkers. The first check took us under the railway line then right to the rural town suburbs. Some could recall last year’s route as we headed to the ‘Roman’ bridge where we re-grouped for awhile and a chat. Those who read the sign here learnt it was built centuries after the days of the Roman Empire yet long ago enough for the detritus of nature (or civilisation?) to have buried much of the bridge and probably divert the river. There was certainly no longer any water visibly flowing under this bridge and its arches looked like a glorious crown without a monarch under it. Of course today was the day from which we would no longer see another Monarch!
After the ‘Roman’ bridge we headed to the old town, where no flour, like last year, could be found through the first gate and, like last year, walkers caught up. We ran outside the walls anti-clockwise to today’s riverbanks before entering the old town, with plenty of scope for getting lost but the hare managed to keep us together, passing the old tower with regularly spaced holes above irregularly filled streets with gesticulating Italians.
We left the old town heading toward the railway station near where the walkers took a shortcut under the line but the runners looped among the road grid near a fort, never crossing the river today – this apparently was reserved for tomorrow’s trail. But one runner found his way across the river onto flour up the steps to a balcony, where a resident, enjoying the cool night air, discretely informing him that this road (to Alassio) had no lights on it. This lost sheep returned on a shortcut over the railway bridge having missed our first circle.