Friday, April 9, 2010

The Bartica "Run"

Here we are again the postmortem on yet another hash!!!!

Well, as always, the hash met at the British High Commission for 12 noon, and guess what ... everybody was late except the White people!!(Jerry White and kids)  So we hung around waiting for the hares and a few others such as the NCN crew who turned up fashionably late (at least one half of it... the other half (the one with the camera) turned up very late).

So there we are, sitting around in front of the British HC having our photos taken by the security cams (and probably being marked down as suspicious loiterers) waiting for a hare who eventually never turned up.

We had to pick her up at the Harbour Bridge!!!!

Anyhow we finally left the BHC in a minibus hired for the occasion by Sefa our number one hare.
12 people in the bus up to the bridge, 9 adults and 3 kids bouncing along , we get to the bridge and settle down to wait for our number 2 hare who was on her way down from Linden.  Rum In Her Crack decides that she is hungry, so everyone hops out and goes across the road to M&M's just as soon as we cross the road, who should turn up but our wonderful No. 2 hare S... M. S... M.(name disguised to protect innocent eyes).  Anyway we top up on snacks and proceed on our merry way to Parika to get a speedboat to Bartica (in case you didn't know speedboat taxis are the only way of getting to Bartica if you don't want to spend about 4 - 6 hours on the ferry, or if you just really don't feel like driving the couple of hours through the rough trail that will take you to Bartica and then still have to use a small ferry to cross the river.

Arriving safely at Parika after an hour's drive filled with spirited conversation on a wide range of subjects, such as who wears makeup, and who was sleeping with whom in Bartica, we found that there was a serious shortage of transportation due to allof the speedboat captains most likely having partied too much and Bartica the night before and not remembering where they parked their boats!!

So finally at about 4.30pm some 3 hours after leaving town, and after having stood on the stelling steps for 2 hours in the BLAZING sun, we finally got a boat and headed for Bartica.

The original plan was to have a Saturday afternoon run, have an ON ON and then explore Bartica night life.  Well so much for the afternoon run!!  Bartica is 1 hour away from Parika on a boat with two 200 Hp outboard engines!!

So the boat dropped us off at the Bartica stelling, and we got a bus that took us down to the very last building on the Essequibo side of Bartica called Bidrabhu (pronounced Bid Rah Boo) house, a very nice 5 bedroom house right on the river with a swimming pool ... reasonable too for US$260 for the whole house.

Dinner that had been ordered earlier came in from a hotel in Bartica, and after some hot showers, we dined with a great views of the river (slightly blocked by about 1 million trees) and sat around and talked for about an hour or so before changing go go check out the nightlife.

The night life (such as it as) we found to be surprisingly sparse and very very loud for the most part, but we were lucky enough to catch the last part of the Ms. Bartica Regatta pageant prelims, which were entertaining enough.

Later we hung out a bar at which point, one of our temp hashers put her foot in it!!  Literally!!  She stepped in to a 3 foot deep open drain which she didn't see in the dark just outside the bar and messed up her ankle ... the hash hasn't even started and one down to injuries!!

That effectively put an end to our revelries for the night and we headed back to the house.  Jerry, having the kids along, opted not to go on the night life tour, and met us at the door very surprised to see us back so early.  We hung out, drank some of the hash staple Banks Beer (blessed be the golden brew!!) and crashed for the night.

Next morning after breakfast, the hash opted to go on a cross country walk in lieu of the regular paper marked trail (less one injured), and travel from the Essequibo River to the Mazaruni River, through town and jungle, without the benefit of a guide!!

Well after about 2 hours of heavy jungle, hot sun, hills, tracks, old broken roads, good new roads and over grown pine tree plantations we finally made it to our destination, on the banks of the Mazaruni river, less than 15 minutes drive away from Bartica!!!  A great beach down there at the bottom of a big hill which even the minibus driver feared to attempt.  There was a good view of  the Mazaruni Prison and the old ferry which was turned into a prison boat.

We bought drinks to quench the major thirsts that had built up during our walk, purchased from one of the residents, and we spent time under a huge laden mango tree just enjoying the breezes from off of the river, while we waited for the bus to pick us up.

At the on on, we decided that Sefa was due her hash name, and suggestions were written down in the book.  This is still incomplete, as insufficient names were thought of by the inebriated hashers!!

Lunch (another meal from the Hotel) and more beer before packing up and hopping into the bus for a quick trip to get a boat which at 5pm was cutting it a bit close since boats are not supposed to be on the water after 6pm.  We got a special and loaded up (in the process forgetting one of our precious crated of beer in another boat (since rectified) and headed down to Parika.

A bus back to town after a rough ride on the river, and a bunch of very tired but happy hashers headed home.!!!!