RIVIERA HASH TRASH 692
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For some reason the hares decided, unlike our previous 23 birthdays, the runners would not have a beer stop. Hopefully a dangerous precedent has not been set in advance of our Silver Jubilee next year. But let us go to the beginning.
Dawn broke very overcast with a threat of rain in the air. Much more menacing, however, were the frighteningly steep sides of the valley where the start was located. Lung bursting ascents were a certainty. But the start was easy enough - a steady meander to the centre of the village. We exited the village and incredibly we were still on the flat with the trail folllowing the contour of the western side of the valley. It could not last and it didn't. In fact, we had to negotiate an ankle busting descent to the river bed before crampons became the order of the day. Up and up a goat track we climbed until Padre declared "civilization". It was not really; just a major forest piste and ahead was a long steady descent. Padre and Perpetch led the way and as there were only 5 runners we waited at the bottom for the other three, Cumalot, Pedo and a pretty knackered Sean from Paris. After a particularly devious check we were back in the village.
God knows what happened then apart from walking aimlessly in the village. Perpetch saw the walkers in the distance and caught them up only to be informed they had already enjoyed the beer stop. It was eventually found by the runners but proved to be virtual beer.
The sun was out now and very pleasant and there was nothing else for the thirsty pack to do but to make their way home.
Never Cums had baked two super cakes for the hash and Contessa which were divided up in the circle. It is just as well they were modest portions because a huge and delicious lunch awaited us accompanied by music. Some hashers, particularly Mud Wrestler spent more time dancing than eating.
All in all an excellent and demanding hash in a picturesque location. I am sure it will not be 20 years before we visit there again.
Hares: Sadist and Contessa, founder members who have been laying trails for 24 years and still manage to cock it up.
And Contessa's Italian friend Elio, ( whom she calls "Elliott") and introduced as her Co co hare.
Not finding the beer stop: All runners - Padre, visitor Sean, Cumalot, Paedophil, and Perpetual Motion.
60th birthday: Contessa (presented with coupons for cycling supplies)
She told Co co she was only 39 !
50-Run Mug: Long & Hard, who can "talk non-stop in any language" And therefore it was her 50 talk mug.
(Sneaky Bastard, who once offered Long & Hard 60 euros for her hash name, raises his offer to 75 euros)
ners: Polyandra & her Canadian husband, Sean (friend of Contessa's from Paris), Mud-wrestler
Virgin (and birthday boy): Gordon (Fairy Plunger's brother)
Interval: Padre read out limericks about various Hashers (that he wrote 20 years ago) and we guessed who they were.
Amazing how much information can be divulged in a five line Limerick.
Naming: Elio/Elliott the co-co-hare officially baptised "Coco" Mme. Mouton reverted to her full time occupation of Dominatrix and demanded to be allowed to humiliate our poor, new Hasher. Padre was not going to argue with that one , Ed.!
Perpetual Motion for cutting out second half of run, (He failed to spot an Eff.T. special loop.)
Polyandra for anti-social behavior (talking), and Mudwrestler, also for antisocial behavior (spillage)
The winner was Polyandra because "she had never been shit of the week before"
March 4, 2012
Rocchetta Nervina Run Report
Walker's Report by Scriptease with photos by CoCo
What a blast we had in Italy on Sunday, 4th March. Not only was it the 24th Anniversary of the first Riviera Hash in March 1988, but it was also Contessa's birthday. To celebrate this Hash anniversary we returned to the venue of the 2nd Anniversary Hash held in March 1990 - 22 years ago. The Hotel Ristorante Largo Bin is a sprawling Hunting Lodge in the hills beyond Ventimiglia and Dolceacqua, just before the wonderfully named medieval village of Rocchetta Nervina (pronounced Rocketta rather than Rochetta according to the Italian speaking hashers amongst us). Walking into the Hunting Lodge is a trip back in time. The walls are covered with hunting trophies - stuffed sanglier, deer with antlers, rabbits, stoats, pheasants and even foxes here and there. This was not as upsetting as I thought it might be, but the one thing I did find rather disturbing was that the animals hoofs were also stuffed and attached to the walls, jutting out like some weird kind of hanger waiting for a photo or a painting. The lodge has dark wooden ceilings with large beams, heavy wooden furniture, white walls, terracotta tiles on the floor, oh and free WiFi.
The instructions to drive to the venue were easy to follow, and the statue of the Madonna was there to show us the way at the left turn out of Ventimiglia and up into the hills. We met in the car park of the Largo Bin, got brief instructions from the Hares, Sadist for the runners and Contessa for the walkers, and then set off at 11:30am up the hill, and up and up towards Rocchetta Nervina. A detour just before the village took the walkers over a bridge across the river and then alongside the village along an overgrown path. We reached another bridge, a beautiful old and narrow one made of dark stone, with a high arch in the middle. Very pretty. We admired the view and waited for the stragglers to catch up. Photo opportunity!! We continued up into the hills along a narrow, steep path. After a while we began to wonder if we were on trail or not, no flour to be seen anywhere, and then eventually Contessa was there to tell us we should have gone across the little stone bridge and into the village rather than up the steep hill. We descended the hill. The views across the valley were beautiful, with lots of mimosa in full golden bloom. The morning misty clouds were clearing and the sun was trying to come out. We came into the village which has very old, dark stone houses, some rickety, some boarded up and about to fall over, but lots of others obviously lived in, and here and there some being renovated. The village streets are narrow of course, with lots of stairs and twists and turns, narrow pathways under stone archways, picturesque stone houses on either side, lace curtains drawn, nobody around (all avoiding the invading hoard...?), a few cats here and there, and only one alimentari open, Sunday morning church bells at midday.
We came out of the village and then went up again, quite soon arriving at the Beer Stop which was behind the village and looking down on it. The village church bells were ringing again. Perfect timing as we reached for our beers and rosé. The Beer Stop was actually at the cemetery... I didn't notice this because I was too busy looking at the view of the valley and the village down the hill in front of us, but apparently somewhere on the hill behind us was the cemetery. Nice one Sadist! Oh, and by the way, the runners missed the Beer Stop unfortunately. The Hares told us not to wait any longer as there was a lot more hashing to do before getting back to the Hunting Lodge and lunch. We walked up a mountain. Some of us picked up mimosa blossoms on the way. And then it was down, down, down the country road with olive groves on one side and mimosa trees on the other side, back to the car park. Before the Down Downs started it was time to celebrate Contessa's 60th birthday with Hashy Birthday singing, gift giving, birthday cake beautifully illustrated with a colourful bicycle on white icing, and special cuvée "Contessa Vino Spumante Brut" in a plastic cup! But alas we noticed that some of us were missing. The gallant Cumalot offered to go looking for the 3 lost ones and drove off up the hill and eventually found them and brought them back to the Circle.
I will by-pass the Circle and the Down Downs as I am told these are being covered in the Runner's Report, except to note that we had a naming ceremony. Contessa's gentleman friend, who had only been on 2 hashes with us, was named Coco by Padre. Padre started to initiate Coco's bald head with Spumante but then quickly changed to beer so as not to waste the precious Spumante, but at that point Madame Mooton became very insistent, telling Padre in no uncertain terms that flour should also be used. Padre didn't seem to think it was necessary this time and there was a bit of an altercation, but Madame Mooton insisted on doing the honours and immediately dumped half a bag of flour on Coco's bare head. Did she have a vendetta against Padre? Luckily Coco had taken off his nice white jumper and got flour and beer all over his T shirt instead. Virgin Gordon was having a good old laugh... Lucky for him he was only visiting his brother Fairy Plunger for the weekend, otherwise it might be his turn next! It was his birthday too, actually on that very day, unlike Contessa who's actual birthday is not until the week after next.
Lunch time. We entered the atmospheric Hunting Lodge and were greeted by the very welcoming staff who showed us to our 3 large round tables in the dining room. Here too the walls were filled with hunting trophies, sanglier, rabbit, deer, pheasants.... is that the menu someone was saying...? The place was full of people who were already half-way through their lunch having started at a more civilized hour than us. There was a band playing old Italian favourites and lots of guests were dancing and waltzing around the dance floor. Contessa had said there would be a band and I had wondered if this would be Enzo & Flavio with a piano accordion, but no it was a woman singer and a man with an electric piano and a whole bunch of other equipment, and they could sing and play anything from Quando Quando Quando to Let's Twist Again!!
Lunch started with Prosecco apéritif and was a sumptuous affair of 6 courses plus the local Vino Rosso & Bianco, and went late into the afternoon, early evening. Parma Ham, Gnocchi with mushrooms, Lemon Sorbet palate cleanser, Rabbit main course with grilled veggies and hot chips. More than enough food for anyone! The staff were excellent, professional waiters with long black aprons. Every course was preceded with new cutlery and white china plates especially heated. Not your usual Hash Mush eh! And all the while the band played. The rest of the restaurant was full of well dressed people, some ladies in sparkly tops and high heels, and we were there in our hashing gear and heavy boots. Well, some of us had changed into party gear but the rest of us were in our sweaty T shirts, shorts and jumpers. Contessa was radiant, having changed out of her hashing gear and into her beautiful party outfit complete with red dancing shoes, pink pearl necklace, earrings and bracelets. That girl knows how to party! Bella Contessa! And amongst all the locals and tourists and hashers there was a large party of the Bordighera Bocce Club (i.e. Petanque...) celebrating their annual lunch and prize giving. In our heavy boots and unsophisticated dress we danced and had fun and ate well and drank well. And then the enormous strawberry and cream birthday cake dessert arrived for Contessa, complete with huge sparklers that looked like they were going to take off! We should have had one for Virgin Gordon too as it was actually his birthday that day!!
A little while later I couldn't help but notice that Padre, Cumalot and Fairy Plunger were all intently looking at the black ribbon that was peeking out over the back of Farty Bum's blue jeans as she leaned over the table to have a chat with Sadist. Her thong?? One of them, I'm pretty sure it was Cumalot, pulled it in anticipation of something exotic happening.... Disappointment! It was just the strap of the Hash Cash bag tied tightly around her waist! Nowhere to go with all those orgasmic thoughts and wet dreams about Farty Bum and her thong... And then she said she didn't mind if they pulled her ribbon and had wet dreams!
And all the while the band played. We danced some more and had coffee and limoncello and relaxed in the conviviality of the Largo Bin Hunting Lodge. Padre reminisced about the 2nd Anniversary Hash at this same venue 22 years ago and said he remembered everything about it ....which was amazing because he couldn't remember what he did last week! Virgin Gordon was in demand for dancing. Come back next year Gordon and we'll dump flour and beer on your head and give you a new name and a birthday cake!
A big thank you to the Hares Sadist and Contessa for a great day out and a very fitting Hash celebration for the 24th Anniversary of the RHHH.
ZH3 Black Magic Weekend - 8th - 10th June 2012
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R*n 693: NEXT HASH 18 -Mar
10.30 for 11.00
Sunday 18th March
Hares: Cumalot (with Spare Rib doing it all)
Due to lack of suitable/open/hygienic restaurant in the La Gaude area at this time of year, my Hash is being transported, though not in a punitive sense, to Le Broc.
If you've never experienced a Le Broc Hash you are in for a treat! Those who have, rest assured, Spare Rib will be held back by having to carry Cumalot on his back while setting the trail.
The quiet village of Le Broc is far from the maddening crowds of the coast up in the fresh mountain air.
Directions ; from Vence :-
Vence -> St. Jeannet -> Gattieres -> Vieux Carros -> Le Broc.
NB at the mini-roundabout in Gattieres, turn left towards Vieux Carros, it's by far quickest way. If you leave Gattieres steeply up or down, you have gone wrong.
From Nice/A8 -> take the Digne road north, cross the River Var to Carros (using the bridge) and take the D1 to -> Vieux Carros -> Le Broc.
Pin In the Map link:
Google Earth link
Alternative routes exist but these are the easiest to follow.
Parking: in the car park on the left 20m after the entrance to the Village. When that is full, park where you can...
Despite a conspiracy by local restaurateurs not to serve the Hash in March, Spare Rib has found a bijou establishment that is willing to take us.
However, this is a -very- bijou village pizzeria so it's first come, first served. First 25 get a seat, after that, you'll be out in the street, fighting packs of wild cats for the scraps.
NB. This is a new Restaurant (not l'Estragon!) and the service may be a little slow with so many customers. You have been warned.
Let me know if are coming to the restaurant by Saturday at the latest.