Wednesday, December 30, 2015

When things go way wrong

Not your usual recce. For a start, it's 22km long. (And please don't use this to guide you on Saturday's run or you too will end up at the Big Tree, if you're lucky.)
Out on recce yesterday I mistakenly went down the back side of the main hill where we'll be running on Saturday. It's not very nice back there -- lots of impassible country, little rubber and no people, and only a few trails. The only one I could find took me farther and farther from the runsite, till I came out at a village I thought must be near Route 43. So when I hit a decent dirt road (upper right above), I turned right on it, thinking it would take me back parallel to 43.

That's when I happened upon the only person I'd seen all day, a young guy jogging. I asked him if the road came out near Wat Noen Phijit. He didn't even seem to know the name, which wasn't a good sign. And he said the road didn't go anywhere but just disappeared into the hills.

I was tempted to try it anyway but it was getting late and for once I took the advice. I turned around, heading even further away from the site. Only when I came out, after 10km of walking, did I realize that I was all the way up at the Big Tree. Heading any further down that road into the setting sun would have been a bad choice.

Suddenly the guy reappears, this time on a motorbike insisting he take me back to my bike. And so he did, a good 12km -- 24km roundtrip for him -- and then refused even the gas money I offered. Oh, and Mr. Trump, he was Muslim. Just like the guy who saved me from the wasps.

We all know it but it's worth noting again now and then: in addition to some of the best hashing country anywhere, we also have some of the most friendly, helpful locals we could ever hope for. And it's just as well, because after all these years it seems I'm still doing moronic things out there. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.


  1. Well he would have been (a Muslim) as are most of the people who live in Sai Kao; and wonderful people they are - the same crew who all those years ago got on their bikes and went up into the hills to rescue Tapeworm's son.
    Oh and the recce? About time you got yourself a decent GPS!

  2. I carried 3 GPSs today (wonky old big Garmin, hard-to-read tiny one, and no-map wristwatch. Just managed between them all. Maybe it is time for a new one.