The first run of the Sandpit Hash

After years of running in the city on a weeknight, a few of us decided it was time for a daylight hash in the countryside and on the weekend each month nearest to the full moon.
And so the Sandpit Hash came to be.

We set the first run near Hatta Pools, just over the border in Oman.

It proved to be a little more adventurous than we’d expected, involving wandering in and out of wadis, but was undeniably fun.

We adopted some local styles, using camel (or maybe goat) bones to mark the way.

Then headed through a date palm plantation and even managed to find some shiggy.

Then it was back into another wadi

It was not a place for the portly.

After traversing across a rubble-strewn shoulder, we could see the beer stop and the frontrunning bastids knocking back a few cold ones.

But between us and them was a small impediment…

The route featured a series of unpredictable routes as wadis proved to be either navigable or impassable.
This was probably the most improbable of the navigable routes.

I was certain it was going to be a false trail, only for a viable route out to appear just past this waterfall.

And up a final gravel slope, which I swore was the last difficulty before the beer stop.

It was a beer stop with a view.

We headed off on the final section back to the campsite. People weren’t moving so fast now.

We held the circle and punished everyone, including Ride My Pimp for his shoes. The penalty was the traditional one.

And the one-day-short-of-full moon lit up the events and we settled in for an evening around the fire, talking, listening to W@nker the B@nker play his guitar and finishing the beers.

Then we headed home in the morning.

Countdown to Run Number One of the Sandpit Hash House Harriers

The T-shirts are ordered, the camp site has been found and it’s almost time to start chilling the culturally appropriate beverages for the inaugural Sandpit hash!
You can find the directions to the run this weekend here: https://sandpithash.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=34
A couple of things to consider:

  • It’s two-wheel-drive accessible. It takes about two and a half hours from Abu Dhabi but there are roadworks near the sevens stadium and a nasty speed camera in a 60kmh zone on the highway nearby.
  • It’s just over the border in Oman. You don’t need an Oman visa but you DO need to bring either a passport or UAE ID card.
  • Zero your car’s trip meter at the second border crossing, as you head back into the UAE from Oman, to make sense of the directions.
  • The campsite is a little rocky so plan accordingly.
  • It’s BYO food and culturally appropriate beverages, other than a few for the circle. There’ll be a fire though and if you don’t have a barbecue, others should have space.
  • Etisalat phones have five-bar reception at the campsite but it’s a little patchy elsewhere. If you get lost, phone me (shorthandjob) on 050 561 7087.

The pdf directions includes two maps but in case you can’t read the pdf, I’ll repeat the directions here:
Directions: Drive towards Hatta. From the town of Al Madam, this will require crossing briefly into Oman, back into the UAE and then back into Oman. There are border checkpoints at each crossing but expats are usually waved through with only a cursory assessment of their documents. Zero your trip meter at the second border crossing, the one that takes you back into the UAE, because all the distances are based from that.
13.1km: Last petrol at Emarats service station.
13.8km: Hatta Fort Hotel roundabout. There’s a supermarket on the roundabout if you need anything. Go right into Hatta township, going straight at every junction and past a rock on your left with the UAE flag painted on it.
16.7km: At the first roundabout, which has a Hatta Police Station sign on it and an Etisalat building to your left, turn left.
17.1km: Go straight through the minimalist roundabout, which is the size of a patio table.
17.2km: Keep left at a junction where the right turn option is to Hatta Water company.
17.9km: Turn right at the junction with the Al Zahra Grocery. Beware of the vicious speed bumps in the next kilometer!
23.4km: UAE border post.
24.5km: The tar seal ends at the far side of a village called Al Fayy. Follow the more-used road, which goes right past a brown sign saying: “Picnic and camping site. Wadi Alqahfi.”
25.2km: Go straight at signposted side road to At Tuwayyah.
27.9km: Turn left onto signposted side road to Al Karbi al Garbiyah. The campsite is on the plateau on the right in about 250m. You would have to try very hard to miss it! According to Google Earth, the campsite is at 24deg 43’ 25.55” N 56deg 10’ 47.39” E.

on on!