Sandpit Hash run#14

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Nobody could accuse Sandpit Run#14 of being dull. We started the weekend wrecked and nearly ended it shipwrecked.

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The wrecked bit was explained by the evening before, which had involved Bacchanalian pursuits at the Abu Dhabi Hash Ball. A fine time was had, at least based on the bits that I remember.

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But it’s fair to say that the group which assembled at the port for the first of two boat rides across to tropical Lulu Island were the more dedicated hashers, and the less enthusiastic ones remained in bed nursing pounding heads.

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Eighteen such dedicated Sandpitters treated our morning-after physiologies to the short but choppy boat ride from al Mina across to the seaward side of Lulu Island. Considering it was so close to downtown Abu Dhabi, the island was unexpectedly pleasant with a breeze off the ocean keeping things considerably cooler than the asphalted car parking area of the port had been.

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We were met on the island by Aarfabithore and Di!do, who’d put their camping gear on the boat but then came across on their jetski. As the hare set the run (picking a route based on his varying levels of nausea at the time, making it the shortest run in Sandpit history) others set up camp and took turns on the jetski or being towed on the inflatable ring strung behind it.

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Basing the start of the run based on a combination of hangover recovery, length of trail and sunset timing, we opted for kick off at 6.30pm.

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It was agreed that this was a proper recovery run and any running would be punished. Although that seemed like a highly hypothetical consideration since just getting people beyond a prone position on the beach was going to be a bigger hurdle than dissuading athleticism.

The timing was impeccable. We ran immediately into island security, which is there to prevent people going further than the beach but is also rarely seen. So we made a tactical withdrawal back to the beach then headed back inland once they were gone.

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Who needs to go to Liwa? We didn’t need to because Liwa had come to us.

When Lulu Island was created just over 20 years ago, they imported sand from the Empty Quarter to create dunes. This had created some interesting topomorphic features and when the trail ventured through a saddle between two of these dunes was quickly dubbed, depending on your orientation, the cleavage or the ass crack.

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We’ll leave that metaphor there because we then ascended the, er, protuberance and were rewarded with a fine view back over towards the Corniche and downtown Abu Dhabi.

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Then it was back down into some date palms then back up again to the beer stop on top of the dune, with views out over the Gulf where the sun disappeared into the haze and back to Abu Dhabi. It was a fine spot, in which we lingered until it was almost fully dark.

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Back on the beach, we had the briefest of circles. But not before some of our number succumbed to the travails of the previous evening.

Last To Come enjoyed a moment of domination.

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Then we hosted a brief but amusing circle, capably RAed by Aarfabit, in which miscreants were cited and punished for sins both real and imagined.

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Then it was time to settle into the usual Sandpit evening events, which included W@nker the B@nker’s fine guitar skills.

This was unfortunately matched with singing by most of the rest of us which was of a quality more consistent with cats being tortured than anything deliberately melodic.

I have a video of this singing and for a small consideration – sent to extortion@sandpithash.org – I’ll destroy the file.

Considering the previous evening’s shenanigans, we lasted past midnight, where five of us took part in the fine tradition of the midnight nudie run.

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During the night the steady breeze picked up into something more serious.

It was certainly more serious for Snow White’s gazebo, which went from sheltering Sandpitters during the day to becoming a spinnaker sometime around 3am.

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More concerning was seeing the waves breaching the breakwater just offshore. The breakwater must be about 3m above water level so this was not looking very hopeful for the boat ride back.

The first boat was supposed to arrive at 8am but for nearly an hour, there was no sign.

So, from wrecked to shipwrecked. We began to wonder if we’d ever be able to get off the island, then began wondering how much food we had left and that in turn led to a consideration of which of us we’d have to eat first, like the South American rugby team trapped in the Andes.

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As we were contemplating this, two boats arrived and there was a rush to up sticks and head back to town, where hot showers and beds were waiting.

There was only a brief section where we were facing the wrath of the Gulf but that was plenty long enough as the noukhadas carefully nursed us through 3m swells and back into the calmer waters, during which some of our hashers spent the entire time with their eyes closed tightly shut.

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And then it was time to recover. I think Vanessa’s description summed up the weekend.

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We should be back on form before the season-ended Sandpit Hash.

Sandpit#15. Friday June 14.

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It’s now too hot to camp but not too hot for a final Sandpit extravaganza which, like last year, will be a canyoning trip through Hatta Pools, followed by an evening of shenanigans at the Hatta Fort Hotel. We’re booked the two huge villas with plenty of floor space to crash and have arranged a special rate for those who want their own rooms.

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