Interhash ‘96 Cyprus

The trash, the whole trash and nothing but the trash
Cyprus, birth place of Venus, battle ground of gods and hosts of Interhash 1996. This being the first Interhash held outside the far-east/pacific regions made it a ‘must’ for most UK hashers. In total of the 739 UK hashers, 87 were from the South West, and thirty of us left from Exeter Airport on the previous Sunday to experience first hand what all the fuss was about. Boarding an Airbus A320, you know, the ones that are always crashing, and catching fire, we took off at 9:15 to arrive at Larnaca Airport 4½ hour later, or 3:15 in the morning, local time. Lucky me got to sit next to Haddock for the whole trip, which was more entertaining than any in-flight movie. After comparing the likeness of Aphrodite on the Cypriot £1 to Squamus we sampled some of the Cypriot food, wines and beers available at ridiculously low prices. We did not witness the rebirth of Aphrodite, nor the Crusaders running riot nor the blood and tears of Othello and Desdemona (you see I do know a little bit of culture), however we did have a very enjoyable time. I was fortunate to hire a Proton car for four days, with a fifth day free, that’s if the car survived the rigors of driving in Cyprus in the first hour! Map in hand I now set off to explore. Discarding my hash t shirts so that I might move more freely over the island I took in the local attractions. There were ruins, some mosques, mosaics, some more ruins, mosquitoes, beaches, more ruins, lizards, and pubs, oh did I mention the ruins? There were quite a few of them! Seriously though I visited the Stadium of Apollo at Curium where I followed in the footsteps of hashers of old by running the length of the track, pity about the lack of a beer stop halfway along. Registration opened on the Wednesday at the Mediterranean Beech Hotel where we picked up our goody bags and got bombarded by various hashes selling their runs. Looe and Liskeard, Truro, Plympton and Kirton retired to Theo’s restaurant on the strip where we met Maiden/Little Foot and her significant other (who I didn’t quite catch the name of) from Australia, this pleased Winging Pom who now had someone to winge to. On the Thursday I went up to the Troödos mountains where I bumped into 300 hashers on the Jakarta mountain trail. Despite hashing in a warm dry climate Haddock and one or two others had managed to get covered in shig from the only puddle on the trail. Though not running I was made to feel very welcome, in fact some could say too welcome as I was nominated for a down down, but then again I do not recall anyone, runners or not, escaping the RA’s attention. Friday morning I drove up to Nicosia where the drivers have surpassed the lunatic stage and actually gone one step further, “virtual” insanity! Well what do you expect in a city where the ring road is cut in half by a whopping great fence that someone carelessly left in the way? Meanwhile Haddock, Chopper and Nick’O went on the “Bangkok Thinking Drinking Run” at Curium beach. This visited the Curium ruins and amphitheatre, where as I experienced earlier in the week, the acoustics must have driven the “on-on” calls for miles. Interhash officially opened at 6pm that evening at the municipal gardens, and of course yours truly was there amongst the first twenty or so, racing for the beer! The opening ceremony consisted of native dancing, a band and loads of beer which got everyone off on the right note. For the run on Saturday I opted for the Aphrodite trail which also proved to be the most popular, conjuring up images of scantily clad Grecian women, or perhaps it was for the beach at the end, you decide. After waiting for half an hour in the back of a very hot bus with no air conditioning we had perspired of all the liquid taken on board in preparation and were in dire need of refreshments. Thanks Cardiff H3 for sharing your water on the bus! The medium run promised to be 1 hour and fifteen minutes long which attracted such people as Haddock, Nick’O, Sheepshagger and Magnum, whilst us remaining hashers, built

of less sterner stuff, decided to go on the shorter 45 minute trail. This, in the heat, turned out to be a sensible decision as most of us from the UK managed to stretch the 45 minutes to well over the hour anyway. There were refreshments before, four times during, and after the run. Those doing the short trail managed to have quarterhour extra refreshment time before starting off. The trail was three dots on, laid in coloured shredded paper and had five checks on the short, which when you consider there were four hundred plus runners, was just right. It was a very enjoyable and scenic run, although it was very tiring. After the run the hares gave up on the idea of holding a circle when everybody piled off down to the beech. That evening the entertainment mainly consisted of the Hash Cabaret, and as usual at such events there were some very good and well thought up acts. The best act, in my humble opinion, were however Yorkshire H3 (any cries of bias on the part of the scribe who spent four years hashing in Yorkshire will be hotly denied, now Burglar Bill, where’s my pint of Tetley?) who did their rendition of “Ilkley Moor B’ar Tat” with their new lyrics that you wouldn’t exactly let your grandmother hear. Other greats included Cheltenham and Cotswold (stripping I think), Oslo (more stripping) and Desert H3 who did “Saddam, Saddam who the **** is Saddam?”. I was getting rather tired of seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show being performed at every hash cabaret I’ve attended, although I must say that the one put on at Interhash is probably the best I’ve seen done. Most of the Deb’m and Kerno hashers went on the Hera run at Larnaca on the Sunday, as they didn’t really want to miss their flight home to Exeter. From what I heard at the airport though they had a very good run, some commented that it had been particularly scenic, perhaps among the best that week. I was very glad however that they had gotten the chance to change their clothing first, it being very difficult to open the window on the airplane! The flight home during daylight was particularly interesting for sighting the Black Sea, Lake Geneva and the Isle of Dogs as we flew in over London. On reflection was it any good? The answer to this is a resounding yes, it was very well organised and ran smoothly. Next time however we will plan things better so we don’t miss the down-down competition. Problems for Pottsie Come hither and take heed from the tale of Pottsie, who on arriving at Bristol Airport expecting to be whisked away to the sunshine isle of Cyprus, instead found himself sitting in the departure lounge with a large group of sheep whilst his plane was delayed for nine hours. Other hashers who might feel slightly envious of Pottsies position take note for these were no ordinary sheep but Sheepshagger’s ‘Mountin’ Sheep’ Hash from Cardiff. What bliss then when said plane duly arrived, but wait, where was the baggage containing his favourite luminescent wig and hash horn? Unfortunetly Pottsie recovered his suitcase before customs officials could carry out a controlled explosion and shower everyone with little pieces of kilt. Further disappointment was felt by all when airline officials would not allow Pottsie to take his hash horn into the cabin and entertain the passengers en route with his now famous rendition of “swing low, sweet chariot” (actually I’m not altogether sure just what Pottsie does play on his horn, it sounding rather like a castrated cat on hot coals, but this is as good a guess as any). On arriving in Cyprus residents of the Eden Vale apartments were shocked to learn that Pottsies hotel had been double booked, and even more shocked when an icy horn blast told them who their new neighbour was. Here ends the pitiful tale of Pottsies travels, well we can but hope. Incidentally, Limassol Vice Squad are investigating claims of a lewd conduct being performed on the premises after an advert was spotted on the Interhash notice board offering free horn blowing instruction to harriettes. This report has been penned by the hand of Silent.

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