Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hash, Jazz and Fautasi races

Scoop Oars, HASH and Jazz

The second race, this time with scoop blade oars. Also this week was my second Hash run/scrub bash with Apia HHH.(Drinker’s with a running problem.)
Apia Hash House Harriers -

On my first run we had about 25 locals and 20 5th year Medical Students from all over the UK. I got to chat with doctors from Scotland to London, it made my first run an enjoyable one. One thing about Samoa there is always plenty of food and we were able to feed the interlopers, but the keg ran dry by about 8.00pm. The first run was in the suburbs, but the tarmac soon gave way to rocky creek beds, village backyards with pigs and dogs, a fence line next to a golf course, another creek-bed and finally back for a cool coconut juice and Vailima beer. One thing I learnt on this night, never admit to new running shoes, you will regret it if you do.
This week’s run was a different story, along the top of the mountain above Apia. I caught a taxi, but it was defeated by the steep climb and I was passed to a second taxi to complete the mountain trek to the Church of the Three Hearts near the top. The run was along roads, through villages and scrub bashing along trails, only patches of a beautiful view of Apia, unfortunately it was obscured by rain and mist (it keeps you cool). I was wearing my new Hash tee shirt(BRIGHT RED), I though they could identify me if anything ever goes badly amiss, I also carry 20 tala for a taxi home if I really get separated from the pack in the backblocks. We finally made it back for a BYO tucker ( First run of the month), mandatory cool coconuts to drink (I opened my first nut with a very large bowie knife, they are young nuts and have a clear refreshing nectar) and then the keg. The BBQ was finally going after the gas bottle was sorted out and after many down downs of glass mugs we enjoyed the feast, the keg gave out about 8.30 and I got a lift home. Funny thing is, I have never drunk that much beer, most of it was as a BBQ accessory but what the heck, the Vailima stuff has won some awards and you must support the local industry. At least I am getting to know the layout of Apia and up close and personal with some of the locals as we run/walk/stagger through their taro patch.
Tuesday evening was the Teuila Jazz Night at the Hotel Kitano, we had tickets for the show only, (20 tala) and ate in the pool restaurant, love the seafood here, fish and chips for 22 tala. YUM The jazz ensemble was from NZ and they were very good, a thoroughly enjoyable evening and as they said it wasn’t "Country", which is the usual fare here. I was deeply impressed by a rendition of Roberta Flack’s “Killing me softly with his song.”

Scoop oars
I planned to get there an hour early but the race was 90 minutes early, such is life in the Pacific, there is always next year. I did get some pics, the Digicel boat(Green/yellow) had won again. Some pics show the crew change over( a scratch crew took it to the boat ramp), and then the winning crew boarded trucks for victory laps of Apia festooned with their sponsors logo, Digicel (Digital phones). The woman cox/captain was Zita Martel and the boats are called fautasi. Her crew comes from a local Technical College and the race is over about 5 kilometers so it is no sprint event.
Having fun in Samoa

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