I pulled into the Flower Pot car park with plenty of time to spare but was no sign of the men or Lu be loo. Gerry was there however and told me he had just returned from an open air opera in Germany. From his description I think it was a singing in the rain! Meanwhile Hashers were gathering. Critical mass occurred at 7:50 and Mick called us to order. He told us that a farmer had removed a bridge causing him to re organise the route at the last minute, but I for one hadn't a clue what he was talking about.
We soon set off at a brisk pace across the fields down towards the Thames arriving at the river and Hambleden lock where we crossed the weir. When the Thames is in flood it can be exhilarating but today the flow was quite sedate, no deeper than a goose's ankle.
We crossed the main Marlow road moving towards Hambleden but my heart sank as we hung a right and the hill towards Rotten row loomed ahead. Marlow half marathon runners will know the hill well and its quite a killer at about 6 miles into the run, never the less up the hill we went stopping half way up for the F.R.B's to check the route.
On right was called into the fields and I was thinking we had avoided climbing any higher when the footpath turned left back up to the hill top. With the summit achieved we were now moving due east and I started to wonder just where we were going to get back across the river.
I should have listened closer to Mick's briefing, what was it he said about the farmer removing the bridge? As far as I knew the next crossing in this direction was Marlow but Gerry said there was a crossing at Hurley. I've since checked this out and there is a crossing at there at Temple lock but wasn't this much too far east for us to use?
Meanwhile we had descended through the woods back down Marlow road where the Hash was in a quandary over which way to go. Surely the Hare would put us right? But no. Mick was no longer with us having made a cunning tactical move, giving priority to his position as chief of Jones's Joggers over that of Hash Hare. He had gone short!
Flour was eventually found and we ran onto the fields that are part of the flood plain by Westfield Farm. We were now running towards Mill End and the penny finally dropped that our return river crossing would be the reverse of our outward trip over Hambleden weir!
As we reached Mill End there was much cheering and shouting as Graham joined us from the back of the Hash. Having missed the start by fifteen minutes after a fast trip from Bristol, quite what he was doing in Bristol on a Tuesday afternoon I never did discover.