Di-ON: The San Jose Way
In 1968, at the age of 28 years, a Marie Dionne Warrick (aka Dionne Warwick) released a record explaining the difficulties of getting to San Jose. Fifty years later our intrepid hares proved that modern technology and Half Minds offered little extra when navigating around the said town…
By midday on the Saturday those of us staying in hotels were gathered at the excellent Hotel Alataya, ready to eat & drink. Noting Paramedic still had to rely upon her walking stick; Over DaFence talked us into going to a restaurant over the far side of the bay. It was not the furthest eating establishment but I was starting to feel glad I had my passport. Once we all were gathered around a long table, the menu del dia and the lively company made the long walk almost worthwhile and set the mood for the rest of the weekend! Our waiter was particularly taken by No Cents’ T-shirt, which identified a place in mid-Spain he had been in – some prison or suchlike I think.
Arranging to meet later that day for an elongated sundowners session, we said farewell to Over Da Fence & Vlad as they set off to lay the next day’s trail. They were back 3 hours later looking smug, with veiled references to swimming (at which point a number of hashers were noted queuing for lard to use on their bodies)….. We then adjourned to (yet another) restaurant that Over DaFence knew was showing the footy.. The girls situated themselves on the terrace, watched over by 2 guard dogs and a minder called No Cents, whilst the rest of us sat around an upturned barrel and donated huge sums to the bar’s owner!
So, after a few tapa, we gathered back in the hotel’s garden, where WAG & Over DaFence ; Queenfisher & Kingfisher ; Ar*eOggler & Vlad; Paramedic & NoCents; Ma Bates & Norman Bates; and Puff all placed gifts to the alcoholic gods on a table that groaned. I can vouch for the gin and the beer, but there was also cava and wine. Far too early the next morning, we awoke, and there was a distinct roaring noise in our ears. In case you were wondering, this turned out to be thunder! By the time Queenfisher & I set an example by going for breakfast there was torrential rain!! We sat looking at the breakfast, not yet capable of actually eating it, whilst the café’s lights came on, tripped, came on, etc.
At the Café Vittoria we were joined by Two Hats & Prickly T*ts (who had driven from Lubrin that morning through the storm) and Ma Bates & Norman Bates, plus dogs, who were parked up on a dogging site apparently on the edge of town. (See Norman Bates for directions and Ma Bates for photos…) In true manana style those gathered for the Hash were eventually prised away from the coffee and toilets at way past the start time, and then herded northwards to the now familiar waste ground/car park/dogging site. There Vlad took possession of various bags from those proposing to swim, and Over DaFence went into a long explanation of why there were now no hash marks. However, he had a cunning plan! He announced he would run to a suitable point and then call ‘Di-ON!’ (in honour of Dionne Warwick) and the pack would then have to guess which word from ‘Do you know the way to…(San Jose)’ was that check’s key word.
No Cents, Ma Bates, & Norman Bates set off with the real hash hounds on the walk, led by Ar*eOggler; whilst Vlad slipped comfortably into something nice and smooth – his Merc! Paramedic claimed she was unable to do the walk and instead walked 5 kilometres to the open air market and proceeded to chat-up any loose men she could find… Two Hats, Prickly T*ts, Queenfisher, Puff, WAG, and myself set off with Over DaFence towards the first check. As we progressed through the town it was becoming apparent that the correct ‘key word’ at each check was always the last one we guessed… If that display of megalomania was not enough, the hare arbitrarily announced that there would be sudden stops where he would refuse to move until the hounds sang ‘Do You Know The Way To San Jose’ in increasingly demanding circumstances!
As passers-by and householders looked on, the pack issued word after word, to petulant responses of ‘No!’, or sang increasingly wearily, the onlookers hid their children from view and shut windows sharply. Luckily, after 49 checks or so, we were on the edge of town and the only spectators were a lycra of bikers who were obviously already mad themselves! So we followed them on goat-tracks up towards the same windmill and onto the same bay as last year. There, much to the pack’s surprise (and the hare’s relief) Vlad strolled into view, complete with backpacks and a rather fetching, large black handbag that he preceded to model. This (all too convincing) sight was too much for Puff and myself who flung off our running gear and threw ourselves into the sea! A beer finally enticed us out of what was a chilly bit of water.
Once Prickly T*ts & Queenfisher had anointed a couple of bushes, we set off again (leaving the Bag Man to return to his Merc once more) and, after wandering through the Agave Americana plantation, we found ourselves heading back into town. Luckily it was mostly downhill by now as some hashers were feeling the effects from the late night…
Safely back in the hotel’s garden we dodged the latest wash-down by the gardener and set up the Beermaster’s wares. Eventually the walkers strolled in from their prolonged coffee break and Paramedic joined us too when she was released for soliciting. So the Hash Circle could begin! There seemed to be a few Down-downs in what was now a hot and steamy day, but all I can remember is the two who watered the campo, and those who got the quiz question right (a sign showing a red snail and black snail racing cars along the track).
We then adjourned to a (nearby) bar recommended by Paramedic, where the waitress managed to remember everyone’s complicated order and still smile at Puff’s empty bag trick! Eventually we bade farewell to Two Hats & Prickly T*ts, and then also Paramedic & No Cents, as they set off for home. The rest of us gathered back in the same spot at the hotel, again braving the elements as the hotel gardener once again watered the tiles. Indian food had been ordered, the cool bags replenished with ice, and the drink remnants were there for the drinking. At some point we toasted the much-loved and much-missed hash hound Holly, and then proceeded to feed Milly more snacks than we probably should have…
The food arrived on time and was eagerly devoured as sunset loomed. In the subsequent post-Hash and post-curry period, two bottle of gin and two of cava were finished, more wine, and umpteen cans of beer were consumed, plus a hell of a lot of b*llocks was said! As the participants snuck away one-by-one in the gloom (as we could not find the outside light switch) it was finally just Over DaFence, Puff, WAG and myself left defending the IH3 honour. Given that three of the four had served time in Jeddah, talk turned to life in the Magic Kingdom; and Puff appeared to be listening in such rapture, although I reckon he was remembering the more appreciative audience to his magic tricks the previous night. Eventually the light, or lack of it, meant giving up the yarns and Puff’s wistful dreaming!
The next morning, we rounded off an excellent weekend away with breakfast together, placed our bags, remaining booze and inflatable dolls back in our cars. For now the way to San Jose had been rediscovered, and it had been great fun!