One of the major annual traditions in the Bucharest Hash House Harriers is the Spooky Transylvania Vampire Run that is held every Halloween. We’ve had the pleasure of attending this event for the past two years and we have had an unforgettable time each time. We specifically traveled back to Romania just to attend this run. Many hashers from around the world come in for this weekend trip because they know just how much outright debauchery will occur. I mean, what good is an away hash if there isn’t a lot of lasting hash memories made?
This year the run was in the small village of Magura, Romania. The village is located about 6k from the “Dracula Castle” in Bran and sits nestled up in the cracks and crevasses of the Carpathian Mountain range. The road to reach the village is gravel and dirt and is extremely treacherous, especially during the night. It’s a bit of a drive to get there but once you arrive, the fun begins.
We arrived on Friday night and had a wonderful dinner prepared for us by the guesthouse. We promptly preceded to begin the endless drinking that the weekend entails. Some hashers who arrived a bit earlier on Friday went down to the village bar, which is nothing more than a simple corrugated metal shed that looks like it will collapse at any moment, especially with nearly 30 rowdy hashers inside. What the bar lacks in ambiance and structural soundness, they make up for with unbeatable prices. Cheap beer and good conversation made for a great night.
Return of the “Killer Trails”
Saturday morning we woke up and it was freezing outside! As we left the warmth of the guesthouse, we all anxiously awaited the hare briefing. The hasher that sets the trail typically gives brief instructions. Following tradition, Good-n-Tite, a crazy 71-year-old hasher from Germany, always sets our Halloween run. His trail the previous year left us all a bit leery of the daunting task that we knew lay before us. Normal hash symbols like “BN” and “BS” were listed, but then he wrote out a “BC”. We were all wondering what it could mean… “BE CAREFUL!!” he said in his thick German accent. He then proclaimed “This year would be the return of the killer trails!”. A healthy dose of fear ran through most of our minds. If Good-n-Tite says BE CAREFUL, he means it. We were also told that there would be a van available to take people back who were not ready for the “serious trail” after the beer stop. At this point, we knew it would be a ballbreaker for sure.
The first portion of the trail was incredible. After about 2k we made our way down a block of steep ice-covered trail (the “BC” area) into a valley. Once down, it was fairly easy walking through a canyon, flanked by high sheer cliffs. I was blown away around every turn at the stunning natural beauty that surrounded us. At the 4k marker, we were all good and warmed up, despite the near-freezing temperatures outside. About 1k later we reached the beer stop. At the beer stop, people started to get really cold since we weren’t moving. We quickly pounded our beers and decided to continue on. Good-n-Tite mentioned that the continuing trail was twice the distance of we had already completed. The majority of the group decided to continue on.
The second half of the trail was definitely the hardest hike I have ever done, but it was by far the most beautiful. At this point, no one was running at all. It started with an upward climb through a riverbed that was strenuous and difficult. At one point we were nearly scaling a waterfall that was covered with a thin sheet of ice. After finally climbing out of the riverbed, we reached another section of trail that trailed through extremely thick dense forest. I was struggling in the forest as to be we still march uphill, but had the motivation to make it to the “hash halt” at the meadow clearing on the summit. When I reached the clearing I felt so accomplished and rejuvenated.
After the remaining stragglers in the rear joined us at the meadow, we began our descent down. We eventually came across a beautiful section of forest that was covered in frost ice. I had never seen anything like it! The fall colored leaves peeking out from the white covered grasses and trees were breathtaking. I was very sad that I didn’t have my DSLR camera with me, but knew I could never have carried it with me along the hike. The few pictures that I have are from various iPhones and they are AMAZING! But nothing beats actually seeing it and walking through it with close friends.
When we made it back to the guesthouse, everyone was extremely hungry. Our 16k trek had taken every last bit of energy that we had. We decided to break the hash tradition and eat lunch prior to conducting our circle. This was such a good choice, minus the fact that once we all had a bit of food and liquor in our stomachs going back outside into the cold was much harder. Our circle concluded and the majority of us decided to take a nice nap before the costume party later that night.
Hash Costume Party!
The costume party was lots of fun as usual. There were all types of fabulous costumes. My personal favorite was done by Heavy Petter and her boyfriend Fag-in-the-Ass! He was a bunny on a leash and she was his dominatrix! Brilliant! Another close second was Shitty Pants who was Chuckie. The night was full of drinking and wonderful food.
The next morning we had our hangover run. This was a little bit longer then last year’s run, but it was actually nice to get out and stretch our muscles from the day before. After more beer and another circle, we headed back to Bucharest. It was a great weekend. One that I will never forget.