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MINH DAM SECRET ZONE - "Combination trail"
Another lovely day in paradise - the weather was just right for Hashing in the Minh Dam Secret Zone! Our happy crew disembarked for a Chalk Talk by co-Hare Basil, a group photo, and then "On On" along the bush track towards the mountain top and its shrines at the lookout rock.
Camel Bone led the way, followed by Tiny Tim and Space Cadet, with KFC snapping away happily as duty Hash Flash.
After two days without rain(!), the former trail in the same area marked by Rowdy Water and Ice Water was clear to all - but we weren't going that way today!
On and on (and up and up) we went, over mostly dirt track occasionally covered by undergrowth, and a few rocks sprinkled here and there for goodwill! Surprisingly, Camel Bone, Ice Water and Strawberry were last to arrive at the mountain top - some confusion along the way, perhaps - or was it because they returned to the bus and then started again? Some indecision by others, also - but everyone eventually made it to the top! And Hash is not a competition, of course, so no-one's vying for "first past the post" (in fact, FRBs are often candidates for some Circle punishment, especially if any short cuts were involved!).
Lots of happy snaps and selfies on the lookout rock, and then it was back to the car park (but downhill this time!).
Basil introduced the Hash virgins to their fellow Hashers and then the Circle was called.
Camel Bone volunteered for duty Ring Master and accordingly welcomed three Hash virgins to the fold. Plenty of Vietnamese Hashers today, so no problem interpreting the proceedings for one Virgin who doesn't yet speak English, but nevertheless enjoyed the day very much!
Tiny Tim rated the trail just 3/10 because it was fairly short, but Camel Bone exercised his casting vote and added 2 points to make it a more reasonable 5/10! Co-Hare Basil once again did the honours on behalf of the Hare team, with SamSon once again absent on work detail!
New Hash monickers were bestowed on Jessica: Strawberry(!), then Mark and son Tony were indelibly and forevermore Hash-named Tiger and Oggy respectively. (What, you don't know "Oggy and the cockroaches"? Shame on you!)
After the "new shoes" sinners, we had a special mention for returnee Stubble - who stayed on trail the whole day, unlike last time when he managed to emerge 2 kilometres further up the road after reassuring everyone that "he knew the area"!
Mother Teresa and Superteen asked a sponsorship question without notice. The answer is, "San Miguel sponsor VTH3 because they know we're supportive, and we enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with more than 1,000 hits on our website every week helping to publicise their brand to our global audience"!
Ice Water was again thanked by the Circle for providing her delicious snacks, and thanks also to Mother Teresa and friends for sharing their "national dish" of salted pork and Russian bread.
With darkness closing in, we took the Minh Dam Base caretaker's advice to head down the mountain while we could still see the road - which was an excellent prelude to the international song festival that followed. KFC led the way with another(!) rendition of his favourite anthem "Ho Chi Minh", supported by Aussie, Russian and Japanese songs from Camel Bone, Mother Teresa, Superteen, Stubble, Space Cadet, Tiny Tim and Basil respectively! Multicultural? You betcha!
STOP PRESS: Hares SamSon and KFC have set what they call "The Lost Trail" on Long Son Island for this Sunday. "Lost trail" because they got lost when setting it!!!
We'll meet on Sunday, as always, in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - see you there!
Hares: SamSon, Basil
Hash Flash: KFC and friends. GPS: SamSon
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