Big Mountain: "Theme Park"
Easily smashing the Local Run attendance record (except for "special" runs like the 400th and 600th), more than 40 Hashers and Hash Virgins registered at Offshore Bar 1 to cover the full length of Nui Lon ("Big Mountain"). All ages from very young to old and even a touch older(!) participated on this remarkable day.
It was a rather boisterous arrival at 750 Tran Phu for the start of our day's fun. And what better greeting than the many steps at Hem 30/1 to get everyone breathing deeply of Vung Tau's fresh sea air!
Not surprisingly (this is VTH3, after all!), even more steps followed. Then, veering left up a large hillock with super assistance from a local ‘Monk’, we hit the main trail for the day.
Was the hard part already over?... No, of course not!
With chants of ‘On On’ echoing across the mountainside, we all moved forward along a beautiful trail meandering into a double terrace of long grass. Originally some 1.5 meters high, the grass was fortunately beaten down by the FRBs for the accidental benefit of all. By the time the 'back markers' arrived, it resembled a virtual bowling green!
By now, our Hashers were really enjoying the run which had brought them to a most impressive statue of Buddha on top of the mountain. From there it was to be "downhill all the way", after first extricating ourselves from the theme park and back onto Vi Ba road. What could have been "a small run-in with the authorities" was fortunately circumvented thanks to some well-placed and very familiar red eco-tape! "On On" and Down Down we went!
With superb navigation skills, all Hashers arrived at the same Circle location: the two Gold Fish in the park opposite Front Beach, adjacent to Le Loi street.
It had been a long trail, recorded at just under 7 km - at least half of which was straight up the side of a very Big Mountain! So after some two hours of "red tape fever", everyone took a well-earned rest until a ‘Circle ‘ was called despite the rapidly gathering darkness.
And now we faced another record: never before have there been so many brave and strong ‘Hash Virgins’ on a single local run, namely Yana, Maxim, Nastya, Andrew, Stephey, Loan, Yang, Hoa, Sandy, Trang, Thuy, Johny, Scina and Chad. "Welcome indeed to VTH3 Hash", was the message as they 'down downed’ the special nectar of ‘fun and friendship’ courtesy of our generous sponsor San Miguel!
And yet another record on this remarkable day: how could we possibly ignore an award for ‘Best Dressed Hasher’? Hash Virgin Mr Thuy, aka ‘Mark’, stole the show - literally in fine style. A fantastic cameo of ‘Cool’. Unexpected, unintended but definitely not unpunished!
It's always lovely when we have a ‘Hash Naming’, and today it was to be em Thao. Having completed the requisite number of runs to qualify for "rebirthing", she will henceforth be known as ‘Chippy’ due to her superb ability to feed the throng of hungry Hashers with super chips. "On On Chippy"!
Next week's run will be very different - and everyone will receive a map at registration. But first, our congratulations to VTH3 stalwart UXO who superbly assisted today as ‘Hash Flash’. Next week, another ‘volunteer’ will be chosen at random for this important task - and it could be you!
Report by Rowdy Water, photos by UXO. Additional photos by Demin Vladislav.