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SMALL MOUNTAIN - "Combo trail"
The weather was looking a bit warm for anyone without a hat (Ice Water?), but once we'd crossed the Front Beach area and gone behind Mr Ket then up the pagoda steps opposite house 2/2, there was plenty of shade from the trees. Basil warned everyone about the slippery downward slope to "dismount" off the mountain, and urged adults to help the younger "ankle biters" to ensure everyone gets down safely (which they did, albeit with rather dusty trousers!).
Terminator headed off in front, as usual, but was fortunately steered in the right direction before he could blaze a new, different trail!
It was a case of "Quiet please" as we went through the pagoda because they were in prayer. Then it was up the hillside behind the pagoda and right turn down the dirt track and through the big, very popular shrine which straddles the track. Picnicking students had a bonus English lesson by practising as the Hashers passed by: "Hello, what's your name?" replaced "On On" for a while! There are lovely views of Vung Tau Bay and the ferry terminal from the shrine - and lots of photos were taken.
Then it was "On On" along the track until it meets the sealed road but, instead of making a righthand U turn to descend, we continued on until we reached the "tipping point" to go over the side and down the "slippery slope" mentioned earlier.
There was only one "official" trail off the mountain - and it was well marked with the familiar red eco-tape. But several Hashers found their own way down the last bit, including some who went through a new resort and took the opportunity to remove some of the mountain dirt from their hands in the water tube - despite the loud attention of local dogs!
Then it was a fairly long hike around Halong to the twin goldfish in the park - interrupted by Viking coming the other way "because he needed some exercise", and some of the young ones emptying Basil's water bottle to slake their well-earned thirst!
Ronald Reagan had finished up front and taxi'd the eskies from Offshore Bar 1 - which pleased the younger set, who enjoyed the refreshing orange juice while the "oldies" quaffed gold and silver San Migs to wash down the delicious snacks provided by Ice Water, Mother Teresa, Mountain Goat and Basil's grandmother.
Duty Ringmaster Ronald Reagan called the Circle and nominated Superteen to rate the trail. She gave 9/10 because the trail was "good, but short" - which indicates how far she's advanced her Hashing prowess in the past three years because "too short" was never a complaint "back in the day", as RR pointed out!
Hash Virgins Ms Thuy, Nhat, Minh, Huy and Quan were welcomed (friends of Ms Van Anh); then returnees The Gardener and Ms Banana. Ms Banana was then called out again for not wearing yellow, because RR had made a new and interesting rule that you must wear something to match your name!
The "caterers" were thanked once again, and volunteers were called for next Sunday's trail. Basil and Mountain Goat raised their hands, with Basil getting the nod to set a trail somewhere in Ba Ria with SamSon, and Mountain Goat will set a local trail the following week.
STOP PRESS (Wednesday): Basil and SamSon teamed up with The Gardener and Ms Banana to set a trail to the wartime "dust-off" helipad on Nui Dinh (5 km west of Ba Ria). Strange things happen in the jungle sometimes, and Wednesday was no exception! More detail will be disclosed in the run report, but suffice to say they've laid a brand-new trail that looks challenging and exciting - the GPS track will be circulated by email!
To take part in what sounds like it's going to be a memorable run/walk, we'll meet on Sunday as usual in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Hares: Basil, Uncle
Hash Flash: Flying Finn, Kojak, Mr Son