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20 September 2015
BIG MOUNTAIN - "Waterfall" trail; 700 runs after-party; "Bon Voyage" Anti & Uncle
Hares: Uncle, Faulty Brakes
Hash Flash: Uncle. Additional photos: Rita, Titanic
Foodies: Nearly everyone!
Report: Uncle, Basil
The skies were bright and sunny as a near-record 49 Hashers left Sao Bien 4 and crossed Tran Phu heading for Hem 89 residential steps to Vi Ba - most having already deposited their food (and drink!) contributions at "Anti's Kitchen" in preparation for celebrating our 700th run.
The Chalk Talk was held just past the pagoda on the left, then it was "on up" the side of Big Mountain on a track that's familiar to many of the more experienced Hashers. We finally reached the "plateau crossroads" a little leg-weary but unbowed, and turned sharp left to go around the mountainside, in search of the elusive waterfall. Alas, there were some spectacular views over Small Mountain and Vung Tau Front Beach, but the lack of rain foiled us once again with the waterfall - we'll need to do this trail much earlier in the rainy season in future!
We emerged near the top of Vi Ba and turned left to head down to the "water stop" at the coffee shop outside the Army camp (well most of us did, but we discovered later that one new Hasher had mistakenly followed some exercising locals to the top of the road before realising his error!).
Many "nuoc mia's" later, we headed off down the road and then over the side and through the White House (tourist attraction) before crossing Tran Phu back into Sao Bien 4 - where lots of ice-cold drinks awaited!
Ringmaster SamSon called the Circle and forgot about rating the trail in all the excitement (let's assume it would have been a 9 or 10, with possible demerits for absence of a waterfall!). Instead, we welcomed what must be a record number of Hash Virgins: Ross, Ella, Duong, Denis, Willis, Ivan, Nelly, Valentina and Marcia. An equally impressive number of returnees were also welcomed back: Dracula, Catwoman, Peach Melba, Superteen, Space Cadet, Michael, Dolly and Kojak.
The Circle then acknowledged some of the volunteers who have given so much of their time to keep the Hash "ticking over" since Faulty Brakes, Uncle and Anti re-started it four and a half years ago. Not all were present at run 700, of course, but their contributions were still recognised by the Circle.
Then SamSon explained that Uncle and Anti are heading back to Australia this week and "handing over the Mismanagement reins" to Basil and his team (who are still looking for more volunteers). FB presented Anti with a lovely bouquet of flowers, and they were both given a large framed "team photo" and signed album of Hash photos to help the reminiscing (although Uncle confided later that they hope to return next year and start enjoying the Hash on a "pay your money and run" basis, rather than being so heavily involved with mismanagement).
And then it was time for eating, drinking and making merry with the party games courtesy of the "fun & games sub-committee" and helpers, including Blackhawk, Peach Melba and Rita ("supergran") - which continued until well after dark, interrupted only briefly for the lighting of candles on the magnificent "700 runs" cake (see photo gallery) and cutting of same.
Everyone had such an enjoyable time that more "mundane" questions like 'who's going to set next week's trail?' were completely overlooked - but details will appear as always in the NEXT RUN box on this website (home page) when known.
Regardless of trail location, we'll meet next Sunday, as usual, at Sao Bien 4 restaurant: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - in any weather!