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BIG MOUNTAIN - Tran Phu to Tran Phu: over the top!
Hash Flash: Cousin. Additional photos: Radio Wave
The cloudy sky looked good for Hashing as we gathered at Hon Ru Ri and awaited the taxi fleet to drop off the eskies and blue bin at Haven/Lucy's bar on the way to our start point at 360 Tran Phu steps.
A chalk talk at the bottom of the steps and then it was "On On" up 184 steps to Hem 444 and the former French artillery battery.
Back on Hem 444 after "inspecting" the guns, we passed the "underground torpedo" sign and continued on up the mountain past two small villages (including one false trail to a small shrine on the side of the mountain). The second village's resident goose was a bit scary, but his sqwark was fortunately worse than his bite - and ditto for the ubiquitous guard dogs who make lots of noise because that's their job!
Lots of scenery on both sides as we traversed the ridge: shipyards on the left, Vung Tau Bay on the right - excellent photo material!
We finally spotted the red tape markers leading off the beaten track and uphill to some shrines - which marked the top of the infamous '600 steps' down to a pagoda on Tran Phu.
Right turn on the main road, then just a few hundred metres to our unusually upmarket destination: The Haven/Lucy's Bar & Grill - which was already hosting a 'gaggle' of Vietnam Vets (early starters for the 50th anniversary Long Tan Day on 18 August).
Plenty of time for snacking (spam baguettes courtesy Anti & Uncle), drinking and socialising as we waited for the backmarkers, then we followed the junior Hashers down to the beach for the team photo and Circle.
Ringmaster Basil nominated Lady D to evaluate Uncle's trail and she noted the tourist attractions, excellent scenery and overall distance travelled (>7 km, mostly uphill), before awarding full marks: 10/10!
Hash Virgins Ms Nga, Ugo and Ben were welcomed into the fold, as well as visitors "Joystick" (Bullsbrook H3, Perth, WA) and "Bag of Tatties" (aka "Sex and Tatties") - who wasn't really a visitor at all; as a former VTH3 Grand Master, he was a very welcome returnee!
Uncle tried to charge Viking with missing the steps to the artillery battery, but he'd already left for a business appointment so Lady D "turned the tables" and charged Uncle with something or other - not important really, because they both ended up drinking from the new Sinners Cups! (courtesy Radio Wave).
"Tatties" was then invited into the Circle to be properly introduced as a former VTH3 GM and give us his verdict on today's VTH3, which he delivered in his rich Scottish brogue - proving once again that Hashing is definitely a cultural experience!
Basil announced a trail on Long Son Island next week, with himself and SamSon as Hares - but please keep an eye on the NEXT RUN box in case of any unforeseen changes during the week!
We'll meet at Hon Ru Ri next Sunday, as usual: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - in any weather!
and the link to Radio Wave's photos: https://yadi.sk/d/IQJKpwVAtpJWM