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14 May 2017
BIG MOUNTAIN: "Lucky" trail and 633 steps
Hares: Uncle, Faulty Brakes
Hash Flash: Uncle. Additional photos: Tommy
It was another partly overcast day as we gathered at Hon Ru Ri for taxis to the Lucy's/Haven start point for today's "Lucky" trail (named by Mountain Shrimp, whose brother showed her the trail).
We left the eskies downstairs at Lucy's/Haven and walked across bãi đậu ("the parking lot") to the Võ Văn Kiệt school start point.
Uncle's chalk talk explained that it was a fairly long mountain trail (5.9 km), but not difficult after the initial short climb. A short-cut was marked by double red-tapes, then straight up the side of the mountain to eventually turn right onto the Hem 444 extension and follow "Ho May Park track" through two hamlets, and then a long'ish hike to the shrine and 633 steps down to Tran Phu. Another right turn, then back along Tran Phu to Lucy's/Haven for refreshments, socialising, and an optional swim.
So "On On" we went, up through the fairly dense vegetation and then enjoying the views of shipyards on one side and Vung Tau Bay on the other as we crossed the ridge between two peaks. We finally reached the prominently-marked turn-off to the shrine and 633 steps, then a knee-trembling descent later, bit of a waterfront hike, and we were at the beach!
Lots of socialising until everyone had safely returned (monitored by walkie talkie), and then we posed on the beach for the team photo before climbing back up the few steps to Lucy's/Haven for the Circle called by duty Ringmaster SamSon.
Nominated trail assessor Terminator liked the new "Lucky" trail and gave 10/10 to hares Uncle and Faulty Brakes. Uncle thanked Mountain Shrimp for showing us most of the trail.
Hash Virgins Bazz, Vadima and Ms Huong were welcomed. Returnee Tommy did a superb job with the tube of shame; then several Sinners were called into the Circle including Bazz (tube of shame - oh dear!), then Terminator and UFO for going the wrong way, Uncle who volunteered that it was his fault (anything for a free beer!), and Anthony. UFO, Uncle and Anthony excelled themselves with the Sinners cups!
Next on the agenda was a naming for Andy. He used to run a bar called The Office, so it was suggested that he be called "Manager". This was quickly re-hashed to become "Secretary", which in turn became "Sec". And so we welcomed "Sec" to VTH3!
Then we learned that the local teenage boy with brain damage (nominated by Hope Solo last week as a Red Dress Run charity recipient) now has his ongoing treatment sponsored by a generous former employer, so we were thanked for our offer of help but it's not required at this stage. We'll evaluate any new nominated charities as we get closer to the end of this year, ie Christmas or Tet.
No volunteers from the Circle to set next week's trail, but we have a couple of options including a local "Double lego" trail and "Seaview to the beach", so keep an eye on the NEXT RUN box.
Uncle later also explained that we can't afford to produce "25 years/800 runs" t-shirts the same design standard or fabric quality as our superb "700 runs" shirts (thanks to generous sponsorship from Mr T and Shirts North), so he'll be shopping around in Saigon this week to see what he can find (thanks to those who have already supplied leads and/or designs - they'll all be followed up).
We'll meet again on Sunday, as always, at Hon Ru Ri: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.