SEPTEMBER 25 2022
NUI DINH - TEMPLE TOWN
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Rain Stopped Play
Report: Chom Chom
Run 1027 took us on an away trail to Nui Dinh. As usual, Hashers started arriving at our new home, Nang Vung Tau, to register and pay their run fees. Our Hash Cash, Mr. T assisted by Reardo, eagerly ticked off the names and gratefully welcomed the growing stash of cash. Meanwhile others were busy helping load up the eskies with beer and soft drinks.
The bus quickly filled up as we neared our 1.30pm departure time so on on it was as we headed away from Vung Tau on our way to Nui Dinh. After an easy, smooth journey we arrived at Tịnh Xá Ngọc Sơn Dinh (Son Dinh Monastery), the start of this week's trail. As a handy fact, in 2015 this was recognized in the “Top 100 typical spiritual tourist destinations in the South”. We all gathered in a group, excited and motivated, as Secs gave his informal but informative overview of the expedition ahead.
Once the magic words of “On On” were heard, off-off we went heading along a paved path through the monastery’s beautiful gardens, passing the famous 20 metre long reclining buddha. We climbed up the steps until we reached our first pagoda where Hashers gathered for various photo opportunities and views. From here we continued up until Mr. T directed us to the right, through a yellow gate. It wasn’t long before the paved path ended as we headed deeper into the forest. A pleasant dry dirt track and a few rocky climbs took us through fragrant leafy trees, pools, streams and small waterfalls as we progressed further up the mountain. Passing a small pagoda, we all made it to the top, still with oodles of energy and excitement as we admired the view to Vung Tau City together with the huge rock providing yet more excuses for photos and selfies. From here, it was a simple walk down a railed staircase, through a small community and some more stunning gardens; however, just as we were approaching the down-down spot, rumbles of thunder overhead were an ominous warning of what was to come.
As we approached the down-down spot we noticed the front runners had unloaded the bus but with the dark sky and increasing winds the nuns at the adjacent temple kindly invited them to shelter in a covered structure in the temple grounds. And boy it was lucky they did, just as the final Hashers returned, the heavens opened and a spectacular storm ensued - complete with colossal claps of thunder, electrifying bolts of lightning and torrential rain.
With plenty of ice cold Saigon Chill, soft drinks and roast pork banh mi we sat back and enjoyed the show. The cacophony of the storm thwarted any possibility of a circle and with the light fading we just managed to take the team photo with a curtain of rain as the backdrop.
With no sign of the storm letting up, we decided to make the mad scramble to get everyone and the eskies back on Hashmobile. Everyone made it across the now very soggy terrain, albeit slightly damp. A headcount was taken and the only person missing was our bus driver! After a few phone calls and honks of the bus horn he arrived, somewhat sheepish having taken shelter and fallen asleep.
We were soon cautiously navigating the wet road back to the highway and with the boombox blasting out tunes and an eskie full of Chill it wasn't long before we were safely back at Nang Vung Tau. The usual suspects hung out finishing the final Chills and the die-hards popped next door for some additional liquid refreshments.
Another perfect Sunday afternoon with Vung Tau Hash – great people, great trails, great fun. See you all next week. On On!
RUN 1027 GALLERY
SEPTEMBER 18 2022
SUỐI ĐÁ ROCKPOOL #2
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Chom Chom, Secs
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
Mr T and Chom Chom managed run registration this week, and more volunteers loaded the Hashmobile much faster than usual because food and drinks were to be provided by local vendors at Suối Đá rockpool #2 on Dinh Mountain (“Núi Dinh”).
We eventually reached our destination after circling to collect latecomers (please respect your fellow Hashers and always try to be on time). We also picked up some out-of-towners, but they were all on time and waiting as we arrived at the agreed pick-up spots.
It was a cloudy sky as we dismounted for run #1026, so we expected rain at some stage but were not too concerned as most were planning to swim anyway!
Secs gave the chalk talk and said the trail was a “relatively easy” 2.5 km mostly downhill (instead of the usual 5–7 km uphill!), and that we’d pass several water features, temples and the main pagoda still under construction, with a delicious meal afterwards!
So “on on” we went, and immediately started climbing upwards! But uncharitable thoughts about the Hares “having a joke” soon disappeared as the trail abruptly switched direction: down instead of up! Care was still needed though, as months of daily rainfall have rendered the jungle trails quite treacherous in parts.
But everyone arrived safely at rockpool #2, thanks to the ubiquitous red marker ribbons and a large painted sign: “Hồ 2 lên 80m” which had been thoughtfully posted on our facebook page by the Hares.
The happy sounds of junior Hashers having fun in the pool could soon be heard, while some adults swam and others crossed the ridge between upper and lower pools to take photos or start emptying several large buckets of beer, water and soft drinks that had been positioned poolside as soon as the FRBs began arriving.
Then the food was served, and long tables of Hashers were soon sharing large platters of grilled and boiled chicken and salad, and bowls of delicious rice soup!
Some Hashers enjoyed the pool so much they nearly missed eating altogether, and junior Hasher Sunny was resplendent in her union jack socks as a personal tribute to HM QEII (RIP).
After much eating, drinking, swimming and socialising, the call came to head back to the bus park for the group photo and Circle.
With awesome timing, the first rain of the day began as we posed for the group photo!
Many Hashers sought ‘dry land’ in the bus, but others took local shelter and were entertained by Double Two effortlessly achieving 10 pull ups before she dismounted from the shelter beams with a huge smile, just as the rain eased and duty Ringmaster Chom Chom called the Circle.
The trail was rated between 100 and 137(!), so “well done” and Down Downs for our ‘true blue’ Hares!
Eight Hash virgins and three returnees were introduced (including Hard Drive after an absence of 6 years and Sandal, who spent a much shorter and colder hiatus in Finland!). All were dutifully ‘blessed’ by Doyle as they quaffed their Down Downs.
The Circle then thanked The Office bar’s Bánh xèo and husband Stewart for contributing custom-built shelves for our storeroom at Nắng Vũng Tàu. (The Office is a VTH3 sponsor and favoured venue, popular for Monday quiz nights, Killer Pool on Wednesdays and Friday’s complimentary snacks: 25 Trương Công Định, Ward 1 – opposite the Hưng King statue.)
But that’s not all! Continuing “sponsor acknowledgement time”, Chom Chom pulled his surprise of the day by calling on random Hashers to draw registration numbers and select winners of “eco-green” hats donated by Saigon Chill – a very popular move indeed!
And then it was back to our new kennel where the assets were unloaded and some of the usual suspects continued socialising with “one more Saigon Chill for the road” for what turned out (for some) to be a very long road!
Sound like fun? It certainly was! Watch this space and our facebook page: @VungTauHHH for details of next week’s trail, and we’ll see you then!
RUN 1026 GALLERY
SEPTEMBER 11 2022
SNAKE MOUNTAIN, LONG HAI
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Have-A-Chat
Report: Chom Chom
Sunday was with us once again. Hashers arrived at our fabulous new home at Nang Vung Tau. Whilst Mr. T and Reado the Weardo completed the registration, ice was being loaded into the pre-loaded eskies of water, soft drinks and Saigon Chill Premium Beer. Together with all the other hash essentials, everything got loaded onto the regular Hashmobile and our hashers duly boarded for the off.
This week we had 43 Hashers, so a comfortable bus journey. With the usual cheerful chatter, together with discussions and shock about this week's highest viewed video on Facebook, we soon arrived at our starting destination in Long Hai.
Once we all alighted, Secs explained the trail ahead, some 6-7km allegedly. It all sounded a bit scary as we looked ahead as the mountain shadowed down onto us. After the great trail at Long Dien last week, Hashers knew things were back to the norm. Steep mountains with the usual same-same "spectacular" views - you can't please everyone. But anyway, cheerful or not, it was On On...
Generally our trails start with the up and end on the downs, making it more challenging with the initial hotter weather. Today was a perfect example - surprisingly clear and burning heat as we commenced the climb. With Hashers taking their time, frequent breaks and many desperate for a drop of water from their already depleted iced water, we all eventually made it up.
Once we thought we had got to the top, our Hares Mr. T and Secs were waiting to guide us a little bit further up the mountain to fully appreciate what is known as Snake Mountain and its spectacular views. I was feeling a bit lazy and felt on this occasion I would forfeit the "million dollar" view for a shorter journey back. I'm sure the photos will show whether the view was a "million dollar" one or not!
Coming down was equally as challenging although to be a little bit more positive, it had cooled down somewhat. We were faced with the construction of a new road going through the mountain. This was quarry style with great drops where Hashers had to navigate their way down boulders, avoiding the gaps and big drops. It would have been a great assault course round on The Krypton Factor. At least it wasn't raining!
By some miracle, every single hasher eventually made it back to the Ngọc Xương Resort without any serious wounds or injuries. In the dusk we enjoyed our banh mi's and watermelon, together with the super-cold soft drinks and Saigon Chill Premium Beer. As it was getting dark, we reluctantly had to
postpone Have-a-Chat’s legendary circle, however we did manage a group photo in the dark.
A pleasant trip back on the return journey to Vung Tau, with good conversation and a new selection of selected tunes, all wrapped up with more even-colder Saigon Chill. A few more drinks were had back at Nang Vung Tau after unloading the remains and the other supplies. Another great Sunday
RUN 1025 GALLERY
SEPTEMBER 4 2022
AN NHẤT PADDY FIELDS, LONG ĐIỀN
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Have-A-Chat, Chom Chom, Uncle
The rain had been threatening since late morning and finally gave most of us a sprinkling as we made our way to Nắng Vũng Tàu (“Sunny Vung Tau”) at 5 Lê Ngọc Hân – immediately next door to Tommy’s, our previous Kennel, for VTH3 run #1024 on Sunday, 4 Sept.
Hash Cash Mr T had enlisted the help of Hasher Reardo to collect our hard-earned this week, as they both sheltered from the rain – and a different face with a fistful of đồng was our first change for the day. Then we boarded the trusty Hashmobile and found same bus, different driver – the second change! (could we make it ‘lucky three’? – please read on…).
With funds replenished and eskies primed with Saigon Chill, softies and water we headed north, stopping briefly to collect out-of-towners on the way to Bánh Hỏi An Nhứt, a very nice restaurant in Long Điền’s An Nhất commune which is famous for the local delicacy, Bánh hỏi – soon to be sampled by more than 50 hungry Hashers after our exertions in the local countryside!
We dismounted for the group photo in perfect Hashing weather – cloudy, cool and no rain in sight: our ‘third time lucky’ change for the day!
Secs gave the Chalk Talk, reminding everyone to be careful crossing the busy highway 55 before we turned off for a 7 km hike through picturesque paddy fields as far as the eye could see, “but don’t forget to watch for the red marker tape”. It was very different from VTH3’s usual mountainous jungle trails, but nonetheless very welcome – especially for the ‘townies’ on today’s run.
“On on'' we went, and quickly found that this trail had something for everyone: Junior Hasher Rio and a pal used net and bucket to trawl the irrigation system for ‘bugs’; some of the much younger and smaller lady Hashers picked flowers by the roadside while mums and other lady Hashers took selfies with the taller flowers; several Hashers picked fruit from the sung (“fig”) trees; Junior Hasher Sunny decided to run the trail to be first home – and she did! (leaving Uncle and Anti in her wake!); and many Hashers told later how they’d met and chatted with new friends as they strolled together through the countryside, stepping around fresh ‘countryside trail markers’ (who needs red marker tape when you’ve got so many water buffalo doing the job for you!). As one Hasher drily observed, “This trail’s full of sh*t!”
And the whole experience was made even more enjoyable as friendly rice farmers passed by on their tractors, waving and shouting “Xin Chào” to what must have seemed like a lot of strangers wandering around their paddy fields!
An extremely sociable afternoon was then topped off by yet more socialising as we took our seats to sample the local delicacy: Bánh hỏi. The tables were quickly filled with dishes and then it was “On on” again, as plates were emptied and refilled in quick succession!
The Circle is a highlight of most Hashes, but cancellations do happen – usually weather-related; but not this time. The Run 1024 Circle was regrettably cancelled because we’d spent so much time eating the delicious Bánh hỏi and socialising that it was not only getting dark but the restaurant was full of people and the highway full of traffic! So the Circle was cancelled for an entirely new reason: “No safe space”!
But it had been a great day and the Circle would surely have awarded full marks for a trail that made it so easy for people from many different backgrounds to thoroughly enjoy a leisurely afternoon together. “Well done, Hares – you’re true blue. You are Hashers through and through!”
It was certainly a contented group of Hashers who finally arrived back at our new home: Nắng Vũng Tàu. The assets were unloaded, unpacked and stored for next week – except one eskie, which was emptied at a more relaxed pace by a dozen or so ‘stayers’ who continued chatting in the well-appointed courtyard of our new home as they downed “one last Saigon Chill for the day”!
Until next week, then…
RUN 1024 GALLERY
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