27 JAN 2019
BIG MOUNTAIN - "Up the power lines down to the Bia Hoi"
Hares: Boozer, Snail, Double Two, Flying Finn
Hash Flashers: Kojak, Secs
After last week’s mammoth turnout of 75, this week we have 44 Hashers convening at Uno Coffee to register for a trail on Big Mountain. We are informed to make our way to Paci Bia Hoi where we will start the run. Once we have reconvened, lead Hare, Boozer, tells us to walk to Vi Ba via Le Ngoc Han where he will relay the rest of our instructions.
With a spring in our step we make our way through the streets of Vung Tau until we turn off to the left at the end of Le Ngoc Han street and climb up the steps to Vi Ba. Once we have all caught up with each other, Boozer proceeds to deliver the rest of the chalk-talk. Follow the Vi Ba road until we come to a temple where we will head off to the left and follow the power lines to the top of the mountain, then follow the red ribbons until we come out again on Vi Ba. Go back down Vi Ba until more red ribbons will indicate a right turn that will take us down to the White Palace and then make our back to the Bia Hoi.
So, On-On, we go, and it soon becomes apparent that this is no easy trail. The steep road up to the temple is already an arduous task and there were a few incredulous gasps from our Hashers as we left the temple road and began the near vertical ascent following the electricity pylons. It’s a rocky climb, luckily some kind soul has installed guide ropes to pull ourselves over the larger boulders.
As we reach the top, a sense of satisfaction overwhelms us as we finally emerge at the perimeter of Ho May Park - the perfect spot to take a seat and breath in spectacular unfettered view of Vung Tau. Recovered, and realising the hardest part if the trail is now complete, we follow the red ribbons into the forest. The trail takes us across the top of the mountain and affords more spectacular views until we are back on Vi Ba.
We pass the Ngoc Mia stalls (with a few Hashers stopping for sustenance) and make the pleasant stroll down until a smiling Boozer greets us and indicated the right turn down to the White Palace. From there it’s an easy walk back to the Bia Hoi.
Back at the Bia Hoi we are treated to a veritable feast of delights including Mother Teresa’s legendary sandwiches - and the conviviality begins. The Bia Hoi isn’t conducive for a formal Circle, but Ringmaster Boozer does an excellent job of welcoming everyone and then, after we take the team photo, we invite perennial Hasher Chippy to celebrate her birthday with us. Happy Birthday Chippy!
More conviviality ensues including an especially convivial Conga Line - much to the bemusement of the other patrons.
And so the party and vigorous dancing continued…..
Until next week...
VTH3 #874 PHOTO GALLERY - KOJAK
VTH3 #874 PHOTO GALLERY - DOWN-DOWN
20 JAN 2019
NUI DINH - "Seventy Five Go to Nui Dinh"
Hares: Mr. T, Faulty Brakes
Hash Flashers: Radiowave, Frenchy
We were not 40, not 50, but a record of more than 70 hashers waiting for departure from UNO Coffee on Sunday Jan. 20th – a second bus had to be hired so that no one would be left behind; after the ride past Ba Ria to the foot of Nui Dinh, the bus started the climb up a good road and then stopped. After a short briefing by Mr T, the group started on on by simply following the road for a few hundred metres – a not very comfortable walk, with the hot road surface and scarce spots of shade.
But we soon left the road to go down into the forest; that was the only tricky spot in the run – it had to be tackled with precaution, as the descent between rocks was rather abrupt, but fortunately not very long. The consequence, however, due to our great number and the fact that we had to go down carefully one by one, was that there was soon a great gap between the first and the last hashers. The slope then was gentle and we soon reached a half filled stream that was easily crossed; a short flat lane followed with a small lake on the left, then we began a rather long and steep way uphill, rocky but not particularly difficult; the group I was with took between 35 and 45 minutes to get to the top, counting a few pauses for photos and/or catching our breath. Surprise: we came across a well paved lane and found ourselves in front of a wide flight of steps between enormous boulders. Then came the reward: a spectacular sweeping view over the flat lands below. More steps up took us to a statue of Quan Am wedged between high rocks, with a passage to the left, also between rocks, lined with traditional golden statues of monks.
Going down was no problem, first on a dirt lane, then on the main road where we finally caught sight of the two buses indicating the location of the Down Down. We found there another kind of relief - no surprise, but always a delight to enjoy our favourite San Miguel and sandwiches. After the traditional photo came the ceremony. Under the conduct of the ever-joking Boozer, the Hares, precious scouts for our run were presented to the cheers of the hashers who awarded a 12/10 for the run. The unusual number of virgins included a couple from Iceland, another from Australia, another from Hanoi, plus a lady from Siberia and a Vietnamese lady. They introduced themselves and the h
Hashers' song welcomed them. 7 returnees had to explain why they had missed so many runs, the pipe was awarded to a young Russian lady who made the mistake to try and drink her goblet of beer before the master’s signal – she was granted a second goblet and found herself properly drenched (what a waste of the good stuff !)
Finally we all bid a warm farewell to Damian, alias Faulty Brakes, who will soon return to his dear Ireland and stay away for about a month; we all wish him a safe journey there and back, and a pleasant stay at home.
VTH3 #873 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM FRENCHY
13 JAN 2019
SMALL MOUNTAIN - "Inauguration of the new meeting point - walk around Nui Nho "
Hares: Boozer, Mr. T, Faulty Brakes
Hash Flashers: Secs, Frenchy
UNO Coffee, as the name indicates, was already known to many hashers as a former Down Down place. Furthermore, they had been well warned about the change by the mismanagement, so not one of them made the mistake of going to Hon ru ri. 42 Hashers chatted happily while waiting for the start of the run. That occurred punctually at 1.30 and all followed Halong street towards the Cape for about 800 metres under a scorching sun.
Then, at Hêm 22, started the climb, almost directly uphill, first on a concrete way, then, past a temple and its smiling female monk resident, up up in the forest, a true relief, in spite of a rather steep slope, as the trees protected us from the sun. It was not a difficult climb, as the forest there was well cleared of the sometimes thorny bushes, and the ground quite even and free of stones and rocks. Then we reached the well known path gently sloping up South-Easterly towards the stairs to the 30 m high statue of Christ. About 150 m before reaching them, we turned left where a notice said “Khu Vuc Cam” = No Entry ! it was only a brief encroachment on Vietnamese army grounds, an excellent shortcut to the statue. We didn’t stay long up there, but soon started the descent on the steps. About 2/3rd of the way down, to the surprise of many, a lot of red ribbons on the left indicated that we had to leave the stairs by stepping over the low wall- which we did under the amazed looks of a number of Vietnamese visitors ; a lady even enquired about what we were doing and might join us one of these Sundays. We cut across the slope, practically horizontally, not many trees, a few bushes, but a very nice breeze helped to walk in the sun. All that part of the run was especially pleasant, in spite of the stony ground, as it afforded a superb view on the sea and the islet Hon Ba ; after a short , but steep climb on rocks, we arrived at the sort of platform which is very popular with Vietnamese youth, as it’s easily reached by motorbike ; we were then on the other side of Nui Nho with an excellent view over the city and Nui Lon. After following the lane leading up to the lower part of the hill between the 2 summits (the statue and the lighthouse), the circle was closed as we found ourselves at the top of the trail that we had climbed first. It was not so easy to go down on the rather slippery soil, especially for the younger ones who could not grab the trees for help.
However, everyone reached Uno Coffee safely, ready to enjoy the well deserved drinks, sandwiches and the banh mi provided by our precious Russian lady, Mother Teresa. A bottle of Jameson went around, courtesy of Faulty Brakes to the delight of the amateurs. A Russian lady, Irinia and a Vietnamese young man, Binh were duly “baptised” as virgins, and the sinners : Ron and Lanie, Faulty Brakes, Moonlight, Grandmother, Finn Lady, duly punished for avoiding what was the best part of the run, by continuing down the steps instead of leaving them, a shortcut which enabled them to return “home” much earlier.
Was it the very pleasant site of Uno Coffee, with the sea just across the avenue, the pleasure of a not so difficult but spectacular run, it seems that the hashers were particularly merry that day ; Ron played beautifully the guitar and sang, there was more singing and even dancing ! after a beautiful sunset, everyone went home happily for a well deserved rest
VTH3 #872 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM FRENCHY
6 JAN 2019
NUI DINH - "Two Trails - Three Pagodas"
Hares: Flying Finn, Boozer, Mr. T, Cleaver
Hash Flashers: Secs
Standing room only on the Hashmobile this week as 53 Hashers crammed aboard bound for our favourite mountain - Nui Dinh. With children stacked on top of each other and Hashers sitting on the aisle floor we are soon on-on our way. After passing Ba Ria we turn off the Highway on to the precipitous, meandering road that will take us up the mountain. At one point we think we are going to have to get out and push as the Hashmobile almost stalls. Thankfully, our skilled driver miraculously finds another gear and the Hashmobile laboriously trundles up to our starting point 280m above sea level.
Disembarking we are informed that this week we have a choice of two trails - a challenging one led by Mr. T and an allegedly easier one led by Faulty Brakes. The more adventurous of us gather round Mr. T for our chalk talk whilst our comrades follow Faulty Brakes. Mr. T explains that this trail will take us through three pagodas, it’s mostly following the road but take care to look for the red ribbons at the second temple which will lead us left through the garden and then through some bushes.
So On-On we go, pleased with the blue skies and fresh breeze we enter the shady forest path. After 1km we arrive at the first temple and take the path to the left of the steps until we emerge at the next temple. We are greeted with a spectacular view, an impressive meditation bell, and shimmering white Buddhist statues. Many take the opportunity to take photos and ring the bell (!).
Moving on we find the red ribbons indicating our path through the beautiful garden until they lead us to a thick bush. Somewhat apprehensively we wriggle through the bush relieved to find that it opens up in to a narrow jungle track. We follow the path until it abruptly ends bringing us out at the back of Chua Hang Mai - our third temple. After taking time to admire the views and monuments we take the steps up through the pagoda and out the otherside.
Looking at the road ahead of us we get a sense of why this is the more challenging trail - before us is a near vertical slope. We take a deep breath and on tiptoes begin the arduous climb. Our calves already screaming for mercy we approach the first bend in the road only to be confronted with an even steeper slope. We trudge up the relentless 20% incline until it eventually flattens out and our legs can take a break. But not for long - another corner - and yet another steep slope. Now at an altitude of 450m we continue for another 1km before more red ribbons indicate a right turn back into the jungle. It’s a steep descent - but at least it is going down. The trail takes us through lush greenery until emerge on the road where we meet up with the Hashers from the other trail - which apparently wasn’t as easy as some were led to believe. Another kilometer and we turn the corner to find our Hashmobile waiting for us - this week’s Beermeister - Fluffer - having readied the eskies filled with ice cold San Miguel.
A feast also awaits, Boozer’s and Mother Teresa’s legendary sandwiches, home smoked salmon from Mr. Kabul and delicious banh mi sate our hungry Hashers. We exchange tales of the trail, rest our legs and quench our thirst until Boozer blows on his whistle and we begin the circle.
Our Hares this week are Mr. T, Boozer, Flying Finn and Cleaver. The rating of the trail begins with scores as diverse as 5/10 to 100/10 - a compromise was met and the ultimate rating ending up at a very respectable 13/10.
5 Virgins this week from Vietnam and Russia. A Russian gentleman is welcomed by having his nipple exposed, the tube of doom and a good dousing by Mr. Kabul. Welcome to VTH3!
Returnees next and this week we welcome back Mother Teresa who has been in Hanoi with daughter and legendary Hasher, Superteen. Mr. Kabul has been busy working. Fluffer was travelling. Aqua and Kiki’s also rejoin us this week - with the lame excuse of simply “lazy”. Tube of Doom for Aqua.
Next up we have a mass christening. Time to give those who have completed more than six runs with VTH3 a Hash Name. So….
Dan will now be known as “Snail”, Hien took the name 222, My Hang will now officially be called Moonlight, Yolanda is Jolly, Frank is the Chief Stoker. Finally we have a whole family of regular Hashers who are now called Push Ups, Happy, Lucky and Haircut.
Welcome to the VTH3 family!
Finally we finish with an important announcement. From next week we will be meeting at Uno Coffee at 48-50 Ha Long Road. Registration and departure will continue to be 1pm for 1.30pm departure.
With the sun setting we pack up and pack ourselves in to the Hashmobile. Stopping briefly for more beer and followed by the inevitable comfort break we soon find ourselves back at Hon Ru Ri for the last time.
VTH3 #871 PHOTO GALLERY