23 FEBRUARY 2020
Hares: Mr.T, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle, Snowball, Mr. T
Familiar and new faces gathered at Lily’s Baradise and restaurant (formerly Tommy’s), 3 Le Ngoc Han for this week’s run on Small Mountain.
Fees paid, motorbike engines started, and it was “On On” to Happy Valley for the start of what was to be an interesting run alternating between several different degrees of difficulty!
The trail started with a climb up most of the 800+ steps to Jesus with Outstretched Arms on the lower peak of Small Mountain. Then around the very tricky side of the mountain, being careful not to slip on the many loose stones, before heading down through the hamlet above Hem 220 and the very familiar (to most!) Phan Chu Trinh.
A steep climb towards the Wind resort gave a taste of what was to come: an even steeper climb through bone-dry bushland until we reached ‘lighthouse road’; thanks to those offering a helping hand to ensure everyone reached the top safely.
A couple of ‘steep-ish’ short-cuts took us to the popular ‘yoghurt ice cream’ stalls that marked the beginning of a long descent to Halong road – made even longer by the usual steps now being fenced off, so we made the last part of the descent via ‘Mother Teresa’s stairs’ instead!
Then it was back around Halong past the shiny, all new Mercure hotel and marina complex (formerly Lan Rung resort) to Happy Valley, to be greeted by eskie-wrangler of the day, Cleaver, treating his dodgy knee with a Sagota ice pack!
Much conviviality ensued to the background ‘music’ of karaoke as the FRBs awaited the rest of the pack, which had split into several smaller groups, each accompanied by one of today’s four hares, along what had been a longer-than-usual trail around and across Small Mountain.
Everyone eventually returned safely and the banh mi and several different fruits were attacked with relish, washed down by ice-cold Sagota, water and soft drinks. Thanks once again to Chom Chom for his superlative fruit shopping, and Sparkles for some deft slicing of delicious water melon and other fruits including mango, pomelo and miniature apples – yum yum!
Chatting with other hashers while sipping drinks and snacking on delicious tropical fruit as the waves quietly lap the shoreline is surely one of life’s little luxuries. So much so that we watched the sun almost sink below the horizon before realising that we hadn’t yet taken the team photo or opened the Circle – so the VTH3-Sagota banner was quickly unfurled, with Chom Chom accepting the challenge of taking a group photo from less than 3 metres on a bending trail around the waterfront!
Highlights of today’s run were noted as the trail’s range of views (‘selfie backdrops’), varying degrees of difficulty and overall length. Hashers included one visitor from Belgium, 3 SCBs (short-cutting bast*rds), and a couple of ‘firsts’: ‘apologies for absence’ from 2 junior Hashers who were ‘too tired’; and one Hasher who arrived with a big smile to disguise the fact that she was more than 3 hours late!
Next week’s trail was discussed and the overall view was in favour of continuing to avoid bus trips until the COVID-19 situation improves. So we’ll have another local run on Sunday, with Mr T and Uncle volunteering to set a trail on Big Mountain to start and finish at Lily’s Baradise.
Repeat of last week’s footnote: Some regular hashers have expressed confusion with the current Hash situation in Vung Tau. Despite mischievous social media messages to the contrary, the original VTH3 continues with an unchanged Mismanagement Committee, website vungtauhash.com and VTH3 Mailing List for communication with anyone who registers an interest (unless they have a record of unwelcome behaviour with VTH3 or other Hash chapters, as per global HHH rules and covenants).
VTH3 continues to enjoy a new, improved Hash kennel at Lily's Baradise (thanks Rob!) and sponsorship by the popular Sagota Beer (thanks Mr Tien!); so while we're grateful for the support we received from Uno Coffee and San Miguel beer in past years, they are both now part of our glorious and storied history and any messages claiming otherwise are just unofficial "white noise" which can be safely ignored.
RUN 925 PHOTO GALLERY
16 FEBRUARY 2020
Hares: Mr.T, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Pinky, Uncle
We gathered once again at our new Hash Kennel: Lily’s Baradise (formerly Tommy’s Sports Bar) at 3 Le Ngoc Han, in the shadow of Big Mountain. Overall numbers were down this week because of ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, but we were delighted to welcome some unexpected local junior hashers and their parents who came along through ‘word of mouth’. It’s always a bit tricky when changing venues, so members spreading the word is a useful way to minimise any confusion (and see footnote below).
We did a ‘live hare’ trail this week, and co-hare Secs explained that we’d climb Big Mountain via Hem 89 and the Waterfall Trail, with return via Vi Ba. “On On” we went, with some of the adult hashers helping those with shorter legs to climb over the bigger boulders!
We had several short rest stops along the way, but finally made it to the coffee and nước mía shops outside the Army camp gates at the top of ‘old’ Vi Ba and beginning of the new paved road up to Ho May Park. Not unsurprisingly, many of the shops were closed because of lack of custom – but it was still a welcome respite to relax until the following pack arrived.
Once back at Lily’s, the Sagota and soft drinks were dispensed in short order – along with delicious banh mi and freshly cut fruit courtesy Chom Chom and some expert knife work by Sparkles.
The Circle was truncated in favour of letting the juniors (and not-so-juniors!) continue to enjoy the food, drinks, and playing with the new Hash dog(!); however, the trail was enjoyed by all, and our new family of Hash Virgins were serenaded with the "Welcome to VTH3" song. Members were also polled and voted in favour of continuing local (no bus) runs until the COVID-19 situation improves.
Our genial host Rob made BBQ hot dogs available again, and a welcome surprise was the arrival of the Vietnam Vets' Children's Charity to hold a fundraising meat raffle, which was a nice way to round off a very enjoyable day.
We’ll have another local run next week, with a focus on interesting sights and photo opportunities. Details to be announced prior to registration.
Footnote: Some regular hashers expressed confusion with the current Hash situation in Vung Tau. Despite mischievous social media messages to the contrary, the original VTH3 continues with an unchanged Mismanagement Committee and website vungtauhash.com for communication with anyone who registers an interest (unless they have a record of unwelcome behaviour with VTH3 or other Hash chapters, as per global HHH rules and covenants).
VTH3 now has a new, improved Hash kennel at Lily's Baradise (thanks Rob!) and sponsorship by the popular Sagota Beer (thanks Mr Tien!); so while we're grateful for the support we received from Uno Coffee and San Miguel beer, they are both now part of our glorious and storied past.
RUN 924 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS - UNCLE
9 FEBRUARY 2020
Hares: Mr.T, Chom Chom, Cleaver, Zidane, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle
After a brief Tet-related hiatus, VTH3 Mismanagement announced re-run #923 would be a local ‘mystery’ trail, meeting at our new home: Lily’s Baradise Restaurant & Bar (formerly Tommy’s 3 Sports Bar) at 3 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1 – not far from ‘the gateway to Big Mountain’ at Hem 89 and, as some veteran Hashers realised, a ‘full circle’ (no pun intended!) from pre-2011 VTH3 years at Tommy’s.
After we’d recovered from the unexpected but pleasant surprise of a free run, Mr T explained that we’d be climbing the face of Big Mountain opposite the cable car station on Tran Phu, then back to Lily’s via a choice of 3 trails – and “On On” we went!
The ascent was steep enough to test even the strongest legs, but everyone made it to Vi Ba and then followed their selected trail: either ‘short-cut’ down Vi Ba and back to Lily’s via hem 89, or up to the Army camp and coffee shops then down again, or continue up to the Ho May Park entrance on top of the mountain then down via the popular Waterfall Trail – a total distance of 6.5 km. The “penalty” for those taking the short-cut was to prepare the delicious fruit for their fellow Hashers.
Everyone made it back safely and in excellent humour after brisk exercise in the clear mountain air – a far cry from the choking motorbike exhausts at sea level!
The group photo and Circle were called after much conviviality around the popular Sagota beer (thanks to Hash sponsor Mr Tien), water, soft drinks, watermelon and mango (“yum yum”!). Duty ringmaster Uncle welcomed the group and invited a rating for the trail set by Hares Mr T, Secs, Zidane, Cleaver, Chom Chom, which saw an ‘above average’ score of 12 out of 10! We welcomed 5 Hash virgins including returnees Uncle and Anti’s 7yo niece Minh Anh (aka Sunny), visitors Peter and Snowball from Netherlands via Spain, and self-medicating ‘sinners’ from Vietnam, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland, England, Ireland and Australia (apologies if anyone overlooked – older memories are easily affected by beer and exercise!).
Everyone was invited to meet again at our new home next week for run #924 (details will be announced beforehand – always check VTH3’s only official communication channel, the vungtauhash.com website), then the Circle was closed so we could help ourselves to freshly made BBQ hot dogs, courtesy of mine host Rob and his Italian chef Leonardo. Thanks guys – see you next week!
RUN 923 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS - UNCLE
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