25th March 2018
Small Mountain - "The Moderation Trail"
Hares: Flying Finn
Hash Flashers: Basil, Secs, Dr. Who
Report: Faulty Brakes
Everything in moderation including moderation, after our previous three home runs on big mountain and small mountain, instead of going up the mountain at the start of run, this week we went around the small mountain via the Front Beach past The Fish Market (Phan Boi Chau ) along Phan Chu Trinh Street and further on to Hem 220.
Twenty Three hashers and our new hash hound ‘Archie’ blazed the trail on a hot Summers afternoon through ‘little Sydney ‘ past ‘Belly’s Watering Hole ‘ and past numerous ‘ Shebeens ‘much to the amusement of the onlooking ‘wife beater vested clad Aussies‘ watching N.R.L.
Mismanagement decided on this Run to allow a different approach to previous runs allowing those hashers to partake in a moderate run before next weeks away run to Long Hai on a Pekker and Slipper pre-marked trail.
One noticeable absentee this week was Angry Bird whose was suffering the effects of chickenpox and we wish her a speedy recovery.
Reaching Hem 220 and turning right up through the Shanty Village and another right turn up to a previously visited ‘Simons Bunker Buster’ and then upwards to the Jesus Statue along the winding path. The climb ended at the Jesus statue and now it was time to descend down the numerous steps and cross the road to Beach Valley where the chilled San Miguel awaited the thirsty hashers after their 6 km trek with the temperature in the early thirties leading to a thirsty confrontation with the cold beers.
Sitting in shade eating delicious Cheese Rolls, quaffing San Migs, looking out on the South China Sea, we will repeat this Idyllic scenario in the near future. This week we had the unusual situation where Boozer had a late vocation and being summoned to the Church on Trang Huong Dao Street and Basil stepped up to replace him, with the now familiar circle ensuing with virgins, returnees and sinners being dealt with ice cold drenchings.
Eventually Boozer returned, this time hash shirt replaced with designer polo shirt, jeans and no explanation for his hasty departure earlier, the last of the beers were hoovered down as we waited for the Sun to set, eskeys were emptied of ice and were returned to Base camp and a good day was had by all.
On On - Long Hai next week
VTH3 #830 PHOTO GALLERY
18th March 2018
Big Mountain - "A new way up"
Hares: Boozer, Graham, Dr. Who, Secs
Hash Flashers: Zidane, Secs
Another hot sunny Sunday afternoon and 36 eager Hashers register at Hon Ru Ri in anticipation of Boozer’s trail which promises a new ascent up Big Mountain. En masse we leave Hon Ru Ri, turning left, we amble along Tran Phu a under cloudless blue sky. After a few hundred meters we turn into an inconspicuous Hem where our lead Hare, Boozer, explains today’s endeavour - simply - follow the red ribbons and then meet at the Bia Hoi next to Pacific Hotel for refreshments.
Chalk-talk over we find ourselves faced with a strenuous climb up a winding steep road festooned with bright pink and white flora. We marvel at the palatial mansions of the local elite that look down on us as we toil onwards until we are met with some steps that will take us out of the upmarket suburb and into more familiar territory - a mountain path.
Soon we see the obligatory red ribbons urging us to get off the beaten track. With the dry season upon us we traipse across the arid, baked earth of the relatively barren hillside until we emerge at our old acquaintance - the nước mía (sugarcane juice) stall on Vi Ba Road. We continue up the well worn road until more red ribbons take us off to the right onto what is known as the Waterfall/M90 trail, taking us across the mountain ridge affording us with spectacular crystal clear views of Vung Tau.
After a pleasant walk through the countryside we find ourselves at the bottom of the mountain and easy stroll through Vung Tau takes us to the Bia Hoi. Ice cold beer, a variety of finger food, convivial conversation brings us to the end to another enjoyable VTH3 experience.
VTH3 #829 PHOTO GALLERY
11th March 2018
Big Mountain - "Hem 400 - Hidden Start Trail"
Hares: Boozer, Chom Chom, Graham
Hash Flashers: Secs, Basil
After initially meeting up for registration at Hon Ru Ri, at 1.30pm 46 human and 1 dog, Vung Tau Hashers left to move their motorbikes to the Down-down base at Haven Bar and grouped together to catch taxis to the base of Big Mountain at Hem 400 Tran Phu. Once everyone arrived, we grouped around to listen to instructions for our trek and were reminded about staying hydrated as it was a long, long, hard trek. We then started the walk along the small hem that snaked around and between local’s dwellings, sometimes bringing us up close and personal with the occupants and their repast! We were all taken by the stunning views of Long Son Island and the shipyard below us when we reached a high point, so much so that it wasn't until the trailing Hare Chom Chom got to the point where the others should have started the mammoth trail off the beaten track and realised that the leading Hare Boozer had missed the turning point! After a short consultation via phone, as the group had got too far ahead to holler, the entire group did an about face and marched back to the steep incline that we were assured was our trail............. not at all obvious to the first timers! This would require teamwork for some and that was not lacking, linked arms, hands pushing and pulling each other and all made it with a lot of grunting and groaning. Success! Woo hoo, conquerors! .......... that was only 5 minutes into a very long uphill trail! The inspiration for continuing was the end and a very, very, cold San Miguel and the chance of a cool soothing sea breeze, things were heating up.
Onward and upward the 46 and a half Hashers pushed through long grass, crawled up steep inclines, got snagged by barbed wire, bitten by angry ants and suffered through the pain and unwillingness of dodgy knees but nonetheless all soldiered on! Small groups formed as the pace for some had waned nevertheless we all managed to make it back down the Big Mountain and to a civilised bitumen road. The desire to satisfy a increasing thirst for a fresh cold drink was now paramount! One by one each Hasher returned to the Haven on the front beach passing by the eskies for that fabulous San Miguel on their way to the oasis, a chair! Some were beguiled by the ocean and stripped off for a swim trading salty sweat for salty ocean waters. At this point focusing in any direction became bothersome as the lack of change rooms or want thereof, became apparent.
After all were feeling somewhat human again and the lovely sandwiches and bread rolls were consumed, a very loud shrill whistle was blown to summon the hashers to attention, the end of session meeting was to begin. Who was a SINNER? who had dared to come inappropriately dressed, who had led us down the garden path? and who amongst us was a virgin? Where have you hailed from and what do you think of the mighty Hare's trail now you have conquered it? Many a giggle, a few shivers and some punishing sculling later and all were forgiven. Initiation over and all are equal, no more virgins and sinners are now winners!
Last minute reminders about the up and coming camp at La Gi and who will be sleeping where............... a lot of wishful thinking or was it a dare if you do not book fast! All's well that ends well, cheers to next week’s bush olympics!
VTH3 #828 PHOTO GALLERY
4th March 2018
Nui Dinh - "Mountain Quarry Trail"
Hares: Flying Finn, SamSon, Peter
Hash Flashers: Secs, Flying Finn
Under an azure blue sky and a sweltering sun, a massive 52 Hashers boarded our shiny, new Hashmobile thankful for the cool airconditioning as we leave Hon Ru Ri to revisit what previous Hash Reporter, Faulty Brakes, described as one of the Top 3 Trails in recent years - “Nui Dinh Mountain Quarry Trail”
Disembarking at the construction site of a major new highway we warily make our way to the starting point. The severity of our task confronts us a we dauntingly eye the looming mountain that stands before us. Along the way we nearly lose our jovial Ringmaster, Boozer, as he slips into a manhole. Obviously no stranger to a manhole, he manages to withdraw himself with nary a scratch and skips merrily onwards.
Already dripping with sweat from the scorching heat, we arrive at the starting point where Flying Finn gives us our marching orders - simply keep going up following the red ribbons and then, at the top, turn right. So, on-onwards and, quite literally, upwards we go. It’s not long before we remember why this trail is rated 4 out 5 on Hash Richter scale. It is a relentless, continuous 45° slope through the jungle. Mercifully the bamboo canopy above us provides respite from the blistering sun. With screaming calves we soldier on until the asphalt road welcomes us, indicating that its not far to go until we are able to quench our thirsts with ice cold San Miguel.
Beermeister Buddha is awaiting with eskies laid out and sandwiches at the ready as one by one the parched and weary Hashers arrive for the down-down. We rest up, assuage our thirst and ready ourselves for the circle.
And so the Circle begins with the important reminder that anyone who still wishes to attend the 2018 Summer Weekender in La Gi must book their accommodation at Coco Beach. Thanks to Radiowave for translating for our Russian compadres.
Its time to rate the trail and with Hare Flying Finn front and center, Boozer assembles the virgins only to find himself upstaged by a curious porcine visitor. Yes, in the distance a portly pig waddles towards us and greets us with with a grunt and snort. Gracious hosts that VTH3 are, Slipper offers him a sip of our precious San Miguel. Unimpressed with our antics porky the pig retreats back to from whence he came.
We return our attention back to circle and we have a total of 8 virgins hailing from Russia, Vietnam and Finland. They are invited to rate the trail and Flying Finn is given scores out of 10 that range from 9.4 to a full 10.
Now it is time to hear the excuses from the Returnees all of whom have lame excuses mostly about being busy over Tet. Basil is voted the one with the lamest excuse as he was working over Tet and couldn’t make the Hash. As such he was nominated to down-down using the armband of shame and proceeded to admirably knock back his beer hardly spilling a drop.
Now it was time to baptize our more regular Hasher with Hash Names. So now Ms. Choung will be known as “Shirley”, Buddha’s partner will now be referred to as “Love You” and Shomit’s son will be named “T34” after the legendary Soviet Tank renowned for its firepower, mobility, protection and ruggedness. From what we have seen he will certainly live up to his new Hashtag. Last but not least the rascally young Ms. Lynda was christened Angry Bird.
And finally we charge our 5 Sinners - mostly for footwear faults, however, we have one Sinner who stands out and is immediately dubbed “Mr. Versace” by Ringmaster Boozer. His Sin? Well, he turned up for a ramble up a mountain dressed as if he was about to go an a date with a ravishing lady. Despite the arduous climb, the good humoured Russian gentleman was dressed to impress in trendy blue jeans and a crisp dress shirt and has hardly broken a sweat. It’s not long before our good natured water slingers have soaked him to the skin before Mother Teresa points out that the real Sinner is Shomit who invited his friend along without informing him of the correct attire. Shomit immediately owns up to his crime and accepts his watery punishment with aplomb.
With the circle over we board the Hashmobile and begin the journey back to Hon Ru Ri. As the sun sets, the lights on the bus are dimmed and we are immediately and miraculously transported into the surreal world of the Hash Discotheque! A kaleidoscope of multi-coloured lights and lasers diffract through the haze of the onboard smoke machine. Unable able to restrain themselves from the pumping baseline of the Vengaboys’ Sha-La-La-La-La Boozer and Mother Teresa boogie on down the aisle getting the party and singalong started. Before we know it we find ourselves back in reality at Hon Ru Ri. The Hashmobile is unloaded and as we all depart in to the night we reflect on a yet another great day of exercise and fun in the beautiful Vietnamese countryside.
VTH3 #828 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM FLYING FINN