27th May 2018
Nui Dinh - "Riverbed Trail"
Hares: Boozer, Zidane
Hash Flashers: Radiowave, Secs
Last Sunday, May 27th, 25 eager HASHers arrived at Hon Ru RI bound for Nui Dinh on HASH number 839. A scorching hot day without so much of a breeze did not deter the noble and valiant mountain conquerors as this Sunday was special, a new hare had been broken in, this mountain had not been revisited since September 2017 and there was enough food and beer for at least 50 HASHers! A special day indeed for one very excited and dedicated dog abound with slender body, taught muscles and long athletic legs. He was to be honoured with his very own HASH name, a proud moment for one such as he! Human HASHer, Tom was to also be anointed that very day and would stand proudly with the poised and debonair canine.
With all the formalities over, the proud passionate HASH persons packed perfectly into the perky peppy piquant plush PURPLE people mover, oh did I say purple? Perhaps a shade of violet or was it puce? Nevertheless, the potency did not mar the enthusiasm, it only served to elevate it. Onwards to Nui Dinh!
The bus stopped at the down-down to drop off the repast and its guardians, Buddha and the boy and then delivered the 25 human HASHers and two dogs to the start of the trail off the side of the road. Down one by one they went, scooting and sliding, one by one the scaled up rock and bolder, leaping and bounding like an army of dedicated ants, even an irate fence keeper could not deter their march! To the top they gallantly strode as the temple god watched over them. Their thanks they gave as they marvelled at the grand structure at the peak. Victory was theirs! After a brief rest and a refuel the 25 HASHers and 2 dogs made for the down-down down a winding thankfully flat road not one by one now but in pairs and groups, plenty of energy left for a natter.
At last the oasis was in front of us, the brilliant strobed beam of light streaming out from the frequently opened cooler box of San Miguel Beer! The pace quickens! Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for the HASH pow wow and the crowning moment or should I say dowsing for the very special participants. Who is brave enough to admit being estranged? Just one brave woman. Who is a sinner? Radiowave with his long socks and sinner shoes! Is there a virgin amongst us? Oooooooo yes my pretties…………. But alas it's but a sweet innocence but brave boy child! No fear, let his father be christened. Now for the knighthoods, the HASH dog now known as “Sir Hoover” and HASHer Tom from here on end, known as Fluffer! And what of the virgin Hare who set this wonderful trail? Stand proud you noble hare with your co hare Boozer and be christened by the ice maidens!
But all good things must come to and end. The proud passionate HASH persons packed perfectly back into the perky peppy piquant plush PURPLE people mover and headed for home, singing verily and merrily all the way home, a good day had by all!
VTH3 #839 PHOTO GALLERY
20th May 2018
Hares: Mr. T, Boozer, Secs, Gordon
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom
Report: Chom Chom
This week, a local trail at Small Mountain was arranged and after assembling at Hon Ru Ri, we all made our way to Hem 66 Tran Phu for the start of the trail. For a local trail, we had a surprising 38 Hashers keen and excited as always.
After getting a small introduction of today’s circular trail from Boozer, we walked back along Tran Phu Street to Coffee O Cap and made a sharp right u-turn to start the journey up to the mountain. After a few sets of steps our first pagoda, Chua Hai Van, was reached and provided the first selfie/photo opportunity.
After several more steps of varying quality we eventually hit a road and we continued walking on an easier, flatter terrain. Before long most of us were greeted by Mr. T directing us up some more steep steps to our next pagoda. This provided a welcome break for many of us as we were instructed to wait for the remaining hashers to arrive so we would all regroup once again.
From here we continued our climb of the mountain, this time through the wooded and undergrowth. The first part of the trail that was getting a bit awkward for those wearing inappropriate footwear! After quite a tough climb we eventually hit the mountain road and were greeted by a group of Vietnamese picnickers who kindly offered beer and fruit. We turned right onto the road and continued an easy stroll over the newly laid tarmac.
We then turned off the mountain road and ventured down a woodland path to discover the third and final pagoda on this trail. From here the descend was beginning – a large set of steps taking us back down, unfortunately not quite to the bottom. We took a detour from the steps and headed back into the woods. This part was familiar to many as this was our only escape back to Tran Phu Street. After one final set of steps, we arrived on Tran Phu, turned right passed Uno Coffee Shop, carried on briefly and shortly arrived back at Hem 66 for the eagerly awaited San Miguel Beers, soft drinks and snacks.
Boozer called the circle and the routine of introducing our virgins, mocking our sinners and thanking our foodies took place.
Another good week for the Vung Tau International Hash. On On!
VTH3 #838 PHOTO GALLERY
13th May 2018
Long Son Island
Hares: Mr. T, Boozer, Secs
Hash Flashers: Secs, Basil
This week we return to Long Son Island for the first time in 2018. 31 Hashers disembarked from the Hashmobile on the road just before Long Son Town under a partly cloudy sky. Hare, Secs, delivers the Chalk Talk, advising us that we are to stick together as we walk through the local neighbourhood until we arrive at the point at which we are to ascend the mountain. It will be a steady climb up a rocky path and at the summit we will find a large boulder and dilapidated shack, at which point we are to bear left and follow the red tape down the otherside of the mountain through the jungle until we emerge on a rough stony path. Unlike previous trails, where we would follow the path to the end, we are to follow the path for approximately 100 meters until red tape indicates that we are to turn left and climb a ravine that will take us up to a new down-down spot in a carpark next to Du Sơn Ecotourism Area.
So On-On, en masse, through the narrow streets, passing picturesque cemeteries until we arrive at the obscure left turn that will take us up the rocky mountain steps. Many of our FRBS bounded up the steps with ease whilst others took a more steady approach. At the top we are rewarded with a fantastic view of Long Son and the famous oyster farms that surround the area. Red tape clearly marked a relatively easy descent through the jungle - only hazards being the razor sharp creepers that snaked through the undergrowth.
We emerge from the jungle onto the stony path after a 100 meters we spot the red tapes that mark the left turn. Incredulous gasps from each and every Hasher as they spot what looks like a vertical climb up a dry channel cut out of the forest. We endure onwards and realise that the 40 meter scramble looks worse than it really is. At the top another awesome view of the surrounding countryside and then a gentle 10 minute walk through some forest takes us to the carpark where ice cold San Miguel, delicious Banh Mi and fruit await us.
We mingle and socialise for a while as we wait for the stragglers to arrive. The ever valiant and chivalrous Viking returns back along to trail to find the missing Hashers. After finding them he gives them the encouragement and direction they need to get them to the down-down. Alas, there are still three Hashers missing: Graham, Basil and Hope Solo. A quick call to Basil lets us know that having seen the final ascent they decided to give it a miss and head to the main road in the hope that they can find an easier way to the down-down. And again, Viking runs to their assistance. What was a 2km trail turned in to 6km run for the courageous Viking! After some advice from the Hares that taking the road would be more arduous than just climbing the slope the tenacious Hasher retrace their steps and finally join us to round of empathetic applause.
With all Hashers accounted for our resident Ringmaster Boozer assembles the Circle and the games begin. First in the circle are our Hares, Mr. T, Boozer and Secs. Our virgins are requested to rate the trail, giving a 9/10 followed by a 9.45/10 and finally Stubble jumps in giving a 10/10 score - well done Hares.
Next we invite, Sue from England and Blas from Spain our Virgins for this week, both express their enjoyment and subsequently welcomed with a severe dousing of Ice Cold water and beer much to their surprise.
Returnees this week are Ms. Nhung who’d only been absent for 4 weeks so not technically a Returnee but still pressed to join to the circle. Graham from Australia who said he’d been away. And finally Gordon from Australia whose excuse was that we “wasn’t invited to come back” - tube of shame for Gordon. Down-downs and a soaking for all.
And now time for the Sinners! We have Stubble and Hope Solo for committing the heinous crime of being late and almost missing the bus. Graham, one of stragglers, who graciously declared he was a sinner for “being fat” and Basil for directing the stragglers off course and then having to retrace their steps. Tube of doom for Hope Solo since the bus had to stop and wait for her, she takes it in her stride and manages to down her beer hardly spilling a drop.
Just some time left for more San Miguel and joviality before boarding the party Hashmobile for a bit of singalong back to Vung Tau.
VTH3 #837 PHOTO GALLERY
6th May 2018
Hash Flashers: Secs, Tiger Tom
Hon Ru Ri became ‘transport interchange’ as 27 Hashers departed on motor bikes and taxis to the start point for run #836 – the Thích Ca Phật Đài pagoda* at 608 Tran Phu (*Platform of Shakyamuni Buddha); it’s a notable Theravada Buddhist temple built more than 50 years ago (1961-63), and features prominently in Vung Tau religious and tourism literature.
Hare Uncle gave the Chalk Talk at the main entrance, then it was “On On” up a series of steps through the pagoda grounds via a series of interesting artefacts including a 17-metre ‘Blessing tower’, various animal statues, 6.2-metre ‘Meditating Buddha’ on a 4-metre pedestal, rotunda with buddhist mantras, rest area, 12-metre ‘Reclining Buddha’, and a row of trinket stalls leading to the rear exit pathway and residential/rural area beyond.
Once past the houses and barking guard dogs, we followed the red marker tapes through a rural hamlet, serenaded by a dozen or more grunting pigs, and up, up to Ho May Park ‘boulevard’: the concrete track that runs between the hilltop amusement park and the former French artillery base on Hem 444.
There was just enough time to enjoy the views over the shipyards and fishing village on one side and Mulberry/Strawberry Beach on the other, before switching the concrete for a more familiar dirt track up to several shrines at the top of 620 steps down to the Hung Thang Tu pagoda (giving rise to the ‘Pagoda squared’ trail title coined by Ringmaster Boozer), just a few minutes from Motel 102 Tran Phu, where food and ice-cold San Migs, water and softies awaited courtesy of Mismanagement and volunteers.
Leisurely camaraderie followed (aka “eating, drinking and socialising”), until duty Ringmaster Boozer called the Circle and invited newcomers to rate the day’s trail.
After clarification that “1” and “0” were together, not separate, Hare Uncle was rewarded for his ‘perfect score’ by down downing from the perforated sinners’ cup; a mixed blessing with most of the contents dripping onto the shirt-front rather than into the mouth!
Hash Virgins Peter, Mr W, Huong and Dung (‘l to r’ in photo gallery below) were welcomed with typical VTH3 hospitality: Down Downs and a drenching with ice and very cold water!
No returnees this week, but at least 8 sinners – all guilty of missing the clearly marked turn-off to the 620 steps at the first attempt (“missing” not “losing” because Hashers never get lost – they just find new trails!). Secs then showed everyone how to Down Down wearing the ‘Tube of Shame’ without spilling a drop (well not many drops, anyway)!
And then Chippy stole the show by presenting Boozer with a birthday cake (no, not his 21st…), accompanied by the VTH3 choir singing the “Happy Birthday…” song.
And on that note(!), the Circle was closed with advice that next week’s trail will be on Long Son Island, about half an hour north of the city via the Go Gang bridges.
Postscript: The usual die-hards met again later that evening to help Boozer continue his birthday celebrations!
VTH3 #835 PHOTO GALLERY