24th June 2018
Big Mountain - "The On and On and Up and Up Trail!"
Hares: Mr. T, Secs
Hash Flashers: Secs, Radiowave
Report: Chom Chom
On On to yet another hot, humid and damn right humiliating Sunday afternoon! This week a local trail exploring a few new and more familiar areas on Big Mountain was set by our tireless hares Secs and Mr T.
For a local trail in such heat, a very impressive and somewhat surprising 45 Hashers assembled at our home base of Hon Ru Ri. After the important business had been completed (doing the registration) Mr T assembled us and we started the trail progressing to Tran Phu and making an initial left turn. Shortly after we were hindered once again and were informed of the trail in more details with a left turn here, a few more steps, turn right, jump over the stream, up some more steps, stop for some selfies, blah blah blah. All rather boring and no doubt we were hoping that the red tape would suffice.
We carried along Tran Phu further and finally started our incline by turning right at Hem 12 and progressing up to the Princess Spa. Quite a pleasant start, but this was soon to change with another right turn with some steeper steps. The heat pounding down, some of us are starting to struggle already! We passed a few houses and greeted the community, trying to show love to the obligatory mutts each home has to have – hasn’t ADT with their alarms arrived in Vietnam?
The trail flattened at this point and whilst it was still hot and the wind was as non-existent as a virgin in Vung Tau it was one of the more pleasant parts. This soon was to change thanks to poorly placed red tape! A set of steep stairs veered to the right, it looked dark, dingy and depressing. Who, who, who thought it would be a good idea to place red tape right on this junction. The keener hashers decided this had to be the route forward and started the climb up the treacherous stairs of death… But where to go at the top? No more red tape? Soon it was announced we had made a wrong turn so we returned to the initial path somewhat infuriated – or maybe that was just me.
Shortly after we did take a successful right turn and entered the jungle area and started to climb further up the mountain. As we cut our way through the dense, suffocating undergrowth, fighting the intense heat and the very air which hung heavy, moist and still. The dead trees, the empty bottles of water and other general waste which reminded of us of the beauty – was that a used condom hanging from the tree? The attacks from general bush creatures, killer ants, leeches, snakes and those mosquito things desperately looking for a good feed made this Sunday afternoon so worthwhile.
We then approached a more familiar area and wandered around the mountain along the waterfall trail. It seemed so much further this time and whilst we were honoured to have brief shady parts it still proved tiresome for some. As we hit the final stages and being familiar with this part of the trail we were confident it was almost over. But NO…. Mr T was waiting near the top guiding us to turn left and progress further up the mountain. At this stage enough was enough for one day and a few of us, decided to make our way to the down-down via an alternative, easier, quicker route via the steps from Vi Ba.
We had our Down-Down at the Bia Tuoi on Le Loi Street with almost unlimited supply of freshly brewed beer and soft drinks, together with a few tasty food plates. The photo was taken and our slightly slack Ringmaster gave a small speech – no circle this week due to the Down Down venue.
Thanks to Super Teen for her Russian Bread and Port. Thanks also to Boozer for his taxi xe-om service picking the more tired hashers up.
Another great Sunday of Hashing. On On to next week…
VTH3 #843 PHOTO GALLERY
17th June 2018
Nui Dinh - "Pools to Pools"
Hares: Mr. T, Secs, Boozer, Zidane
Hash Flashers: Secs, Radiowave
On Sunday 17th June, 2018, 47 enthusiastic and spritely Hashers, and one dog, arrived at Hon Ru RI on bikes, on foot, on motorbikes and taxis, all ready for a new and exciting expedition! The picturesque and most beautiful Trail No. 842. All the selfie experts were primed with go-go gadget arms and dexterous phone tapping fingers at the ready! Radio Wave armed with his very special camera was snapping away already capturing the bubbly fervor. While all Hash members were registered and accounted for, the HASH mobile had being primed with coolers filled with ice and the very refreshing, effervescent, liquid gold San Migel Beer, non-alcoholic drinks and food for the hungry hoards post exertion. “All aboard!”, we were off to the positively scenic Nui Dinh!
The bus weaved its way through highway, hem and hamlet finally coming to stop at the start of our trail. With everyone off, advice given for the trek and water in hand, the 47 Hashers set off on their 2 hour expedition! The rainy season had brought new life to the forest. A myriad of colourful butterflies, trickling streams, lush flora and flooded sparkling rock pools awaited our passage.
The trail started off quite sedately just a few hundred steps, a nice little path that weaved through charming rock pools and up up up up, to the quaint little temple framed with its ponds filled with tadpoles, lily pads and luscious gardens. That’s enough civilization for us! Into the jungle we strode, around huge rocks, up the earthy track, through the dense jungle, down the leafy passage, up yet another rocky incline and another enchanting temple. This one had hidden views! You could feel the selfie adrenaline rising, a massive rock with no safety railing at all but an absolutely stunning view of a huge drop off the side of the mountain that boasted panoramic views of the entire province! Did that stop our intrepid selfie takers? No, not in the least! One by one they carefully squeezed onto the large rock platform to take their best shot. Radio Wave managed to scale another higher rock for the perfect vantage. This was more than Miss Selfie could bare…………….. lift me up, push me, throw me, “you must!”. Nothing is to much for the gallant Radio Wave and before you know it (not really, it took a lot of shoving and pushing!), she was in a state of bliss! “look at me” she exclaimed with glee, “I’m on top of the world!”. All was happy in the Kingdom and they all lived happily ever after ?
Was there more? Could anything top that exhilarating experience? Of course, there was! “On ON” they shouted! Back down they trudged, through the temple, down the steps, down the leafy passage, around the huge rocks, down the earthy track, weaving down the rocky path, wading through the jungle, up the, down the, up the, down the, all the while a kaleidoscope of energetic butterflies fluttered to and fro, adding to the already captivating, green, lush landscape. Then down, down, down the stone carved steps to the many marvellous natural rock swimming pools and yet another rocky outcrop over a cliff face that afforded an added extra, another panoramic view. Selfie time! Then a thought occurred…………. The taste buds awakened………… the thirst became the will. Push on, its time for San Migel!
Through the forest, past the jungle, over the rocks, down the steps, passed the temple they sprang, “hark, what is that sound? Is it people drinking?”. Time to summon the last of the energy store! The Down-Down! Food, glorious food, refreshments and ice cold San Migel. A chance to compare adventure stories, battle scars and to quietly discuss who had sinned, who were the virgins and who had dared to abstain! “Hashers attention!” time for the Hash summit. The Hares were four, Mr. T, Zindane, Boozer and Secs, a likely bunch of dedicated and daring drovers. “All hale the Hares”. The Virgins were so many and too numerous to count! “All hale the Virgins”. The Returnees Samson, Shakey, Lazy, Sneezy, Sleepy and Dopey (I made up the last four!). The fancy new names four dedicated Hashers, Thao – Golden Fish, Kanh – Lucifer (apparently a good angel in Vietnam folk law) and Giang hereon named Twiggy. Ah, and the Sinners (insert evil laugh) Zidane the Hash Hare had his shorts on the wrong way round when he arrived at the pre meet spot! Twiggy had on sparkly spanking new shoes, far to shiny to go unnoticed! The Ice Queens fulfilled their duty as anointers and the Hash Harker rallied the crew for a rousing rendition of True Blue Hashers! Once more, all was good with the world, the sun was setting in the west and it was time to return from Wonderland. And…………… that’s all folks!
VTH3 #842 PHOTO GALLERY
10th June 2018
Small Mountain - "The Last Viking Trail"
Hares: Secs, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Secs, Radiowave
Sunday 10th June, 2018 and HASH No. 841 was the final Vung Tau Hash Harriers trail for our beloved Viking, a six year loyal veteran, and his 42 fellow International Hashers; men, women, children and one dog! A bittersweet gathering only to be sweetened by a fabulous farewell party with loads of ice cold San Miguel and some locally made traditional Vietnamese dishes! As usual everyone met at Hon Ru Ri for registration and instruction and moved onto Valley Beach that was to be our down down and parrrrrrrty! Faulty Brakes and Buddha were the fearless San Miguel guardians while the remaining 40 Hashers set off on the One with the Lot Trail!
An easy few kilometers walk up Ha long seemed to be a great warm up as scaling a small mountain didn’t sound too difficult……. 3 out of 5 they said…….. the instructions were walk, turn right, steps, turn left, walk, turn right, crawl, turn left, swing through the trees, turn right when you see the rock, hop till you see the tree, run till you see the flower, turn right, slide until you feel the bottom ………… or was it left? Or was it through the trees? Thank god for the ribbons! The trail took many forms, very vertical concrete steps, basic training crawl under netting, scaling fences, more steps, ahhhhhh a path (a real concrete one!), a dirt path ….. looks innocent enough!!! A house ahead ……… very civilized! Ummmmmmmmm no not that way, but where? The only way (and not turning back) was down! No steps no rocks no foothold………. Alice could be heard muttering something that sounded like “Who’s wonderfully exciting idea was this? Down the rabbit hole, oooooooooo goodie, I hope there’s a party down there (insert clap clap clap)”. One by one the Hashers skated down the slippery slope. Radio Wave and Viking dragged a huge tree up the slope hoping to aid the less able, a make shift hand rail of sorts. Nice work guys!
At the bottom of the slope was solid flat land! An Oasis of seriously long giant grass, so long that the children and one dog could have been lost in it! The palliative flat trail was not to last, the next leg was not just up, it was up but not straight up! Of course not …………. Through the shrub and around the trees, ankles strained at unnatural angles. Finally, at the top afforded another teaser, a flat trail and a chance to repose. “On On!” they shouted as the 40 Hashers continued on until they find some relic cannons and another photo op.
The trek must push on, more flat trail led to the many steps that led up to the grand Jesus statue but that was not for us! No down the steps we went only to be met by Secs who informs us that its over the railing with the promise of the best ever selfies that scaling a shale like cliff can buy! It did not disappoint! A selfie paradise consisting of the majestic Pacific Ocean, a serene temple atop the charming little Hon Ba island with a backdrop azure blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds and the sun perfectly positioned over the mountain behind us. Ms Selfie was in paradise! One thousand and one selfies later, one by one the hashers who had braved the cliff peeled themselves away and made their way down the rest of the mountain by relatively sedate rubble trail, through tiny little hems lined with rustic dwelling, washing and domesticated animal life. Turn right! A strole along Phan Chu Trinh and again turn right the last of the up up up trail up Thuy Van towards 1A Ha Long to Valley Beach and the down-down! At last, the “one with the lot trail” was at an end. Now for the assembly of champions, sinners, returnees, virgins and hares!
With frosty San Miguel in hand, the shrill whistle blows, all hashers willingly rally, attentive and excited for their fervent ceremonial stentor to announce the Hash hares: Mr T and Secs, the welcome to virgins: Velko, Huong and Huey, the returnees: Khanh away at school in the north, Thao ‘beautiful’ and Shrimp was too busy, the sinners: Budda for resting on his laurels, again, Misty for her shiny new shoes and Velko for inappropriate footwear! All succumbed to the ice maidens baptismal drenching! Boozer sings triumphantly rallying the troops to join in, the loud Hashers chant heard all across the land and with that a final baptism, Boozers icy comeuppance. Let the farewell party begin! Here’s to a true blue and beloved Hasher, cheers to Viking, a Hasher that will be sorely missed. All wish you the very best for the future, On on!
VTH3 #841 PHOTO GALLERY
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3rd June 2018
Nui Dinh - "Up and down, and up and down"
Hares: Secs, Mr. T, Boozer
Hash Flashers: Secs
Eskies cleaned? Check! Ice ordered? Check! Enough San Miguel? Check! A variety of Soft Drinks? Check! Cool bags for food? Check!
Buddha and Zidane, our Beer-meisters this week, single-handedly organise this week’s supplies and load it in to taxis and meet up with the 39 expectant Hashers at Hon Ru Ri . 1.30pm already and there’s some consternation as our Hashmobile hasn’t arrived yet! A couple of phone calls later the bus arrives 10 minutes later after having waited for us at the wrong location. Supplies loaded, we are soon on our way to our favourite mountain Nui Dinh.
Not long after passing Ba Ria our Hashmobile takes a right turn and laboriously grinds its way up the mountain road to our starting point 270 m above sea level. We disembark a few hundred meters from the end of the road pleased with the overcast sky and cool breeze - perfect Hashing weather. We gather round our Hare, Secs, for the “chalk-talk”. He indictes to the trail leading into the forest - follow the path until you come to a pagoda, then at the staircase going to pagoda look to left for the red tape that marks the way back in to the jungle. Follow this path until you reach another pagoda - with some awesome views. Continue through the pagoda until it meets up with a paved road and follow the road for about 3km and then look out for the red tape that shows a shortcut down to a coffee shop - turn right at the coffee shop and then follow the road for the final kilometer to the down-down spot at the end of the road where we started.
So on-on in to the jungle we go! The clement weather and gentle slope makes for easy going until we emerge from the jungle at the second pagoda and are greeted with a jaw dropping view. Plenty of time for photos, reflection and bell ringing before setting off to find the paved path.
Finding the path was easy - not so easy was the realisation that it was on 60˚ incline with no end in sight. We poise ourselves and tiptoe determinedly up the slope. Arriving at what we believe to be top of the hill we are confronted with an equally sharp descent. Baby stepping our way down, we turn a corner only to be presented with another steep climb. Now we know why this the “Up and Down Trail”. We continue up and down the many “rolling hills”, many of us taking a breather to rest our burning calf muscles. Eventually the road evens out and we spot the red tapes marking the shortcut through the jungle. It may be a shortcut but as we peer in to the bush it’s apparent that it’s another steep climb down an overgrown, rocky jungle path. Undaunted, we trepidatiously begin our descent helping each other as we go. Unscathed we emerge at the coffee shop and the easy last kilometer to the down-down.
Ice cold San Miguel, chilled soft drinks, banh mi and a variety of fruit and other delights await. Thanks foodies! We imbibe, ingest and intermingle until the inimitable Boozer takes out his whistle and gives it blow.
Time for the circle! This week our Hares Mr. T., Secs and Boozer, are front and center eagerly awaiting the trail rating and subsequent dousing when we are visited by an old friend - Porky Pig. Not a Hashname but a nosy portly pig that seems to always take an interest in us when we have our down-downs here. He is shooed away and our attention is back to the circle. This weeks our virgins are asked to rate the trail and the final bid was somewhere around 11/10.
This week we have six virgins hailing from Australia, Vietnam and France after the customary introductions we welcome them with a song and a “drink it down-down” and initiate them into the Hash with the ceremonial “ice-water shower”.
The Captain and Tatiana are the only returnees, Tatianna has been in Russia and The Captain has been busy “drinking beer and chasing women”. The Captain then proceeds to give a master class in how to down a beer from the chalice of holes and the tube of doom.
Secs charges RadioWave for missing the obvious red tape and leading some Hashers the wrong way. RadioWave, in turn, charges Secs for interfering with him going the wrong way(?!?). Zidane is pushed in the circle for the heinous crime of New Shoes. Virgin Steve has committed the unforgivable sin of Wearing Thongs. A couple of late entries; Niharika for “doing nothing” and Yash for promising to bring some Indian delicacies last time and turning up empty handed. Their sins are cleansed with same ceremonial “ice-water shower”.
Closing the circle Boozer announces next weeks will be local and there will be a shindig afterwards in honour of stalwart Hasher Viking who will be returning to his native Denmark soon.
Just enough time for another beer before we board the Hashmobile and head back to Hon Ru Ri in good spirits.
VTH3 #840 PHOTO GALLERY
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