SUNDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2013
Nui Dinh – “twin pipes with a twist”
This Sunday started with a new face at the registration desk: Hot Dog has taken over the role of bean counter from long-time registrar OXO, who is otherwise occupied right now...
"We’ve been having a lot of weather lately Olly", is a famous line from old-time comedian Stan Laurel, and we had a lot of different weather scenarios this week, with threatened downpours materialising for two hours at Sunday lunchtime and later giving way to a misty day which was fairly cool and ideal for trekking up mountains.
“VTH3 runs in all weather” – even Typhoon Pakkar last year – so runs will never be cancelled because of a few hours of rain. Those stalwarts who braved the elements on Sunday were the winners this week – they enjoyed an excellent trail in a magic location – see photos below.
With the bullion iced and rego completed, it was not long until we were heading for Ba Ria: through the roundabout on Highway 51 and continuing straight for 5 km to turn right for the arduous climb to the swimming pool café halfway up Nui Dinh.
Disembarking the bus, the multinational Hashers were briefed by Hareraiser Falcon who, along
with Hares KFC and Mr Son, had pre-marked the trail a few days earlier.
Many of us remember the old twin-piped trail up from the swimming pool - the only VTH3 trail without markers – but now we have a completely new trail following the pipes for 300 metres before veering right through dense undergrowth and upwards until the trail eventually meets a path and turns left to the road, where we were greeted by the waterfall in full flow.
We returned down the mountain road past the familiar row of cafés on the right and pigs on the left, and eventually back to the swimming pool café.
With customary lack of mercy shown to the iced nectar, it was not long before the mood became party-like. Someone(?) had brought a bottle of "Russian Tea" (vodka to you and me), which was shared among Hashers to be washed down with San Miguel and, along with plates full of barbecued chicken, made for an extremely pleasant afternoon.
The Circle was called and Falcon did the Ring Master honours, punishing sinners for misdemeanours as “trivial” as being returnees and getting lost, with any excuse to imbibe yet another San Mig – gold or silver, take your pick!
With the light slowly fading and the pre-run rain returning, we boarded our trusty hashmobile complete with full bar and MC KFC for the trip home. A full repertoire of Vietnamese, Russian, Indian and Irish songs as we drove home through the downpour marked the end of another memorable run!
Guest scribe Faulty Brakes
Next Sunday, 6 October, will be a local run on Big Mountain set by Hares Falcon, KFC and Son. Details have been uploaded to the www.vungtauhash.com NEXT RUN box, and will be confirmed in the midweek Hashflyer_597.
VTH3 #596 photo gallery >>>
SUNDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Small Mountain, Lighthouse Hill
First and foremost this week was a presentation to our popular Hash Cash, OXO, as she takes a temporary leave of absence to produce a new generation Hasher. We wish her well and await the return of our #1 Hash family OXO, UXO and Oopso!
And then it was On On! for 27 multinational Hashers through the Front Beach area and behind Lucy’s Sports Bar for a group photo, then a sharp left turn up the pagoda steps.
Behind the pagoda were more steps cut into the mountainside but now through lush undergrowth thriving on the recent rains. A dirt track came next, through similar vegetation, then up, up again, onto a small road, then more undergrowth - until we finally emerged onto the sealed road near the familiar “hammock cafés”.
Decision time… With all the red eco-markers having been souvenired by locals and/or tourists, should we turn left to go down the hill or right to go up to the lighthouse? Displaying true Hash ability to compromise (usually called "indecision" - ed.), the first half of trekkers turned left and the second half turned right!
It wasn’t brilliant sunshine, but at least the rain held off long enough for the camera buffs to get some pics of the Jesus statue on the lower peak of Small Mountain, as well as the main city residential area, Back Beach and East Sea – most of which were accompanied by appreciative bellows of “Bee-ooo-tee-full” by impressed Hashers.
The Circle location was next to the goldfish in Front Beach park, where Mountain Goat showed she’s not only Queen of Big Mountain but also a dab hand in the culinary stakes with a delicious spread of salted pork, salami and pickled cucumber on Russian bread – perfect accompaniments for the gold and silver “liquid bullion” courtesy of our generous sponsor San Miguel, as well as soft drinks, water and the traditional Russian vodka which sets VTH3 gatherings apart from the rest!
Mapdraw identified the various attributes of the trail and awarded 9 out of 10 – an excellent score which earned Hare Falcon a Down Down, accompanied by Mapdraw and her self-appointed “guardian” Mowgli. Unfortunately, co-Hare KFC couldn’t make it to share the well-deserved accolades.
No fewer than six Hash virgins were welcomed, representing Russia, Vietnam and India; before Mowgli charged himself, Anti and Mr Son for following the wrong trail! Mile High was welcomed back after an extended absence and joined by husband Toucans for a refreshing Down Down – the family that runs together, drinks together!
We farewelled Mowgli back to Romania with an ambition to start a new Hash kennel (minus 30C winters notwithstanding!) – bon voyage our feral child, you will be missed – and welcomed volunteers Hot Dog (registration and Hash Cash) and Mr Son (Hare). Uncle and Anti are also
departing downunder this week, but will return in January.
In the meantime, next Sunday will be an away run on Nui Dinh – a trail to be set this week by Hareraiser Falcon, Hare KFC and Hare Intern Mr Son. With all that local knowledge, it promises to be a beauty! Details will be posted in the www.vungtauhash.com NEXT RUN box, and circulated in the midweek Hashflyer_596.
VTH3 #595 photo gallery >>>
Additional photos by Radio Wave are available at the following links:
One-file download - http://yadi.sk/d/CmgZVD9a9mxi8
All photos - http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/mihalich-kld/album/304398/
SUNDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2013
Long Hai Mountains
We experienced a number of “firsts” on Sunday: first time the bus was late, first time we had rain from start to finish of a run, first time for several virgin hashers, first time two dogs were separately carried over a mountain, first time anyone walked the mountains in bare feet, first time we actually crossed a mountain, first time we had more than one pit stop on the way home before even reaching the highway (all the rain, perhaps?) – and the big one: first time our revered Hash Cash OXO acknowledged that maybe she’d better stay behind than risk giving birth on the Long Hai Mountains!
Yes folks, it was a great day all round. Late start because the bus driver got lost (before we’d even started!), and then the rain came down as we reached Long Hai town – just in time for Bus
Captain KFC to purchase a few plastic “condoms” for fellow Hashers who might have been unprepared for such inclement weather.
Leading Hare Falcon briefed the multinational group of 37 Hashers as we dismounted in the rain; and “On On” we went for about 1 km along a dirt track through some “outer suburbs” until reaching the foothills. Then it was a right turn and onto what were possibly designed to be the famous “3 steps to heaven”, except someone miscounted and it was closer to 3,000!!!
On and on, up and up we went until the steps morphed into a rock-strewn track that went occasionally up, down, along or around – in no particular order!
We trecked through several types of undergrowth, most of it quite dense but not impenetrable, until we reached a cluster of huge rocks on top of the mountain – where it was time for a water stop to take in the view, before slip-sliding down the other side in the mud.
After what must have been the longest trek we’ve experienced for some time, we eventually emerged into the familiar Minh Dam Base car park – ideal position for a Circle and Down Down!
An indication of the distance covered is that it took the bus about 15 minutes from our start point to reach the car park by road – and we’d done it over a mountain!
It was a lively Circle, opened with a charge against Uncle for going the wrong way – and immediately countered by a charge against all the “sheep” who followed him!
Faulty Brakes gave the trail an “excellent” 9 out of 10 and Hares Falcon and KFC were given a standing ovation for such a brilliant effort. A shoeless KFC then displayed a novel way of “waterfalling” two drinks at the same time – to thunderous applause!
Four virgins were welcomed, multiple sinners punished, and two new names “christened”: Tarun Malik is no more – welcome Punjabi Express! Similarly, Darryl Baker will henceforth be known as Hot Dog (don’t ask!).
DJ Mowgli took charge of entertainment on the ride home – where old favourites Maggie May, Wild Rover, Ho Chi Minh and more were raucously delivered between multiple pit stops!
Next Sunday, 22 September, will be a local trail – probably on Small Mountain but to be confirmed in the midweek Hashflyer_595 and the www.vungtauhash.com NEXT RUN box.
VTH3 #594 photo gallery >>>
SUNDAY, 08 SEPTEMBER 2013
Mountain Goat Special #5 – Big Mountain
It was an excellent turn-out for a local run yesterday – 29 Hashers representing many different nationalities, although the fairer sex was outnumbered 2 to 1 so we’re hoping the Harriettes can increase their numbers next time!
A prompt 2.30 pm start saw the enthusiastic group heading to the familiar Vi Ba street via Hem 89, where a team photo was taken in case everyone got lost (just joking – ed!).
Then it was “On Down” towards Le Loi, left turn and through some 2 kilometres(!) of alleys and hems before finally reaching Tran Phu Hem 750 and “On On” to Hem 33 Tran Xuan. This time it was “On Up” a flight of stairs, right turn and onto a track that leads to the top of Big Mountain – yes folks, Mountain Goat and Hashputin had conquered Big Mountain yet again!
But in true Mountain Goat style, it was nowhere near over yet. The trail wound around and around the mountainside through many different areas of vegetation, and affording stunning vistas of Vung Tau City – the jewel of Viet Nam!
Our intrepid Hashers finally emerged onto “lower Vi Ba” for a quick hike up to the steps leading down to Hem 89, then down and around for some thirst-quenchers at the Bach Dang bia hoi.
Many thanks to Mountain Goat for laying another very special “Special” trail (#5) – she’s surely the Queen of Big Mountain!
Next Sunday’s trail has not yet been confirmed (any volunteer Hares out there? – if so, please get in touch via reply email or the “Contact VTH3” box on www.vungtauhash.com ).
In the meantime, we will all meet again next Sunday, 15 September, at 2 pm in the Offshore 1 Bar – details to be advised in Hashflyer_594 midweek, and posted in the NEXT RUN box on www.vungtauhash.com
VTH3 #593 photo gallery >>>
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