15 SEPTEMBER 2019
SMALL MOUNTAIN - 'The tide is low, and we're going on-on, Sagota is our Number 1'
Hares: Mr. T, Secs, Cleaver, Faulty Brakes
Hash Flasher: Diver
Report: Faulty Brakes
How many times have you walked or driven by that tiny island at the foot of the Jesus Statue and people have said to you that you know that you can walk across there when the tide is low? Well, last Sunday after some strategic planning and a few phone calls to NASA ‘the green light’ was given for an attempted crossing to Hon Ba. The previous day in order to ensure that everything would comply with the safety requirements of VTH3 a trio of Celts namely young Faulty Brakes, Cleaver and Secs tested the waters so as to speak. The planning was undertaken by Secs, having consulted the tidal possibility of being able to cross at a time that would coincide with our departure from Uno Cafe at 1.30, his military genius was verified.
‘SAGOTA ‘ a new word that that should be on the tips of everyone’s tongue for the foreseeable future (pardon the pun). We are proud to announce that they will be our main sponsor of VTH3 with a selection of excellent beers to quench our palates for future imbibing. Sponsors play a vital role in helping VTH3 a Hash that prides itself on being 'family friendly' and keeping costs to a minimum..
Despite the usual late arrivals we set off for the first attempted crossing on the 908th Vung Tau Hash Run to cross to Hon Ba. Wheeling left from Uno, proceeding past the new Lang Rung until we arrive at the foot of the ‘Jesus statue’. Descending down onto the beach which was now at low tide we arrived at the pathway that led to Hon Ba. According to local folklore people who visit the island will have good luck and happiness bestowed on them. Now with the tide at its lowest we proceeded to cross the slippery stones and the blue-shirted Hashers along with local Vietnamese made their pilgrimage to the holy island. Having been forewarned of the the quick turning tides a brief exploration of the temple and surrounding landscape it was time to return to 'terra firma' across the the tidal pathway. On our return it was noticeable that the tide had changed, the waves had overlapped the original pathway and now the tide had turned.
Easy trail today? Think again, meanwhile Mr. T and Secs had conjured up another piece of torture to encounter for Run 908. Up the Jesus steps to the red ribbons indicating a turn to right across the quarry to Phan Chu Trinh Hem 220. It is worth noticing that some entrepreneurs had set up a small coffee stand near the steel barriers we wish them luck? At Hem 220 we turned left and as usual passing all those little bars and cafes in 'Little Sydney' we arrived at The Winds, an upmarket resort. Up through The Winds and over the wall up the mountain slope and onto Hai Dang Road, which is the road that leads to the lighthouse on Nui Nho. Coming towards the end of what was perceived as an easy trail, it was now time to go through the Yogurt shops and onto the road that links the two military compounds. Soon we were descending the steps to the temple on Ha Long Road and eventually we arrived in Uno Coffee.
The good fortune folklore that had been related to Hong Ba was fulfilled when for the first time our Down Down we encountered a new range of Sagota beers. There are two times in life when I drink - 'firstly when I’m thirsty, and secondly when I am not' - an old cliche and after today’s arduous efforts our new sponsor SAGOTA quenched everyone’s thirst and vanquished any doubts about the quality of their beers, Uno Coffee is one of those places where everyone can relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the ocean. In the meantime Boozer was up to his old tricks again running the circle, this week’s recipient of a Hash name was Daniel from Tipperary, having ‘Diver’ bestowed on him, not surprising he works as a submariner. A couple of drenchings with ice cold water and beers for the usual Sinners and Hares eventually brought the proceedings to a halt. The approval ratings for our new thirst quencher SAGOTA were unanimous among our hashers at 10 out of a possible 10 while the trail earned a 12 out of 10.
Hon Ba (‘Ba’ I am reliably informed means island in Vietnamese) A lady temple was built there in 1781 and now in 2019 it welcomed its first visit from VTH3. There was nothing left of today’s SAGOTA supply of beers and all that remained to complete our day was to empty and return our eskies to the store in Uno Coffee.
RUN 908 PHOTO GALLERY
15 SEPTEMBER 2019
NUI DINH - 'Misty Mountain Hop'
Hares: Mr. T, Cleaver
Hash Flasher: Just Daniel
Ringmaster: Rain Stopped Play
A dreich Sunday may have persuaded some of our less intrepid members to abstain from today’s trail or perhaps it was the consequences of Zidane’s 60th Birthday Party the previous night, regardless, approximately 20 indomitable Hashers and a dog hopped on the Hashmobile bound for Nui Dinh.
Disembarking at the bottom of Nui Dinh, next to the perpetually under construction road, we march up the hill until we see the obligatory red ribbons pointing us over the crash barrier. The skies are still an ominous grey but thankfully it’s not raining. We gather around the lead Hare, Mr. T, for our instructions - but, alas, we realize an adolescent child has been left sleeping on the Hashmobile, we wait for his mother to rouse him from his slumber and Mr. T continues with his talk - we are going to climb over the wall, follow the red ribbons, which will bring us to a temple, from there we are to get on a path and follow it until we come back to the road we are currently on and then it’s an easy downhill till we reach the “swimming pool” place where the down-down is.
And so chomping at the bit, it’s On-On we go!
As we peer over the wall we see a deep ravine with slippery rocks that descends down in to the jungle. Trepidatiously, we hunker down and slither over the rocks, wary of proverbially going “arse over elbow”. The next obstacle to confront us is a turbulent river with a slippery array of stepping stones - an over confident Secs flippantly remarks to Fluffer, “Hey, we should wait here and take photos, someone is bound to fall in” - and with that takes his first step and promptly flips and finds himself knee deep in the icy mountain water. Hmm, something, something, karma. Worse, Mr. T comes up behind and informs us that just a few meters to the left is an easier, calmer crossing.
Once we’ve crossed the river we make the steep ascent through the moist, lush, verdant jungle. Scrambling over rocks we eventually encounter some dilapidated old steps carved out of the side of the mountain. We reach the top of the steps and out of the mountain mist emerges a Tomb Raider-esque temple embedded in the massive mountain rocks. After taking time to take in the cloud obscured views and take many “insta-face” photos we continue along the easy-to-walk mountain path and we are back on Nui Dinh road and it’s a pleasant stroll downwards until we see the trusty Hashmobile parked outside our down-down spot.
Just as we arrive, the rain starts and we scurry for shelter, some of us opting to displace a family of pigs stied under a corrugated iron roof. Voraciously we chomp down on delicious Banh Mi and quaff down ice cold beer. Sated, we congregate for the team photo and first time Hash Flasher, Just Daniel, takes the pic. With no Virgins, Returnees or Sinners this week and the rain still pouring down the decision was made not have a Circle this week. We pack up the Hashmobile ensuring there’s an eskie full of on bus entertainment and speed back to Vung Tau stopping only for a very welcome comfort break. Back at Uno Coffee we unload and cart everything up the stairs to the storage room and disperse into the night. Another fantastic Sunday afternoon.
RUN 907 PHOTO GALLERY
7/8 SEPTEMBER 2019
CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK
Hares: Faulty Brakes, Cleaver, Boozer
Hash Flasher: Kojak, Ms. Huong
Report: Chom Chom
A rather special weekend this week as Vung Tau Hash assembled on a Saturday morning in preparation for the postponed trip to Nam Cat Tien. This report will serve as a brief overview to the two-days ahead.
The majority of Hashers met at our regular registration point at Café Uno and started arriving from 7am in anticipation for a 7.30am departure. Just as we were ready to go, someone was missing. Kojak had failed to show up so a quick call was made to check on his location. He claimed he thought we were meeting at 8am, but luckily he was ready, and we were able to make an additional bus stop at Palace Hotel to collect him. From here we progressed up to Co-Op Mart on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street to pick up the remaining Hashers.
Our journey continued through Vung Tau to Ba Ria and various smaller villages and hamlets of Ba Ria and then Dong Nai. A break stop was taken mid-way to allow Hashers to refuel and relieve themselves.
As we progressed nearer to Nam Cat Tien it was getting darker and darker outside and it was looking as a wet weekend was ahead. We eventually arrived at our home for the weekend at Green Bamboo Lodge at 11.45am. After a very efficient check-in we all made our way to our suites and took the opportunity to take a quick rest and to freshen up before lunch. The rain had started but luckily most had made their way to their rooms in time.
Lunch was served at 12.30pm and we dined with fried chicken, prawns, spring rolls, vegetables and rice.
The main trail was set to commence at 1.30pm so we all gathered and walked down to the ferry point in order to cross the Dong Nai River to the Cat Tien National Park. It took several crossings to transport all the Hashers across the rapidly flowing river.
We set out on our trail along a flat road through lush woodland and greenery, over streams, fords and smaller river tributaries. Our first main attraction was a view of powerful rapids which proved a very worthwhile opportunity to explore the edge of the river together with countless photos. After a brief break, we made our way back to the main road path and continued on our trail. Eventually we made our finishing point, which conveniently was a bus stop where we anxiously awaited our transport to return us back to the ferry. Sadly after a while, it looked as if today’s service wasn’t going to happen, so it was decided we should walk the return route back, making the trail close to 10km.
Having returned to the ferry location for our crossing back, many Hashers took to the convenience store offering gifts, ice creams and drinks whilst we waited for a space on the ferry.
Dinner was to commence at 6.30pm so upon our return to Green Bamboo Lodge, we had ample time to take a break, shower and prepare for the evening session. The barbecue spread included pink snapper, chicken, French fries, vegetables, rice and a fruit medley. Eskies had been unloaded from the bus so cold beers and softies were ready to go. Let the evening begin…
As the evening progressed and the eskies got lighter, we enjoyed the conversation, the drinks, the food and the music. Before too long the karaoke began and for the next few hours we were privileged to hear many hashers take to the microphone including Damien, Kojak, Miss Huong, Hot Pants, Sparkle, Pinkie and many more. Boozer made an announcement notifying Hashers that a further trip to the National Park had been arranged for 9am the following morning for those interested. One by one, the group got smaller as slowly but surely people were getting tired and needing to find their way back to their room.
The next day, a decent crowd of Hashers gathered together for the second trip to the National Park. Again, a quick walk to the ferry point to make the river crossing. Upon reaching the park, unfortunately, once again there was no truck to drive us around. Instead Hashers walked along the trail to a big tree and then onto the Tiger Rapids. The group returned to Green Bamboo Lodge at 11.15am just in time for lunch.
Lunch began at 11.30am and consisted of fish hotpot, fresh spring rolls and barbecued pork. A plentiful feast set us up for the four-hour journey back to Vung Tau.
We checked-out of our rooms, settled our bills and made our way back to the bus. We departed shortly after 12.30pm and after a quick pit-stop midway, we arrived bac in Vung Tau around 4.30pm.
CAT TIEN PHOTO GALLERY - KOJAK
CAT TIEN PHOTO GALLERY - MS. HUONG - HASH FLASH
1 SEPTEMBER 2019
Hares: Mr. T
Hash Flasher: Zidan
Report: Chom Chom
Whilst most of us were still sleeping, this week’s trail gave Mr T, our Hare, the opportunity to see what life in Vung Tau is like at 7am, by getting up early and setting a rather last-minute trail on Big Mountain.
As the morning developed, our Hashers woke up one-by-one and made their presence at Café Uno for our regular 1pm gathering. This week we had 33 Hashers keen and eager to find out what had been set for the afternoon’s exploration and expedition.
Once registration had been completed, we were told to make our way to Hem 102, the Old Ladies House where we would gather once again. Motorbikes, cars and taxis transferred our Hashers to the next location. From here we took yet more taxis to our trail starting point at Hem 610 Tran Phu, home of Thích Ca Phật Đài Buddhist temple. For many Hashers, this will have been a familiar temple featuring an ornate Buddhist pagoda tower together with a large sitting Buddha.
After a quick introduction from Boozer, who seemed to know as much about the trail ahead as the rest of us, we were told to follow the red tapes. So, once again, On-On, let the trail begin. Our ascent up the picturesque and scenic mountain took us up steps initially, passing the tower, the sitting Buddha and a series of market stalls, selling the usual touristy tat. Whilst the majority of us contrived our way through the market, others stopped to examine the fine merchandise on offer and no doubt made their purchases.
We plodded on up more and more steps with varying gradients. Happily chatting and enjoying our time as we were still, for the majority, gathered in a sole group we merrily went our way, confidently following the main path. After about a kilometre there was getting some concern as no red tapes had been seen. Hmmm, confusion had set in. Had Mr. T really been up earlier that morning? We progressed further and eventually decided things weren’t quite right. It seemed we had all gone the wrong way. We backtracked and eventually found the red tape marking a now right turn on a dry, sandy path heading up the mountain.
We followed the red tapes through the rocky sandy path and soon hit dense woodland with not much of a path to guide us. At least there was plenty of red tape to guide us over and under the trees and shrubs surrounding us. After a fair climb we met with a concrete road that would have been recognisable with most Hashers. It was the road that would eventually lead to the Ho May Park cable car station. A left turn was taken and we carried On-On our way feeling far more confident of the route in front of us.
As expected, we veered to the right, taking us to a small temple and presenting us with around 600 steps for our final downward journey back through the Hưng Thắng Tự Buddhist temple and back on to Tran Phu Street where we made our way back to Old Ladies House.
With the rock box pumping and beers and soft drinks aplenty, our Hashers slowly completed the trail and regrouped, happily chatting over the week’s news and goings-on.
The circle was called and in the routine fashion we were introduced to our Hare, Mr. T. The trail was eventually rated a 12 so well done, particularly for the strenuous early start he had committed himself to in order to make the trail possible. Virgins this week included Jimmy from Yorkshire, UK together with Nha and Mieng Anh from Vung Tau. As mentioned earlier there were far too many sinners for going the wrong way, so they were luckily waived from being showered with beer, however poor old David was pulled into the circle for being devastated with his girlfriend. Let’s hope his week gets better.
Next weekend, Vung Tau Hash is on an away trip to Nam Cat Tien so for those not fortunate to be accompanying us, a quiet Sunday afternoon lays ahead.
VTH3 #905 PHOTO GALLERY