NOVEMBER 22 2020
Hares: Anagram, Bull Ant, Chippy
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Secs, Mr. T, Chippy
This Sunday saw us on a local trail - the first local trail in several weeks. Our Hares, Chippy, Bull Ant and Anagram had laboriously set this challenging trail the previous Thursday. In fact, reports of the difficulty of this trail prompted Mismanagement to offer some alternative trails.
While Zany Zidane processed registrations, a procession of helpful hashers gathered the supplies for this week. Copious amounts of beer, soft drinks, fruit and this week’s delicacy of roasted pork are lovingly ensconced in the eskies and swaddled with ice. With preparations now complete we get ready for the off.
Secs explains that this week there will be three options:
1. Chippy’s Bamboo Bonanza - a difficult but rewarding trail that will involve steep climbs, scrambling over precarious rocks and fighting through thick bamboo.
2. Mr. T’s Power Line - a familiar but tough trail without too many obstacles
3. Faulty Brakes’ Hash Lite - an easier but still challenging walk to Ho May Park on Vi Ba
Asking for a show of hands as to which trail Hashers wanted, an overwhelming majority chose the difficult option 1 - we’d expect nothing less from our hardy Hashers.
So it's on-on we go. The majority heading out the back of our Hash Home Tommy’s and a subset following Mr. T and Faulty Brakes down Le Ngoc Han.
Getting out of the back of Tommy’s is the first challenge - after hopping on to makeshift crates in to the thick jungle we make our way up what is to be the first of a steep slope. Pulling ourselves up by grabbing tree after tree we eventually emerge on Vi Ba road.
Undeterred after this first challenge we skip down Vi Ba under a crystalline blue sky until we reach the hill that would take us up to Chon Khong Monastery however instead of heading on to the temple we are diverted off the right and up a colourful staircase which leads to an adjoining pagoda. Red ribbons lead us to an inconspicuous path into the bush.
This acclivitous narrow path takes us over and under fallen trees and rocky steps until we come out at a clearing. Here the ever diligent Anagram points us to where we are going - a formidable rock juts out from the crest of the mountain. Last chance for anyone who wishes to turn back. Surprise, surprise, only one hasher opts to head back to base citing the wrong shoes for such an endeavour.
So on-on we go again into the bush and onto the next challenging climb. We clamber over the aforementioned precarious rocks helping each other as we go. And, oh boy, was it worth it! At the top we are treated to one of the most spectacular panoramic views of Vung Tau and the surrounding area. A crystal clear vista of the distant mountains of one of our favourite stomping grounds, Long Hai and a unique view of Small Mountain all framed by an azure blue sky.
Sitting on the rocks we stop to rehydrate and cool off in the fresh sea breeze and, by jove, did we need it. The next leg of the trail was to prove to be the most challenging.
No sooner have we left the breezy rock we find ourselves in thick bamboo where it's definitely an advantage to be vertically challenged. With very little headroom we hunker down and crawl commando style for what seems like an eternity (actually only 1km) desperately searching for the next red ribbon to point us in the right direction. A well deserved shout out to the Hares for some excellent marking of this part of the trail.
Eventually there is a light at the end of the bamboo tunnel and we are relieved to emerge relatively unscathed at the familiar and spectacular ‘top of the powerlines’. After a well deserved rest and the obligatory selfies we brace ourselves for the tricky descent down yet another steep and rocky path. With gravity on our side and trembling legs we cautiously plod our way down. Happy to be back on Vi Ba it’s a short walk down the steps to Le Ngoc Han and back to Tommy’s.
Back at Tommy’s we meet up with the other Hashers who look comparatively fresh after their Powerline Light trail. The eskies are raided as we inhale ice cold beverages to quench our thirst. Our Hash House caterers prepare the smorgasbord of delights and soon the buffet is open for business. Roast pork, baguettes, bananas, watermelon, cake are all eagerly wolfed down by our hungry Hashers.
Just enough time to take the team photo and not enough time for a circle this week and our hashers drift off into the twilight tired but triumphant.
Another great Sunday afternoon - thanks to all who helped.
Until next week - On-On!
RUN 960 GALLERY
NOVEMBER 15 2020
LONG SON ISLAND
Hares: Anagram, Bull Ant, Chippy, Secs, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Secs, Mr. T, Ken Bao
Report: Bull Ant
Woohoo...it's Sunday! Time for run number 959 where our hares, Chippy, Anagram, Secs, Mr. T, and Bull Ant have set a trail in the hills of Long Son Island. So, as usual, after registration the bus was loaded with an abundance of fruit, banh mi, beer, water, and soft drink it was time to head off. It wasn't long before we arrived at our starting point where there appeared to be the tail end of a massive celebration and with a huge marquee erected across our path, we had to find a way through. Luckily the celebration was in it's final stages and we were able to pass through virtually unnoticed.
The trail started along a pathway through local suburbia and after walking a few hundred metres away from the noise of the party, it was time for Mr. T to address the Hashers and explain the trail. The focus this week was to be on the red ribbons as a large section of the trail was through very dense vegetation and did not contain any sort of path or track.
So it was on on and virtually straight into a climb that would take the group up to a height of around 160 metres. Those that took the time to look around whilst climbing up would have noticed the spectacular views overlooking Long Son island and beyond. On top of the hill we passed a wooden structure that looked as though it was held together with the same red tape used for marking our trails...interesting? Once the biggest climb of the day was complete, it was on on and almost straight into the dense scrub. Thanks to the Hares there was no shortage of red ribbons and everyone made it safely through that little challenge. From that point on, things were a little easier with a straight forward track leading us to the location of the down down, an abandoned coffee shop amongst the hills, providing the perfect setting.
With the trail being approximately 3km, all Hashers reached the down down in pretty quick time which allowed enough daylight to conduct the customary activities. After a few refreshments and the usual banquet of food, for the first time in several weeks the mandatory photo was taken and the circle was formed. With Zidane as Master of Ceremonies, Hares were rated, Virgins welcomed, and Sinners punished. This week we had even more to celebrate as it was Chief Stoker's birthday, so after the candles were lit on a beautifully decorated cake, Hashers belted out an extra song, singing happy birthday. It was now time to pack the eskies and board the bus for the usual joyous trip back to Tommy's.
With the bus departing somewhat earlier than usual and a short trip home, the expectation was that we would arrive back very early. Not to be. As the bus made it's way from the abandoned coffee shop down the winding road and through the first of 2 gates there was a slight hiccup. The last gate was locked and with only one way out there was some concern. Chippy was soon on the phone and saved the day. After a 15 minute wait for the key to arrive we were able to hit the road again.
After arriving back at Tommy's and unloading the eskies, the day/night was far from over. With live music from Perfect Jive Duo, and with beer and pizza on offer, there was hours more entertainment to be had. With some Hashers opting to dance and others just enjoying listening to the music while drinking and eating, it was the perfect end to another perfect day.
Thanks to everyone who make this weekly event what it is.
RUN 959 GALLERY
NOVEMBER 8 2020
Hares: Bull Ant, Chippy, Secs, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Secs, Mr. T, Danny, Ken Bao
Report: Chom Chom
Another Sunday, another great afternoon of fun, exploration and excitement as Run 958 took us on an away trail to Nui Dinh.
The weather was looking perfect as our eager Hashers started to arrive at Tommy’s for the regular 1pm registration. We welcomed Zidan as our new chief of cash, or properly titled Hash Cash and with the assistance of Mr. T, registrations were dealt with efficiently and effectively. In the meantime, the eskies of beer and soft drinks were being loaded up, together with fruit and other Hash necessities.
We departed swiftly at 1.30pm with a fuller than usual bus, packed to a similar style as a tin of sardines, with our handy plastic stools assisting in the isles. A few spots of rain and some dark skies provided an element of concern for our Hashers, but luckily this was short lived.
Upon arriving at the top of Nui Dinh, the start of this week’s trail, the eskies and Hash supplies were loaded into a car to be transferred to our nearby Down Down location.
So On On we went as we walked back down the main road for a while before turning right into the forest. Here, Secs gave us the overview of the trail ahead and the various options, including the newly introduced “Hash Lite”.
Almost immediately we reached the first challenge, a fast-moving river, complete with rocky unstable stones. Whilst many took their shoes off and carefully manoeuvred across, others went for the fast-track approach by simply walking through the crystal-clear water. Thanks to Anagram for his helping hand on the other side. From here, things got much more relaxing and we continued through the forest on a sandy path. Many streams and waterfalls greeted us along the trail with some great photo opportunities together with the natural sound of nature. This was until Zidan came along with his boom box!
We passed through bamboo arches, more streams and lakes and eventually arrived at a road. This is where the all-new “Hash Lite” came in. Those wanting an easier, shorter trail, could turn left along the road back to the Down Down spot, whilst those wanting more of a challenge could continue further up the mountain and then around, back to the road. Hashers made up their minds and chose their direction.
The regular trail added about 30 minutes onto the trail and took a steep rocky climb up the mountain. Again there were more waterfalls and streams to be heard and enjoyed.
The Down Down was at a new location this week, a smallish, rather basic but comfortable cafe, beside a river. It had a beautiful bridge that many Hashers took to their selfies and group photos. By now the drinks were super chilled and we sat down and enjoyed the fruit and refreshments on offer. We had pre-ordered food and were completely spoilt with the salad, rice soup and chicken that was continuously provided. There was just so much! In fact, there was takeaway chicken for those that wanted a snack later.
A group photo was taken on the heart bridge and then the car was loaded once again to take the eskies and Hash supplies back to the bus, located nearby on the main Nui Dinh road. We walked back to the bus in the dusk, loaded an eskie of drinks, and set off for the return journey to Vung Tau.
Upon returning to Tommy’s, many Hashers chose to stay on for a while for our Down Down Down and enjoyed the live music from Filipino couple, Perfect Jive Duo together with more cold beers and a game or two of Keno.
Another fabulous Sunday afternoon. See you all next time, On On!
RUN 958 GALLERY
NOVEMBER 1 2020
Hares: Bull Ant, Chippy, Secs, Mr. T
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Secs, Mr. T
Report: Faulty Brakes
Sunday morning, glorious sunshine and blue skies were the order for the day, this being the elixir along with another well marked trail in Long Hai to look forward to in the afternoon. Hashers gathered in Tommy’s Bar with Cleaver and Docker counting the beans and supplies of food and beer and soft drinks stashed on board the Hash coach.
Departure time 1.30 p.m. and we were off, weaving our way through the busy Vung Tau streets in glorious sunshine with a full bus heading for Long Hai. What could go wrong? Suddenly the skies went dark and when we reached the roundabout and turning right to Long Hai the skies opened with a torrential downpour. With visibility now down to fifty meters, a young lady with brightly colored hair got the driver of the bus to stop at a nearby shop, a consignment of raincoats were procured and that was the problem solved. It’s only in Vietnam can you do things like this at the drop of a hat. Fast forward 15 minutes and we are arriving at the starting point of today’s trail after ploughing through the floods of Long Hai town.
Still raining a little when the options of today’s trail were explained,1) A serious trek across the mountain; 2) A trek up and down the mountain and quick return to base; and 3) Hash (Lite) being a walk in local countryside for 60 minutes for those who just want to enjoy a walk.
Most people chose option 1 and it was “on on “on today’s odyssey, weather conditions made the trail a little easier because of the cooler temperatures however it was 2 hours before the first hashers started to arrive back at base having negotiated the trail and heavy showers of the afternoon. Bodies filtered back slowly to our Sheltered Base, wet, tired and happy to have completed this afternoon trail set by Secs, Mr. T, Chippy and Bull Ant the previous Friday.
The gourmet festival had commenced Banh Mi, Sushi (kindly supplied by Nha Ly) tins of chilled beers, water, fruit, and soft drinks were consumed with gusto as everyone appeared to welcome today’s fare. The obligatory pics were taken and as the light faded it was time to enter phase 3 of the afternoon, the return to Vung Tau on the Disco Bus complete with strobe lighting and this week’s “Vietnam’s Got Talent“ competition. Mr Vinh and Doyle vying with each other for this week's top prize and other notable entries with hits of the 80s, made this journey all the more pleasant while quaffing cold beers on route. Finally pulling into Tommy’s it was time to disembark, everyone contributed to the removal and storage of the eskies and time now for what has become the ”19th hole” to use a golf parlance. Music, further beers and Pizza, Karaoke, the ending of the perfect day sitting around the table in Tommy’s Bar while the rest of the world is coping with lockdowns and Covid 19, it is an understatement to say how lucky we are to be in Vietnam at this time. It is rumoured that other establishments in Vung Tau later that evening were visited by hashers, only rumours I hope. Watch out for Chom Choms Video on today’s outing - “on on”
RUN 957 GALLERY