JUNE 26 2022
Hares: Mr. T, Secs, Have-A-Chat, Chippy, Bull Ant
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Have-A-Chat
After seven consecutive Away trails, this week it was time for a Home Run on our favourite local stomping ground, Big Mountain. Primary reason for this local trail was to allow those who wished to watch what is known as Australian sport's greatest rivalry, the State of the Origin, a Rugby League match which was going to be shown on TV back at our Hash Home, Tommy’s, after the trail.
While Mr. T, assisted by Johnny and Bull Ant, collected the Run Fees and ticked the arriving Hashers off the registration list, Have-A-Chat bustled busily at the back hosing down the eskies and ensuring that enough Saigon Chill, soft drinks etc. were ready for our return. Once the Iceman arriveth, a bevy of volunteers brought the eskies to the front and ensured that the beverages were comfortably ensconced in ice.
This week we were also privileged to have our Hash Lighters join us. Relative newbies Tony and Jan were adamant that this was the week that they were going to attempt the main trail, and after a little cajoling from Bull Ant, the rest of Hash Lighters yielded and agreed to join us on what was described as a ‘relatively’ easy trail.
Outside Tommy’s three quirky 12 seater, ‘electric’ golf buggies lined up and our eager Hashers jumped in. With Have-A-Chat recording the departure, our transport left Tommy’s and we were soon enjoying the fresh air and fantastic views of the coast as the buggies hurtled along Tran Phu road until we arrived at the starting point at Hem 542.
After disembarking we gathered around lead Hare, Mr. T, while he explained the trail. We were to walk up the Hem until we reached the carpark of the temple at the top, once there we would see the obligatory red ribbons which would leave us off to the left and on to a trail that would take us all the way the Ho May Park road atop the mountain. Turn left, walk along the road until the red ribbons would lead us in to the jungle, which would take us across the ridge at the top of the mountain and eventually emerge onto Vi Ba road. Then walk down Vi Ba until we come to the first temple on the right and then bear right and follow more red ribbons which would take us down to Thuy Van again and then a simple walk along the road back to Tommy’s.
Phew! Easy - right?
So, on-on we go. As we start to march up Hem 542, it quickly becomes apparent that this is a pretty steep hill, as our tightening calves can attest. But we are encouraged by friendly locals waving us on and soon we are at the top. The next part of the trail takes us through lush greenery with some dramatic cliffs in the background. It’s not long before we emerge on Ho May Park road, and take a welcome break to catch our breath and rehydrate.
The well known Ho May Park road (AKA Hem 444) has some spectacular views and, of course, many of our Hashers take the opportunity to pose for obligatory photos. We reach almost the end of the road and once again the red ribbons are leading us back in to the jungle. A verdant tunnel of bamboo leads onto a single file track, this part of the trail is a tad more tricky with some rocks and slippy scree underfoot. There are reports of a couple of minor falls and some even are rewarded with their first ‘hash tattoo’ (a grazed leg) but all our Hashers soldier on, enjoying the beautiful jungle, until we reach Vi Ba.
A couple of hundred metres down the road, the famous coffee shops provide a chance for Hashers to imbibe refreshing nước mía (sugarcane juice) or simply restock diminished water supplies. Just beyond the coffee shop the gleaming temple Chùa Bồ Đề awaits with yet more photo opportunities. The next part of the trail is new to many of us and takes down some old steps, through some small Hems, where we afforded a unique view of Small Mountain, and finally back on to Tran Phu. Many breathe a sigh of relief - it's now only a short walk back to Tommy’s.
Most of us arrive back at Tommy’s with plenty of time to spare before the aforementioned rugby match. Chippy has prepared the succulent watermelon and the legendary pork bánh mì sandwiches are laid out.
Thirst is slaked with ice cold Saigon Chill and soft drinks, hunger is sated with delicious bánh mì and conviviality ensues as our Hasher exchange tails of the trail.
There is just time to take the team photo before our hashers disappear in to the sunset, happy and satisfied with another great day in the beautiful Vietnamese countryside.
Our Rugby fans gather round the TV’s while some of us continue to enjoy the delectable Saigon Chill. I’ve no idea who won the rugby but as soon as it was over we were once again treated to the dulcet sounds of Perfect Jive Duo and the evening continued…
RUN 1014 GALLERY
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