AUGUST 14 2022
NUI DINH - HELIPAD TRAIL
Hares: Secs, Have-A-Chat, Mr. T, Chippy
Hash Flashers: Secs, Chippy
We paid our run fees to Hash Cash Mr T and Johnny, then packed ice around the Saigon Chill, water and soft drinks and loaded the pre-filled eskies onto the gleaming white Hashmobile standing outside Hash Kennel Tommy’s.
After a brief wait for latecomers, we drove “On on” through Vung Tau City and onto the highway heading north. Our destination this week was Dinh Mountain, but first we stopped to collect more Hashers at the Seaview apartments and then again at Ba Ria.
It was a full bus that eventually stopped on the new highway 5 km west of Ba Ria for the Hash Lighters to begin their trek up the mountainside, and then finally disgorge the main body of Hashers at a roadside coffee shop between the bridge and lake track further up the mountain.
Secs gave the Chalk Talk and said we should follow the red marker tape on a ~4 km circular trek through the jungle to a huge boulder near the top of the mountain (it was used as a helipad in bygone days and still bears compass markings for the pilots).
The weather was perfect as we headed “On on” into the jungle, accompanied by so many Junior Hashers that it must have looked like a school outing – and they clearly enjoyed the trek every bit as much as the elders, especially when we reached our destination and could all suddenly see far beyond the nearest trees; the views were superb!
Having finally taken all the selfies on not one but three huge rocks with views far across the surrounding countryside; and, in some cases, collected enough bamboo shoots to take home for family dinner, we headed back to the drop-off point. It was a different route to complete the circular tour, and arguably more enjoyable because it was mostly downhill instead of up!
But it was on this leg of the journey that the weather gods suddenly deserted us. Within minutes of the first tentative raindrops, the skies opened and we were caught in an absolute deluge to remind us that it’s still the rainy season in Ba Ria-Vung Tau!
It was a rather bedraggled group that completed the trail and joined the Hash Lighters and FRBs under some very welcome roadside umbrellas for banh mi’s and drinks, and chatted away happily in our new comfort zone.
But it had already turned too dark for photos, and the roadside was rapidly becoming a mountain stream, so we quickly finished our banh mi’s and drinks, loaded an eskie for the return trip, stored everything else under the bus, and climbed aboard for a rather soggy ride home!
We didn’t get the group photo but we still managed a ‘seated Circle’ to thank the Hares and welcome virgins, visitors and returnees as we sped along the highway home. As a wise old Hasher once said, “The difference between a hike and a Hash is a Circle”!
And wouldn’t you know it, the rain had stopped by the time we reached Tommy’s, so unloading the bus was a simple task – thanks also to the many volunteers!
And then it was “home home” for some, and “Hash home” for others who stayed at Tommy’s to socialise a bit longer before calling it yet another fine day in good company, on a great trail, in (mostly) superb weather!
That’s Hashing with VTH3, folks – On on!
RUN 1021 GALLERY
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