SEPTEMBER 25 2022
NUI DINH - TEMPLE TOWN
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Ringmaster: Rain Stopped Play
Report: Chom Chom
Run 1027 took us on an away trail to Nui Dinh. As usual, Hashers started arriving at our new home, Nang Vung Tau, to register and pay their run fees. Our Hash Cash, Mr. T assisted by Reardo, eagerly ticked off the names and gratefully welcomed the growing stash of cash. Meanwhile others were busy helping load up the eskies with beer and soft drinks.
The bus quickly filled up as we neared our 1.30pm departure time so on on it was as we headed away from Vung Tau on our way to Nui Dinh. After an easy, smooth journey we arrived at Tịnh Xá Ngọc Sơn Dinh (Son Dinh Monastery), the start of this week's trail. As a handy fact, in 2015 this was recognized in the “Top 100 typical spiritual tourist destinations in the South”. We all gathered in a group, excited and motivated, as Secs gave his informal but informative overview of the expedition ahead.
Once the magic words of “On On” were heard, off-off we went heading along a paved path through the monastery’s beautiful gardens, passing the famous 20 metre long reclining buddha. We climbed up the steps until we reached our first pagoda where Hashers gathered for various photo opportunities and views. From here we continued up until Mr. T directed us to the right, through a yellow gate. It wasn’t long before the paved path ended as we headed deeper into the forest. A pleasant dry dirt track and a few rocky climbs took us through fragrant leafy trees, pools, streams and small waterfalls as we progressed further up the mountain. Passing a small pagoda, we all made it to the top, still with oodles of energy and excitement as we admired the view to Vung Tau City together with the huge rock providing yet more excuses for photos and selfies. From here, it was a simple walk down a railed staircase, through a small community and some more stunning gardens; however, just as we were approaching the down-down spot, rumbles of thunder overhead were an ominous warning of what was to come.
As we approached the down-down spot we noticed the front runners had unloaded the bus but with the dark sky and increasing winds the nuns at the adjacent temple kindly invited them to shelter in a covered structure in the temple grounds. And boy it was lucky they did, just as the final Hashers returned, the heavens opened and a spectacular storm ensued - complete with colossal claps of thunder, electrifying bolts of lightning and torrential rain.
With plenty of ice cold Saigon Chill, soft drinks and roast pork banh mi we sat back and enjoyed the show. The cacophony of the storm thwarted any possibility of a circle and with the light fading we just managed to take the team photo with a curtain of rain as the backdrop.
With no sign of the storm letting up, we decided to make the mad scramble to get everyone and the eskies back on Hashmobile. Everyone made it across the now very soggy terrain, albeit slightly damp. A headcount was taken and the only person missing was our bus driver! After a few phone calls and honks of the bus horn he arrived, somewhat sheepish having taken shelter and fallen asleep.
We were soon cautiously navigating the wet road back to the highway and with the boombox blasting out tunes and an eskie full of Chill it wasn't long before we were safely back at Nang Vung Tau. The usual suspects hung out finishing the final Chills and the die-hards popped next door for some additional liquid refreshments.
Another perfect Sunday afternoon with Vung Tau Hash – great people, great trails, great fun. See you all next week. On On!
RUN 1027 GALLERY
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