NOVEMBER 20 2022
NUI DINH (SWIMMING POOL CAFE)
Hares: Secs, Chippy, Mr. T, Have-A-Chat
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Chom Chom, Have-A-Chat
Light rain had been falling for several hours as Hashers began arriving at Nắng Vũng Tàu, (5 Le Ngoc Han, Ward 1) to register for run #1035 on Sunday – with attendance numbers down somewhat, most likely because of Teacher’s Day and the weather.
But, as is often the case, the rain eased off as we paid our run fees to Mr T, loaded the Hashmobile with all the good stuff(!), and headed north to our favourite mountain, Nui Dinh. Today’s venue would be the popular swimming pool café halfway up the mountainside to start and finish the trail.
Secs gave the Chalk Talk: “Down the road for 1 km, then right into the jungle and follow the red ribbons around and then up (and up, and up, and up!) past some small shrines, abandoned shacks and former guerilla caves before reaching the main temple area with many golden buddhas and two massive lookout rocks. Then out to the mountain access road and back to the swimming pool for Down Down”.
The rain had left the trail quite slippery in parts, as Uncle can testify. He had a near miss when YouTuber tried to help pull him up a tricky slope but his walking stick snapped and Uncle fell backwards, fortunately being ‘caught behind’ by Returnee Mike; but he had obviously decided to join the illustrious sect of “Nui Dinh face planters”, so performed a majestic(!) forward pike and half twist onto some small rocks a little further up the mountainside. The dive was rated by witnesses as ‘spectacular’, but the result was much less so: just a bruised lip and minor cuts – requiring only a handful of water, two band-aids and a few deep breaths to continue ‘on on’!
By this time, the steep climb had splintered the pack into smaller groups, but everyone eventually made it to the main temple complex and lookout rocks to enjoy not just the golden artefacts and awesome views (clouds and well-watered trees permitting!) but also the cool breeze wafting up the mountainside – a welcome taste of really fresh country air!
As each group moved on they were guided out by co-Hare Secs to the rocky mosaic track leading out of the jungle to the sealed access road. Then it was just a leisurely stroll down to the swimming pool café where ice cold Saigon Chill, softies and banh mi awaited (also Chippy making sure there was enough delicious watermelon for all!). Even the café owner’s six dogs stood by, ready to help make sure there were no leftovers!
With everyone’s energy levels restored, Duty Ringmaster Have-A-Chat stage-managed the group photo then called the Circle, with the trail-setting efforts of Hares Secs, Chippy, Mr T and Have-A-Chat suitably recognized – the highest rating being an extremely creditworthy 167/10 (albeit from a Hasher who was obviously not destined to win any prizes in mathematics!).
The Circle welcomed Hash Virgin Ms Nghia, introduced by fellow Ba Ria resident YouTuber (and surely destined to be Hash-named “Bubbly” if she returns as promised!). And three returnees: Darling (reason for absence: busy – otherwise engaged); Mike from USA (spent the ‘covid era’ in the relative safety of the Andes); and ‘old timer’ Sex Time O’clock, so named because he sells watches in his Thinh Phat shop (“only watches, no sex”, he smiled!). STO first joined VTH3 in 2001 and has now returned to try and regain some fitness.
There were two or three sinners, depending on who you believe! Uncle volunteered himself for not being suitably grateful when young Alex offered to help on his second fall of the day (the defence argument is that most of us would also be a tad grumpy after two falls on the same day, n’est ce pas?).
But all good things usually come to an end, albeit temporarily – so the Circle was closed, eskies de-iced and retired to the undercarriage, and we settled in for some casual socialising on the return drive to Vung Tau, accompanied by the usual (boom box) ‘sound of music’ and regular tramp of feet along the aisle as “grab one for me while you’re there” volunteers made sure the travel eskie was emptied!
Safely back to Nắng Vũng Tàu, the assets were offloaded and stored as our Hash kennel hosts prepared to screen the opening game of World Cup 2022.
And after “one last Saigon Chill for the road”, the usual hard-core disappeared next door for some of Randy’s wood-fired pizza and a planning session to help celebrate the imminent 30th anniversary of VTH3 (established 27 December 1992 by master mariner John ‘Anchor’ Murt) – stay tuned for the announcement!
In the meantime, also watch this space and our facebook page: @VungTauHHH for details of next week’s trail.
RUN 1035 GALLERY
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