15-16 APRIL 2023
TA CU MOUNTAIN / COCO BEACH CAMP
Hares: Chippy, Mr. T, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Chippy
Ring Master: Chom Chom
After weeks of anticipation, it was finally here - the 3rd VTH3 Weekender to Tà Cú Mountain and Coco Beach Camp in La Gi. Our trusty Hashmobile is laden with Saigon Chill, soft drinks and food to sustain us for the two day excursion.
It was an early start at 7am but everybody was on time meeting at Nắng Vũng Tàu - well except one. Despite sending out reminders to everyone about the early start Secs managed to miss the alarm and had to be picked up on the way. After a sheepish and apologetic Secs boarded the bus we were on our way a tad later than anticipated. Just one more pick up at Ba Ria and then we are making great time as our driver hurtled along QL55 towards La Gi. After a brief comfort stop at a quaint coffee shop in a picturesque rural setting, complete with wallowing water buffalos, we arrive on schedule, at Tà Cú Mountain.
Hashers are given two choices:
In true VTH3 fashion, the majority of Hashers opt to climb up the mountain. We part ways with the Cable Car people and follow Mr. T as he leads us through the park to a small opening in the jungle which marks the start of the trail. The weather is cloudy but very hot and humid as we approach the trail we get a sense that this is not going to be easy. Certainly not for the faint hearted, trail takes us over dilapidated stairs and rocky steps. However, we are surrounded by beautiful bamboo and serenaded by Cicadas as we slowly but surely make our way up the mountain. Thankfully, there are plenty of resting places where we stop to take a breath, only to have it taken away by the breathtaking views of Ham Thuan Nam.
Every 100m some kind person has marked the distance to the top on some boulders (a new addition since last we were there). Hmm, only 800m to go, then 700m… and finally the last 100m. We can hear the whirr of the Cable Car motor and we know we are close.
Squeals of delight and relief announce our arrival at the cable car station. Unfortunately the coffee shop that usually welcomed us with cold drinks was closed for renovation. We know there must be a coffee shop nearby - the Hashers who took the Cable Car up have posted pics. We go in search of the others until we come across 3 marble basins that are being filled with ice cold fresh mountain water. Using the provided coconut ladles we pour the ice cold water over ourselves relishing the startling refreshment.
Fully refreshed we can tackle the many steps that will take us through the ornate temples and up to the legendary Buddha at the top. We espy our fellow Hashers who had come up on the Cable Car most of whom are making their way back down. As we continue on, the glistening white of the largest reclining Buddha in Vietnam emerges from the trees. Enjoying the tranquil spot we feel a sensation of enlightenment as we witness the Lord Buddha completing His journey to Parinirvana.
After many selfies it’s time to head back down. We embark on the acrophobia inducing cable car ride down the mountain, looking back in disbelief at the sheer scale of the mountain we have just conquered. Back on terra firma it’s a gentle stroll through picturesque gardens to reassemble with our peers. After a thirst quenching Revive, the first Saigon Chills of the weekend are cracked open, guzzled down and soaked up with delicious sticky rice. Then it’s on-on to the Hashmobile as we begin the short trip to our final destination of the day - Coco Beach Camp Resort.
Arriving at Coco Beach en masse and in good spirits, we are pleasantly surprised with the efficiency at which we are checked in. We have plenty of time to explore the idyllic, hippy-chic resort that will become our living quarters for the night. Walks on the beach, dips in the pool, frolics in the sea and selfies galore are the order of the afternoon. As the sun sets we briefly retire to our billets for ablutions.
Freshly showered and resplendent in our evening beachwear we congregate at our allotted tables for the legendary Coco Beach Seafood BBQ. A veritable feast confronts us and our ravenous Hashers make light work of the innumerable dishes on offer. Several trips to the buffet were made, all washed down with delicious ice-cold Saigon Chill as the band of DJs (yes, there were at least four of them - including a real live drummer) entertained us.
Sated and replete - time to get the party started! Apparently the activities of the day haven’t worn out many of our Hashers as they jump, pump, gyrate, shake a leg and generally boogie on down to the thumping techno beats vibrating through our bones. Eventually the evening winds to a close and one by one our weary Hashers hit the sack - most of us asleep before our heads hit the pillow.
Sunday morning greets us with a full on tropical thunderstorm dashing any plans for an early morning dip in the sea. As the rain subsides, Hashers slowly emerge for breakfast. A lazy morning is spent enjoying the Coco Beach facilities. Then time to wave goodbye to Coco Beach as we board the Hashmobile for the trip back to Vung Tau.
However, the adventure is far from over! We made our final stop at Binh Chau Nature Reserve. A 2km amble through a lush green arboretum proved popular with Hashers for photos and selfies. Returning to the Hashmobile the eskies are at the ready, brimming with Saigon Chill and soft drinks.
Just time now for the team photo and Chom Chom calls for a quick circle. He thanks everyone for joining us and then Chippy, Mr. T. and Secs are brought in to the circle and thanked for organising everything, and the consensus is everyone enjoyed the weekend. There were three virgins; Theo from Netherlands and his wife and son, and we also welcome Mr. Ha from Nắng Vũng Tàu who joined us for his first trail. Sparkles and Teddy were returnees. Teddy hasn’t been with us since he injured his leg and Sparkles simply said she will try harder to come along. We finish up our Saigon Chills, pack up the bus and head back to Vung Tau.
We arrive back in Vung Tau safe, sound and happily content. A successful action packed weekend.
Thanks to everyone!
RUN 1056 GALLERY
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