13 AUGUST 2023
NÚI TÓC TIÊN
Hares: Bull Ant, Mr. T, Secs, Chippy
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Secs
Ring Master: NA
This week saw our Hares return to Núi Tóc Tiên for the second time since the trail was found more than a year ago. Since this trail is a little further away it was deemed that we would set off at the earlier time of 11am. Multiple reminders were sent out over the usual social media channels and, true to form, at 11am most of our Hashers turned up on time at our home base Bếp Nắng - with one exception - who after a quick phone call arrived within 10 mins. Our trusty bus driver, Mr. An, arrived on time and, after a short wait for someone to arrive with keys to the storage under the bus, our volunteers were able to load the eskies full of our favourite tipple Saigon Chill, soft drinks and Bánh mì.
Soon we were hurtling towards Ba Ria making a couple of stops along the way to collect yet more eager Hashers. Our journey took us beyond Ba Ria taking the back road around Núi Dinh. Then it started to rain… this was slightly disconcerting to our Hares who knew that this trail could be a bit slippery when wet.
The Hashmobile takes a left turn on to a narrow sealed road which soon turns in a even narrower dirt track, Mr. An expertly navigates over the pot holes and we arrive at our starting point, a small homestead at the base of the mountain. As we disembark it’s still raining ever so slightly and many Hashers reach for their raincoats. After a couple of minutes we are blessed with the emergence of the sun and co-Hare Secs gives the “trail talk” - it’s going to be an up and down trail, 2.5km up to the summit and 2.5km back the same way to the starting point. It will be a bit steep at the beginning with a resting point about half way up with a temple with a magnificent viewpoint. After that we are to continue through the jungle until we reach the summit - once there it will be a bit of climb on to a big rock where we will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
We hop across puddles and other water obstacles until we come to a ridge where Mr. T is waiting to show us the entrance to the trail that goes on to the jungle. Secs wasn’t kidding when he said it was a bit steep - and those that had donned raincoats were soon folding them up and returning them to their backpacks. Flanked by lush bamboo and ancient trees we ascend the rocky path until it eventually levels out and we find ourselves at the quaint temple nestled on the side of the mountain. Time to take a breath and rehydrate before climbing up the steps carved out of a rock that leads to the first great view of the day.
The next leg of the trail takes a leafy path through thick bamboo until we reach a low hanging rock that forms a kind of cave that we have to hunker down and spelunk our way through to the otherside. From here it is not far to the summit. Access to the large rock at the top is hindered by wild brush and shrubbery however the intrepid Hashers hoist themselves through and on to the rock. Gasps of awe are heard as we look out over the landscape - those that were earlier to arrive are treated to the wispy clouds beneath while the later to arrive found themselves ensconced in the actual clouds and a fresh breeze. Photos and selfies abound as we gather round the 433m marker at the top - a symbolic reward for our endeavours. The return trail is steep and slippery luckily there was no shortage of bamboo to hang on to as we made our way down through the slippery leaves and mud.
Back at base the eskies have been laid out by the Hash Liters and the usual conviviality ensues. Ice-cold Saigon Chills, copious amounts of Revive and soft drinks slake our thirst while delicious roast pork Bánh mì provide some much needed sustenance. Some Hashers have been foraging in the jungle and return with armfuls of bamboo shoots that will be boiled up and added to soup. There is just enough time to take a team photo before boarding the Hashmobile and heading back to Vung Tau.
Back at Bếp Nắng the eskies are unloaded and put to bed in the store room ready for next week’s run. The usual die-hards pop next door to Mr. C’s to continue the Chill trail and devour Randy’s famous pizzas and ribs.
Another great day out!
Until next time…
RUN 1073 GALLERY
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