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16 February 2014
LONG HAI MOUNTAINS - Minh Dam Secret Zone
Residents are gradually returning to Vung Tau after the festive season, and more familiar faces appeared at Offshore Bar 1 (OSB1) beer garden again this Sunday - welcome back, one and all! With even the most "hardened" Tet revellers now slowly returning to work, we expect yet another increase in numbers next week.
Buses were still at a premium this week due to Tet bookings, so we loaded and boarded a rather ancient - possibly even antique(!) - "Hashmobile" and headed off slowly through Long Hai, out past the resorts and "On On!" to Minh Dam Base (aka Secret Zone), where we offloaded in the car park for a Chalk Talk (run brief) - again emphasising the need to follow the red markers and treat the yellow ones as "don't come this way" warnings.
The right-hand track out of the car park led us up to a trail through occasionally dense undergrowth. After carefully bypassing many possible exits that were fortunately marked with yellow eco-tape, we followed the red markers along a well-used trail to the Banh Lai temple. After a quick stop to appreciate the scenery and take a few "happy snaps", we continued up the mountain, finally reaching the top.
A huge, seemingly precarious but obviously "rock solid" boulder at the top was climbed by many Hashers keen to appreciate the stunning views - then it was down a steep track that led us via different levels of vegetation and several boulder-strewn stretches to emerge back in the car park.
Refreshments awaited - courtesy once again of Mountain Goat and San Miguel!
The Circle was eventually called and the trail awarded a very creditable 8/10 by Andy ("Taffy"). Co-Hare SamSon wasn't able to join us so the Down Down was dutifully accepted by co-Hare Falcon.
We welcomed VTH3 Hash Virgins Ken and Pearl from Darwin, renamed Ms Loan as Purple Fox in recognition of her colourful wardrobe, and "punished" several others for various misdemeanours including not climbing the rock at the top of the mountain!
And then it was back onto the ancient bus for the trip back to OSB1. A pleasant bonus this week was our 29-seater bus being pre-booked for Tet so the obliging bus company gave us a 45-seater instead. There's no question it was very, very old - but it was also very big and everyone had plenty of room to relax on the homeward trip!
Next week will be a local run - Small Mountain has been suggested, but availability of Hares has not yet been determined so keep an eye on the NEXT RUN box in case of changes.
Reporting: Falcon, Uncle
Hares: Falcon, SamSon
Hash Flash: The Flying Finn
VTH3 #616 PHOTO GALLERY>>>