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27 April 2014
BIG MOUNTAIN - and a dip in the ocean!
The cool pre-Tet weather has long gone now, and some of the 17 Hashers who arrived at the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden on Sunday were already showing signs of wilting in the hot sun!
Registration complete, the taxi fleet was summoned to take us to the starting point in the fishing village on the west side of Vung Tau peninsula from where Hares The Gardener, Ut and SamSon had laid a trail over Big Mountain which SamSon had dubbed "The Connection Trail".
All taxi drivers received the same instructions but the lead driver was receiving new directions along the way (classic back seat driving?), which resulted in some confusion and a few wayward cabs - until it was eventually all sorted out and we arrived at the designated start point: Tran Xian Do.
The Gardener gave the Chalk Talk and then it was "On On" along the narrow street, behind the Buddha statue and up the stairs. We lost a few here, with some Hashers turning right, but Ronald Reagan was fortunately "on the ball" as duty Hash Flash and pointed the miscreants in the right direction.
We passed several small homes along the way, with the usual happy children all wanting to practise their English: "Hello, how are you, what's your name?", followed by squeals of joyous laughter!
On past the temple with resident K9 pot-lickers, and onto a dirt track that wound its way around the mountainside for a long, scenic stroll until we went up again on a narrow, partly overgrown track. Some "old timer" SCBs veered off the trail near the top of the mountain, but most followed the red ribbon markers. Ronald Reagan was on hand once again to round up the strays.
At the top, we all enjoyed a view of Vung Tau Bay over the Front Beach area, until it was time to head on down through the undergrowth until we reached the old steps by the small'ish Jesus statue on the side of the mountain. It's here that the steps get much steeper and several Hashers experienced "wobbly leg syndrome" and were suitaby relieved when we finally reached the church grounds at the bottom because, from here, it was just a quick stroll across the road to our favourite cafe on the beach at 83 Tran Phu.
It's fair to say that the lovely, red San Miguel eskies had never looked so beautiful to a bunch of hot, sweaty and extremely thirsty Hashers! An injured Falcon had performed Beermeister duties admirably, stocking the eskies and delivering them to the beach, along with Russian bread, pork and pickle snacks supplied once again by Mountain Goat.
The Circle was called after a suitable interval for those cooling off in the sea. The trail set by Hares The Gardener, SamSon and Ut was awarded 8/10 by Andy; VTH3 Virgins Clinton, Tony, Lieu and Ms Ut (also a Hare on her first-ever run with VTH3) were welcomed to the fold. Sinners Mountain Goat and Stubble were punished for taking a short cut on the mountain, and returnees David (Smokey) Tuong and Ms Thao were welcomed back.
The bad news for next week is that Hareraiser and all-round VTH3 stalwart Falcon will be absent on "medical leave". Deputy Hareraiser The Gardener will team with Ms Ut and Ronald Reagan to set a trail on Long Son Island for next Sunday. Meet, as usual, Offshore Bar 1 beer garden 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Reporting: The Gardener, Falcon, Uncle
Hares: The Gardener, SamSon, Ut
Hash Flash: Ronald Reagan
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