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06 July 2014
BIG MOUNTAIN - "and the ice bucket fandango"!
Clear blue skies and sunshine welcomed some new and old faces this week, as we boarded the fleet of taxis to offload the eskies at 352 Tran Phu, before proceeding the longest "it's only another 200 metres" in living memory to the start point at 540 Tran Phu.
A group photo and 'chalk talk' later, and we were off - "On On" up a gradual slope that quickly turned from concrete to small stones then dirt as we headed deeper into the undergrowth.
The track seemed to last forever, and it was "up up" all the way - although never too steep we must admit. Once we'd negotiated safe passage through the usual resident families of long, black, crawly things (caterpillars? centipedes? millipedes?), and with Som Tum safely back in tow(!), we continued onwards and upwards through what was by now some extremely lush, green vegetation.
And then the trail levelled out somewhat, and took our intrepid Hashers around Big Mountain on such a scenic route that we could see the shipyards one moment, and Vung Tau Bay the next - camera buffs had a ball!
Round and round we went until the trail started to angle downhill, past historic artefacts, local residents and many picknickers - everyone thoroughly enjoying life on the picturesque mountainside in their own way!
It was not far past here that the trail turned into a narrow concrete path, just wide enough for one motorbike - a route that was quickly bypassed by at least two short-cutters who were duly 'acknowledged' at Down Down time!
We finally emerged at the top of several hundred very steep concrete steps that took us down to street level, 360 Tran Phu - then around the corner to be reunited with the eskies in a very pleasant cafe setting overlooking the middle of what's generally referred to as "the fishing village".
No-one really expected to go a whole day in the wet season without rain, so we were well prepared when the skies opened - having all moved under cover to continue chatting, drinking ice-cold San Miguels and soft drinks and munching on the lovely bread, meat and pickles supplied once again by Ice Water.
With excellent timing, the deluge eventually eased and the Circle was called. Taffy gave the trail an excellent 8/10, several Hash Virgins and (mainly Russian) returnees were welcomed, and a complete line-up of sinners penalised before the Circle was closed and the "ice-bucket fandango" started. It finished, many icings later, with Som Tum taking an unscheduled ice bath in one of the large eskies! "Those who live by the sword..............."
We finally straggled back to Offshore Bar 1 to offload the eskies - having been reminded yet again that Sunday evening is not the best time to go looking for taxis so far out of town as the fishing village!
STOP PRESS: Hares Rowdy Water, Falcon, Uncle and Anti went searching for a way to the mystical pagoda that we've seen for years on the side of "Magic Mountain" - but so remote that no-one's ever tried to reach it before. AND THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL! So be sure to bring your camera along on Sunday and take your own photos of "The Holy Grail" and fantastic vistas over Ba Ria-Vung Tau province!
We'll meet as usual in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start!
Hares: Falcon, Rowdy Water
Hash Flash: Uncle. Circle photos Som Tum
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