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10 August 2014
NUI DINH - "eco" trail from bridge to lake and beyond...
Some more familiar faces returned this week as we defied the weather gods to enjoy not one, but two full days without rain! However, it seemed at first that different gods were conspiring against us as the Nui Dinh mountain access road was completely blocked by buses as hordes of Vietnamese queued for the annual lunar calendar ancestor worship at the local pagoda - which coincided with a "Super moon", so it was a truly auspicious occasion!
We had no choice but to dismount and hike uphill to our start point, which was fortunately not too much further up the road - having left our driver with the promise of "an extra bonus" if he somehow managed to get the bus to our finish point at the top of the mountain.
A chalk talk at the bridge by Rowdy Water, and it was "On On" for young and old as we sped(?) along the rocky, woodland trail with the roaring waters of Angel Stream for accompaniment.
Today's trail was comparatively flat by VTH3 standards, so Hares Rowdy Water and Ice Water (H202 or 2H20?) decided to add a degree of difficulty by climbing a watch tower, much to the bemusement of Hashers passing below!
On and on we went through lush undergrowth and many different kinds of vegetation, until we encountered what was to be the first of several water obstacles. Most managed this first one without too much difficulty as there was a fallen tree nearby, which afforded a precarious but dry crossing (although some of the younger Hashers, like Summer, decided to just get on with it and waded straight through!). Most also managed the next few "puddles" - but no-one made it across the waterfall without getting at least a little damp around the ankles!
Finally, we emerged at the lake - so it was a sharp left at the coffee shop and another kilometre or so along the rutted dirt road to emerge at the end of the sealed road and our Hash Chariot (the promise of an "extra bonus" had done its job and the driver somehow managed to get through the literally scores of tourist buses further down the mountain, to deliver our precious eskies)!
Lots of cold San Miguel and softies to wash down Ice Water's bread, pork and pickles, and then the Circle was called.
The remarkably eco-friendly, "nature" trail was awarded an excellent score of 9.5/10 by GeoffK, who joined Hares Rowdy Water and Ice Water for a well-deserved Down Down. Hash Virgins Khoa, Tam, Anh, Dat, Lily and Vy were welcomed. Ciprian and Vy were "joined together" for alleged "Sex on the Hash". Returnees SamOnHash, Tiny Rabbit and Kim were also welcomed back, and "symbolic sinners" Tracy and Jaiden were penalised for silent running (symbolic because they "took the hit" for the other guilty ones who still stayed silent, even in the Circle!). Rowdy Water decided that Uncle should demonstrate how the newly acquired "Half Pipe" works, and Do 'em up Deb (aka leader of the "Kho Samui mafia") also decided he needed another beer so he could drink it properly instead of pouring it all over his upturned face!
And so another thoroughly enjoyable day came to a close, with the trip back to Vung Tau interspersed with various "housekeeping" announcements, including a reminder for everyone to review Vung Tau Hash on Trip Advisor to help our recruiting drive! (ed's note: Oops, more work to do before Trip Advisor will publish our entry - what this space!).
STOP PRESS: Latest news just in is that the "Two Waters", accompanied by apprentice Hare GeoffK, have set a trail on Big Mountain for this Sunday - it starts over the back ("More taxis, anyone?"), up to the theme park and then down to street level much closer to home. It sounds very interesting and will hopefully give us yet another new Down Down location!
We'll meet on Sunday, as usual, in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start. You might need to look for us because it's Long Tan Day on Monday and the beer garden could be crowded!
Hares: Rowdy Water, Ice Water
Hash Flash: Uncle. Circle photos: Anti
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