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17 August 2014
BIG MOUNTAIN - 'Over the top via Theme Park and Big Buddha'
It was back to the taxi fleet this week for a short ride up Le Loi and around the corner to 750 Tran Phu (before the fishing village). A real mixture of nationalities and backgrounds disembarked for Rowdy Waters' chalk talk in a nearby lane: England, Australia, Denmark, Vietnam, Ireland, Russia and The Netherlands superbly complemented by visitors David and Christian (Germany) and Kick My Balls and Narita Cheater (Japan) - "Welcome one and all"!
The wet season seems to be well and truly over now, so it was another hot, sunny day with head coverings and sunscreen highly recommended! And then up we went (of course - isn't 'up' the only direction we know in VTH3!): many, many steps leading up to a pagoda, behind which were many, many more steps. In all fairness, though, we must admit these steps were much easier to negotiate than some we know on Big Mountain!
We eventually came to a junction where the steps changed to a track through varying types of vegetation and terrain, with clear views of the shipyards and northern Vung Tau city along the way.
Then it was more track, a few boulders, and a bit more track - always in an upward direction of course, until we could hear the happy sounds of tourists enjoying the various attractions of the theme park, which signalled the top of the mountain had been reached! Time to relax and take in the scenery, including "Big Buddha", before sneaking through the security gate and on down the southern side of the mountain.
Many views on this side, including Small Mountain and Vung Tau Bay, before we finally emerged at street level and headed towards the Down Down location near Front Beach.
Good FRBs Ronald Reagan and Ice Water had volunteered to collect the eskies from Offshore Bar 1, and the ice coldies were put to good use washing down some different food - Anti had volunteered to look after catering duties this week to give Ice Water a well-deserved rest. So we tucked into mini-baguettes, imported 'pate au naturel' and Cheddar from Saigon, with diced vegie salad - yum yum!
In fact the "yummy yumming" went on so long that by the time Chippy had delivered even more baguettes(!), the coastal traffic had built into such a crescendo that it would have been virtually impossible to conduct an effective Circle - so we didn't! This decision also recognised that some Hashers had other pressing commitments including the charity auction at Matilda's to which we had donated an autographed, framed 600th run t-shirt - so, as per "recommended Hash decision-making 101", we took the easy way out by postponing the Circle until next week and giving everyone "an early mark"!
We can record here, however, that if the Circle had gone ahead there would have been an "above average to good" trail rating for Hares Rowdy Water, Ice Water and apprentice GeoffK (not to be confused with GeoffP); welcomes to those visitors from Germany and Japan mentioned above, as well as returnees David, GeoffP and Rosa Le; 'deflowering' for Hash Virgins Christian and Jasper; and at least some 'half pipe' punishments for those who chose to supplement their trek to the Down Down by taxi (Chippy and Tu Bok) and Honda Om (Rosa Le and Capt Hornblower), not to mention some severe "foot faults" for David and Christian who somehow managed to negotiate the mountain in sandals that had definitely seen better days!
Thanks to Hieu, Live Wire, David and Christian who helped Anti and Uncle return everything to its rightful place in Offshore Bar 1 - all ready for next Sunday!
STOP PRESS: Talking of next week, Hares Rowdy Water and Ice Water have now confirmed a 100% new trail in the Go Gang area (the two bridges on the new'ish "short-cut" road to Long Son Island). The trail goes through the many fish and prawn farms and is fairly long and flat with not a lot of shade, so headgear and sunscreen is recommended. There's even a beach "for the intrepid"(!)
We'll meet as usual on Sunday in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Hares: Rowdy Water, Ice Water, GeoffK
Hash Flash: Uncle
VTH3 #642 PHOTO GALLERY>>>>>>>
SORRY, FOLKS - NO 'DOWN DOWN' OR TEAM PHOTO THIS WEEK (SEE REPORT ABOVE FOR DETAILS)