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14 December 2014
BIG MOUNTAIN - Up, over and down!
It was a queue for the taxi fleet outside Offshore Bar 1 this week, heading for the start of a long'ish trail over Big Mountain to replace the planned Long Hai Beach because of the threat of bad weather from Typhoon Hagupit that fortunately bypassed us to the south - but the Hares weren't to know that before the event, so they made a decision in favour of "safety first". It was nice to see Mapdraw's smiling face once again, and Kojak marked his return after a work absence by using his "taxi card" to good effect!
We offloaded near the Lam Duong restaurant for a group photo and Chalk Talk by Basil, then it was "On On" up the stairs and weaving through motorbikes and trucks past the artillery station, eventually heading off-road and into the bush - with a shirtless Terminator leading the way, as usual!
It was a pleasant trail but quite long, complete with noisy geese, and then we emerged at the familiar (to some) shrine at the top. Time for a few photos and then finally all the way down the famous(!) 600 steps, through the temple and across the road to find our eskies at the 83 Tran Phu coffee shop, and then downstairs for the beachside deck chairs.
It should be mentioned at this stage that not everyone had followed the same trail (do they ever?) - Ciprian had decided to "look after" Hash Virgin Mr Tiep by leading him on a detour to take photos at the artillery station, which of course meant other Hashers followed them, too! A bit later, we were alerted to Mountain Goat taking a short cut by lots of barking dogs having a loud "chat" with her faithful K9 Hashputin!
The walkie talkies proved their worth once more, with Basil able to remotely steer Flying Finn and followers around one of The Gardener's old markers that seems to be defying its "biodegradable" status! But that still didn't stop Blackhawk and a couple of cohorts from following the old trail instead of waiting for directions - and nor did it stop Viking from doing his Tarzan impersonation (luckily, the vine snapped before he could swing too far)! Unfortunately, it was about now that designated Hash Flash Camel Bone realised he'd been given a "dud" camera - the battery died, and so we can't entertain you with what would have been hilarious photos of Viking's valiant attempts at "vine swinging"!
Many of us were fortunate enough to witness temple workers storing medicinal herbs, which they grow for charity, just before we reached Tran Phu and our destination.
Yummy snacks by Mountain Goat and ice-cold drinks by San Miguel were waiting for everyone at the pre-designated end point of 83 Tran Phu, courtesy of "co-Hare doubling as delivery man", SamSon.
After a suitable interval for rest and refreshment, SamSon showed additional versatility by donning the regalia and reminding everyone that we had collectively agreed to donate 28M VND to John "Falcon" Mills' widow Trinh and son James which, added to personal donations from Hung Low, Hot Dog, Uncle&Anti, Clint Eastwood, Faulty Brakes and Captain Hornblower, will help them start a new life in Australia after Falcon's tragic death - which was our main charitable event for the year. However, it's nearly Christmas now so he distributed lucky envelopes and, with support from Camel Bone, invited everyone to donate what they can to purchase rice for the poor families living on the back of Jesus Hill, off Phan Chu Trinh. With 20 Hashers in the Circle, an extremely generous 1.7M VND was collected - to be augmented by a donation from Faulty Brakes, who expects to return in January.
Then it was back to the Circle and Titanic awarded 7/10 for the trail, having deducted some points for the confusion between old and new markers - co-Hare SamSon happily Down Down'ed on behalf of himself and Basil, who had to race off and attend an emergency. Hash Virgin Mr Tiep was introduced; Tiger was charged by Camel Bone (no, we can't remember why either!); Ciprian and Mr Tiep paid the penalty for their segue at the artillery station; the Circle laughed their appreciation of SamSon's "singing" voice(!); and we thanked Mountain Goat for once again providing the delicious snacks that are always so welcome at the end of a rather hot and dusty trail!
Next week will be our 2014 Christmas run - and more details will be circulated by email and also shown here (scroll down for STOP PRESS), when confirmed later this week.
We'll meet on Sunday, as usual, 2 pm for 2.30 pm start. Except this time it would be nice if everyone could try and wear something red and/or "Christmassy" - because we'll be doing our best to share some Christmas spirit with the community!
Reporting: Basil, SamSon, Uncle
Hares: SamSon, Basil
Hash Flash: Camel Bone. Additional photos: Flying Finn, Kojak
VTH3 #659 PHOTO GALLERY
Camel Bone's photos first > > >
AND THAT ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
IS WHEN THE HASH CAMERA BATTERY DIED!!!
...and now Flying Finn's photos > > >
But wait - there's more! Here's Kojak's contribution > > >