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21 December 2014
SMALL MOUNTAIN - Jesus Hill Christmas run
A happy, festive band of mostly "red" Hashers strode through the Front Beach area of Vung Tau City and along Phan Chu Trinh to Hotel Duc Anh, about 200 metres short of Back Beach (yes, it's a fair hike, but the weather was kind today and Camel Bone was enjoying himself giving candies to the kids!).
We waited for co-Hare SamSon to arrive by Mai Linh sleigh with bags of rice and cookies, which were duly "slung aloft" and carried towards the villagers who live on the back of Jesus Hill.
It was about here that "Santa" Basil arrived in full red and white regalia, much to the surprise of Hashers, villagers, children and dogs alike. "Santa Claus is coming, to town!" they sang in unison (well we're sure they would have if they knew the words!).
In conjunction with one of the village elders, SamSon and Basil had compiled a list of the most needy - and those names were read out and invited to come and collect their rice. They were tentative at first, but soon realised it was all above board and just a bunch of generous Hashers doing their best to make someone happy for Christmas. Once the ice was broken, the smiles started to appear - and became even bigger when the kids started collecting their cookies! After no more than a few minutes, the whole area resembled a festive market!
Alas, all too soon it was time to continue the Christmas run, and "On On" we went towards the scheduled drinks and photo stop. Plenty of photos were taken on the corner overlooking Back Beach, but unfortunately no drinks because the proprietor of what must be the smallest lemonade stall in Vung Tau had mysteriously vanished - which was a shame because she would surely have done more business in half an hour on Sunday than in all the previous month!
And so we continued our merry way - up to the Jesus statue via a bit of off-road stuff to make life interesting, and then eventually Down Down the tourist steps and out onto Halong road and into the large park cum car park at the top of the slope down towards Back Beach.
Regular Hasher Mr Khoa was given the dubious honour of rating the trail and awarded it 7.8(!) out of 10 - with most of the "merit" points awarded for the Christmas charity theme rather than the trail itself! No matter, "points is points" as the bard once said (I think!), and Down Down went the ice-cold San Migs.
Then it was time to introduce the Hash Virgins: Mr Hieu from Ben Nghe, Ms Thanh, and Ken from USA - welcome one and all! Returnees next: Ms Oanh and family, Geoff and Anh Kent, Ms Hao, "Chippy" and the little fellah and, last but certainly not least, that scion of Vung Tau Hash's "new establishment" - none other than Ice Water, freshly returned from her travels and, along with Titanic and D&G, more than happy to add even more VND to the charity pot - many thanks guys!
The first sinner was Santa Basil, for being far too preoccupied with "North Pole" stuff at the expense of his co-Hare status - leaving some weary Hashers a little confused about which way to turn next! Camel Bone wanted GPS to sing a Christmas song but she was a bit shy so "...and he'll never go to heaven in a long, long way" became "...and he'll never go to the North Pole for a long, long time". Vung Tau Hashers showing their impromptu creativity once again!
And finally it was time to give a sincere "honourable mention" and thanks to Mountain Goat and Ice Water for continuing to provide the delicious snacks - we luv 'em!
STOP PRESS: Basil has taken time off work during the busy holiday period to set a trail on Big Mountain for this Sunday. It'll be our last run for 2014, of course, so let's make it a good turnout that's worthy of his efforts! We'll meet as usual in Offshore Bar 1 beer garden, 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Hares: SamSon, Basil
Hash Flash: Viking, SamSon, Ms Van Anh, Ice Water. Storyline photos: Flying Finn
We'll let Flying Finn tell the story first > > >