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24 May 2015
LOWER NORTHERN BEACHES - "Chi Linh to Dic Star"
A longer than usual wait for "the ice man" gave way to a slower than usual bus ride with our driver displaying his creative but "less than tuneful" gear crunching expertise as we struggled around "Jesus Statue corner" and headed north for the Seaview apartments and Chi Linh resort for today's exciting beach encounter!
A chalk talk by Mountain Goat and Mother Teresa was translated by Superteen and then it was "On On" behind eternal FRB Terminator - who was going faster than usual as Yoffi hunted for some "territorial markers". Not sure if she found any, but we think the locals must have taken a liking to our red eco-markers as they were few and far between!
After heading north for what seemed like ages, we eventually turned east and headed for the beach. Another right turn and we were finally heading south along the sand to the Dic Star end-point - managing a few quick chats with local beachgoers and fishing people on the way!
It had seemed like a fairly straightforward trail until now, but that changed quickly as we headed off-beach and onto the sand dunes virtually covered with thick, dead grass, twigs and related beach flora which made for a hard slog at times! And it was somewhere along this section that several amazing coincidences started to happen: Mapdraw noticed something shining in the darkness down amongst the dried twigs and pointed it out to Viking; he stooped down to pick it out of the shrubbery, only to discover that he was holding a ladies watch - to be continued below!
After several kilometres of sand dunes, we threaded our way onto a paved road between resorts, then through a car park and back onto the beach again! This time, we knew we were getting closer because the noise levels had risen quite dramatically. Sure enough, we finally reached the eskies inside the Dic Star grounds - after more than 7 km of paved road, loose sand, hard-packed sand, dried grass, dead twigs, more paved road and more sand!
We feasted on the delicious Russian snacks and ice-cold San Migs and softies until everyone made it back safe and sound. Then it was time for the Circle, with Ring Master Basil calling on Uncle to rate the trail for Hares Terminator and Mountain Goat. Ever the diplomat(!), Uncle awarded maximum points for the variety and length of the trail, only to be challenged by Camel Bone to deduct 2 points for lack of markers in the earlier part of the trail. This led to a call for "average" 9/10, which was in turn challenged for another "average", which gave the final score a very creditable 9.5/10!
Hash Virgins Misses Dung and Diep were introduced by Viking; returnees Camel Bone, GPS, Rita and Mapdraw welcomed back; and various sinners charged including Stubble, Uncle and Rita for "inappropriate footwear" (no shoes!); the Circle was then advised that Vung Tau Hash has reached #1 in the Trip Advisor rankings for "Things to do in Vung Tau"!
Foodies Mother Teresa and Mountain Goat were thanked by general acclaim; and then a name change was proposed because of the amazing chain of coincidences mentioned earlier:
When Viking made it to the end-point he asked if anyone had lost a watch. Moonface hadn't realised she'd even lost the watch - let alone that it would be spotted amongst all that dead shrubbery by one Hasher and collected and returned by another! Given that Hashtags are primarily bestowed to recognise something that's been said or done on the Hash rather than the "outside world", Uncle proposed that this was an excellent reason to allocate a new Hashtag - Shines In the Dark, or "SID" (noting that the moon also shines in the dark, just like a lost watch!). Some confusion followed and it was getting late, so the matter was held over for next week.
Ring Master Basil announced that SamSon had volunteered to set a trail at Minh Dam Secret Zone for next Sunday, and the Circle was closed as we cleared up and loaded the bus for the return trip - during which Basil distributed plastic bags containing posters and flyers for VTH3 and new affiliate The Bay City Strollers to anyone who can use them to canvass new members in the local community or via noticeboards in apartment buildings, restaurants, bars, etc.
There was also some discussion about t-shirts for the 700th run (04 October 2015), and everyone was invited to provide contact details for reliable and inexpensive suppliers.
STOP PRESS (Thursday): SamSon, Ms Thanh and Monsieur 'Arry have confirmed a trail in the Long Hai Mountains starting at the "Monkey Pagoda" but exploring more of the Minh Dam Secret Zone and including a huge lookout rock with panoramic views of Long Hai beach - so don't forget your camera!
We'll meet on Sunday at Sao Bien 4 restaurant, as usual, 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Report: Uncle, Basil
Hares: Terminator, Mountain Goat
Hash Flash: Uncle. Circle photos: Ms Uyen.
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