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LONG HAI MOUNTAINS - "Hard and harder!"
Hares: Basil, SamSon, Terminator
Hash Flash: Dr Who. Additional photos: Ms Lucy
The trail was set on Saturday, and many Hashers join us at 14:00 on Sunday at Hon Ru Ri. We found that Returnee Hashers were surprised to see so many new faces; even last week’s Hash Virgin Chris brought some friends along.
As we were ready to depart, a new Hash Virgin Mr Hanh turned up – he had heard about us and decided to join.
When we finished picking up the Terminator family including additional Returnee Peach Melba, and also Ms Lucy, we headed to the starting point in the Long Hai mountains.
At this point we announced on the bus that the main trail is “super hard” and only experienced Hashers and fast ones can finish the trail in time, and they will be led by Hares Terminator and SamSon – while Hash Virgins and everyone else should go with Basil for an easier trail.
Many Hashers decided to follow SamSon, and others joined Basil who reminded everyone that if it’s too hard, there is no shame to give up.
Basil led his group to the Monkey Pagoda and started his trail from there. Then the sky opened and the rain started!
We followed the steps towards the house of the monks and Lady D, on her first time at Monkey Pagoda trail, decided to name it the “Hard trail” and the other one the “Very, very hard trail”!
When we reached the house, the group rested and Basil, followed by Lady D, tried to continue to the lookout rocks, assuming they will meet SamSon’s group up there.
But we saw Perro Caliente, Suction Cup and Messi coming out of the forest, so Basil decided to stay behind and tell the rest of the Hashers to go back to Monkey Pagoda for the Down Down.
As much time passed, and the sky was getting dark, Basil is worried; when he saw SamSon, he told him they didn’t see Shaky and the Hash Virgins. With the dense Minh Dam mountain jungle blocking the walkie talkie signals, we luckily reached Shaky by phone. He and his group had missed some markers while chatting(!) but realized their error and headed back, safe and sound.
With the sky almost dark, SamSon and Basil whip out their trusty flash lights, and shine the way back to the Down Down; even though we want to rush, the rain makes the trail slippery, so walking carefully is the best option.
As the sky is completely dark before we reach the Monkey Pagoda, Terminator’s family is waiting and shouting “ON-ON” – and daughters Peach Melba and Superteen also put up flash lights to tell us, “We are here”.
As we safely reach the pagoda, the monks gong the bell signal that it is 18:00 and Hashers mistook that the temple is so nice to sound the bell to tell stragglers the way home!
We take our quick refreshment and decide to hold the Circle and "team photo" on the bus trip back to Vung Tau.
First a “thank you” message for completing the hard trail, and we gave those Hashers a round of applause. But also a reminder that finishing a trail safely is very important, so everyone should be aware of their own limitations (as explained on our website) and not try something that is too difficult for their level of fitness and/or experience.
The Hares expect the trail to be rated more than 10, and every one agreed to award the trail 11/10 plus 1 for raining weather, so we got 12/10 for this week’s trail!
We welcomed Hash Virgins Ivy and Glen and Mr Hanh for their marvellous first time experience with the Hash.
We then welcomed Returnee Faulty Brakes with his excuse in Vietnamese: “Anh di nuoc ngoai 6 thang” (overseas for 6 months), and Taffy’s excuse: “In France”.
Then Sinners, with Shaky and his group for “getting lost”, Mr Nam for “inappropriate footwear”, and Basil charged by Lady D for calling his trail an “easy trail” when the two trails should have been called “Hard” and “Very, very hard”!
Finally an announcement that we shall have info about next week’s trail in the website’s NEXT RUN box when confirmed, and anyone who wants to dress up for Halloween can do so – but those who worry about frightening locals needn’t worry because we’ll return home after the run for people to get changed if they wish, then meet at Hon Ru Ri restaurant for an "On On" Halloween meal with Vietnamese dishes, and we’ll all share the cost.
We hope to see everyone for next week’s run to celebrate “Happy Halloween”, and we’ll meet on Sunday at Hon Ru Ri, as usual: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start – in any weather!