9 Dec 2018
Big Mountain - "Golgotha"
For our friends who are unfamiliar with the Christian religion, Golgotha is the name of the hill near Jerusalem, which Jesus is supposed to have climbed, carrying a heavy cross.
It all started as usual with the quiet rendez-vous at Hon Ru Ri, friendly smiles welcoming each new arrival ; then, on bikes or by taxi, we quickly gathered again at 102 Tran Phu which was to be that day’s down down place
After leaving that muster point, a short walk on Tran Phu took us to the grounds of the large catholic site, where we found ourselves at the bottom of what was going to be our own Golgotha… true, fortunately, we didn’t have a cross to carry – only our little, average, or large selves – but that was amply sufficient ; another difference : Jesus’ s Golgotha didn’t have any steps, ours did but I am not sure that was an advantage as these were uneven, often higher than normal… add a steep slope, the scorching sun, scarce spots of shade and hardly any breeze, that made the climb to the cross a real challenge (there were quite a few stops on the way, a rather unusual happening) so much so that, although everyone seems to have reached the cross, not everyone had the strength, or courage to continue – which was a pity, as the hardest was already behind us : no more steps, a trail through the forest, at first descending (what relief !), then ascending again to another summit of the « Big Mountain », but with a milder slope, more shady spots and occasional breeze. After the top (spectacular views), started a long descent through trees and bushes, sometimes a little tricky - no footpath, but a rather steep trail fortunately so well marked with the red ribbons (a good point for the hares !) that it was impossible to get lost ; we finally reached the little road, a very pleasant balcony on the other side of the mountain, with lovely fresh breeze and great views over the fishing harbour, the petroleum terminal, the bay and far horizon. We had the surprise to meet Boozer on his bike, coming to make sure that everyone was ok. An easy walk took us to where old French fortifications have been turned into lodgings, a place where you can get refreshments ; there we met civilisation under the form of that loud karaoke unavoidable on festive Vietnamese Sundays… then on down to the French guns after which we left the road, to take a good footpath (easy to miss, but Boozer and Andy where there to show us) ; it was really pleasant, to walk on, in spite of some fallen trees occasionally blocking the way, a consequence of the recent storm. We had to leave it, however, to start another descent through the forest, with some more steep, tricky parts that everyone managed without problem. At the bottom, it was Tran Phu again for about 1 km to get back to the nha nghi at n° 102 ; what a relief to spot the dear eskies and their stock of delicious ice cold beers and soft drinks !
After enjoyable relaxing moments, we gathered as usual, with Boozer as the master of ceremonies ; a “virgin”, a young Vietnamese lady called Thao, was welcomed with the Hashers’ song, the goblet of beer and icy cold shower ; then 2 returnees presented themselves : “Finn Lady”, Pekka’s wife from Finland, and Bibi, from Malaysia ; they were duly “baptised” a ceremony which they endured with good cheers.
The “sinners” were “Faulty Brakes”, Cleaver and Bibi, for not completing the run – a young VN lady was also punished for always arriving late, amid the cheers and laughters of the happy hashers.
VTH3 #867 PHOTO GALLERY