6 JAN 2019
NUI DINH - "Two Trails - Three Pagodas"
Hares: Flying Finn, Boozer, Mr. T, Cleaver
Hash Flashers: Secs
Standing room only on the Hashmobile this week as 53 Hashers crammed aboard bound for our favourite mountain - Nui Dinh. With children stacked on top of each other and Hashers sitting on the aisle floor we are soon on-on our way. After passing Ba Ria we turn off the Highway on to the precipitous, meandering road that will take us up the mountain. At one point we think we are going to have to get out and push as the Hashmobile almost stalls. Thankfully, our skilled driver miraculously finds another gear and the Hashmobile laboriously trundles up to our starting point 280m above sea level.
Disembarking we are informed that this week we have a choice of two trails - a challenging one led by Mr. T and an allegedly easier one led by Faulty Brakes. The more adventurous of us gather round Mr. T for our chalk talk whilst our comrades follow Faulty Brakes. Mr. T explains that this trail will take us through three pagodas, it’s mostly following the road but take care to look for the red ribbons at the second temple which will lead us left through the garden and then through some bushes.
So On-On we go, pleased with the blue skies and fresh breeze we enter the shady forest path. After 1km we arrive at the first temple and take the path to the left of the steps until we emerge at the next temple. We are greeted with a spectacular view, an impressive meditation bell, and shimmering white Buddhist statues. Many take the opportunity to take photos and ring the bell (!).
Moving on we find the red ribbons indicating our path through the beautiful garden until they lead us to a thick bush. Somewhat apprehensively we wriggle through the bush relieved to find that it opens up in to a narrow jungle track. We follow the path until it abruptly ends bringing us out at the back of Chua Hang Mai - our third temple. After taking time to admire the views and monuments we take the steps up through the pagoda and out the otherside.
Looking at the road ahead of us we get a sense of why this is the more challenging trail - before us is a near vertical slope. We take a deep breath and on tiptoes begin the arduous climb. Our calves already screaming for mercy we approach the first bend in the road only to be confronted with an even steeper slope. We trudge up the relentless 20% incline until it eventually flattens out and our legs can take a break. But not for long - another corner - and yet another steep slope. Now at an altitude of 450m we continue for another 1km before more red ribbons indicate a right turn back into the jungle. It’s a steep descent - but at least it is going down. The trail takes us through lush greenery until emerge on the road where we meet up with the Hashers from the other trail - which apparently wasn’t as easy as some were led to believe. Another kilometer and we turn the corner to find our Hashmobile waiting for us - this week’s Beermeister - Fluffer - having readied the eskies filled with ice cold San Miguel.
A feast also awaits, Boozer’s and Mother Teresa’s legendary sandwiches, home smoked salmon from Mr. Kabul and delicious banh mi sate our hungry Hashers. We exchange tales of the trail, rest our legs and quench our thirst until Boozer blows on his whistle and we begin the circle.
Our Hares this week are Mr. T, Boozer, Flying Finn and Cleaver. The rating of the trail begins with scores as diverse as 5/10 to 100/10 - a compromise was met and the ultimate rating ending up at a very respectable 13/10.
5 Virgins this week from Vietnam and Russia. A Russian gentleman is welcomed by having his nipple exposed, the tube of doom and a good dousing by Mr. Kabul. Welcome to VTH3!
Returnees next and this week we welcome back Mother Teresa who has been in Hanoi with daughter and legendary Hasher, Superteen. Mr. Kabul has been busy working. Fluffer was travelling. Aqua and Kiki’s also rejoin us this week - with the lame excuse of simply “lazy”. Tube of Doom for Aqua.
Next up we have a mass christening. Time to give those who have completed more than six runs with VTH3 a Hash Name. So….
Dan will now be known as “Snail”, Hien took the name 222, My Hang will now officially be called Moonlight, Yolanda is Jolly, Frank is the Chief Stoker. Finally we have a whole family of regular Hashers who are now called Push Ups, Happy, Lucky and Haircut.
Welcome to the VTH3 family!
Finally we finish with an important announcement. From next week we will be meeting at Uno Coffee at 48-50 Ha Long Road. Registration and departure will continue to be 1pm for 1.30pm departure.
With the sun setting we pack up and pack ourselves in to the Hashmobile. Stopping briefly for more beer and followed by the inevitable comfort break we soon find ourselves back at Hon Ru Ri for the last time.
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