3 FEB 2019
LONG HAI / MINH DAM
Hares: Secs, Snail, Double Two
Hash Flashers: Kojak
Report: Chom Chom
This week we had forty-four Hashers assemble at our now familiar registration spot at Uno Coffee – surprisingly high considering the proximity to the Tet celebrations. The soft and not so soft drinks were carefully placed in their snow filled eskies, together with fruit, sandwiches and the habitual banh mi and were loaded on to our regular coach.
Once we all mounted the coach we took a brief detour into downtown Vung Tau along the beach road to stop at the Circle K convenience store for some non-eco-friendly plastic cups. We proceeded along Truong Cong Dinh to get back on our route to Long Hai. The bus stopped at the Minh Dam carpark, a popular place for previous Down-Downs so things were starting to look familiar already.
We assembled together and the bus departed on its way to our final Down-Down location. Secs gave us the brief overview of the trail, essentially it was 5km and to keep an eye for the distinct red flags.
The trail began and we all set up in line walking up a newly installed concrete path, that ordinarily we would have walked down. After a reasonable climb, we arrived at the first pagoda which also offered a rocky peak offering some great views over the area. From here, we progressed down the mountain through a meandering leafy forest path, a bit slippy in places due to the lack of moisture so treading with caution was a must. After a kilometre or so things got easier as we hit a flat track where we turned left. This again would have been a familiar path for many. After a short distance, and for those watching out for red tape, a right turn was made into a newly burnt forest path. This presented us with a range of challenges from trees and plants to trip over as well as grovelling through the tunnels of bamboo. Things were then to get worse – a steep rocky mountain was ahead. At this stage some of us were getting a bit knackered and in urgent need of a snow-chilled San Miguel, so this was not a welcome obstruction. With frequent checks to determine how much further the trail was, the peak was finally reached and another pagoda with awesome photo opportunities confronted us.
The final stage of the trail was a lot more relaxing, concrete and rock steps took us down to a path, and although it was a fair slog of a distance, we finally made it to our destination of the Long Hai eco-village, one of the more sumptuous locations for our Down-Down.
The chilled San Miguels and various soft drinks were unloaded from the bus and we setup our spot in this somewhat deserted place. A fair bit of disappointment was experienced when it was discovered that there had been some “stock-control” issues with the San Miguel Gold and that today only Light was available. This wasn’t a big deal, as a bottle of Vodka had been also smuggled into an Eskie – some enjoyed more than others!
After feasting on the banh mi and the other great foody supplied delights and swigging a fair few thirst quenching San Miguels, panic was to prevail. Chippy had some concerning, distressing news… “Where’s Ice Water? Who left her behind? Who’s going to go back and find her?” After a bit of a calming down session and a few unsuccessful phone calls, it was decided we wait a while in the hope she would make her way back on trail. Luckily enough it wasn’t long until she arrived with us, much to everyone’s relief. The circle was then assembled and called. Boozer set up his collection of beer and waters, together with his public address system. Other than meeting our hares (Snail, Double 2 and Secs) we had some returnees, we had some sinners and no doubt we had some virgins, but I don’t recall who they were. Must remember to write down these details and not get too involved in the beer drinking and chin wagging distractions!
Just as we thought things were drawing to a close and another joyful Sunday was descending into darkness, out came two plates of freshly cooked barbecued chicken. These went down in a couple of seconds (literally) and were a great additional to an already marvellous afternoon.
We eventually made it back onto the bus after a very long day in Long Hai and headed directly to Uno Coffee for our one (and only) stop. Our hashers made their ways home in the usual selection of ways and we all look forward to next weeks, local trail. On On and Happy New Year to all.
VTH3 #875 PHOTO GALLERY