25 FEB 2019
NUI DINH - "The Up, Up, Up, Down, and Up Again Trail"
Hares: Flying Finn, Slipper
Hash Flasher: Secs
Report: Chom Chom
It was looking like an unusually quiet Sunday away trail as the online registrations were slow to be made. After a lot of last-minute clickthrough’s, a total of 55 Hashers made their way to our registration desk at Uno Coffee to participate in run 878.
Whilst Hashers were being registered and fees being collected, in the background eskies were being filled with our allocation of San Miguel beers and soft drinks, soon to be chilled with the addition of crushed ice brought by Mr. T.
All done and now ready, the eskies were loaded onto our usual Tuan Thang “CSVC” coach. Hashers mounted and did their best to find some comfort on the once again crowded, overfilled vehicle. Off we go and for the second week, we make a stop at the most inconvenient ice shop in town to top-up our ice supply. Job done we at last proceed towards our starting location, passing through Ba Ria as usual.
We get dropped off on a major new road construction project. Hashers dismount the rather cramped coach and await the introduction from Flying Finn explaining a few details about the trail ahead of us. Within a few minutes we are on-on our way.
The trail starts easily enough walking along the sandy desert construction path, passing various plant vehicles and building materials and in parts resembling a quarry. The sun is beating down on us as there was no shade at this part making the sandy ground shiny and golden.
A left turn was made onto a more natural sandy path and our Hashers progressed in the direction of the mountain. Things started well as the incline up was rather mild. As we proceeded along the gentle meandering path through the continuous bamboo terrain, we manoeuvred our way as best as we could through this peril of a plant, left and right, over and under.
Things were to change as the ascendance was about to change. The climb was to get steeper, much steeper in fact as we hit what was going to be the toughest part of todays trail. Flying Finn had explained to us that there was a shorter trail and we should make a left turn at the first coffee shop we see. This was where we were now, but it hadn’t even been a kilometre, so we all clambered on, not knowing how much tougher things were to get.
Whilst we progressed on our journey, we made strides around the perimeter of the mountain on this narrow, dry, leafy path, offering some great scenic photo opportunities of the surrounding landscape. It was a hot clear day so some of the views were simply spectacular. We struggled, we sweated, we execrated as we climbed up, up, up for a good 1.5 kilometres in the scorching dry heat. Eventually the path disappeared, and it felt as though we were in no-mans land and left wandering around in search of red tape.
At the top, our warn-out Hashers met a large rock as we continued to the right along the peak of the mountain in parallel to a power line. It was an opportunity to get a bit of breath back as this was now on a much more level terrain. Our descent was soon to come and whilst it was initially reassuring, there was a lot more to come. The terrain had also changed, and we were now on a traditional woodland path, covered with twigs and dry leaves – far easier than contending with the bamboo earlier. Even a brief breeze was felt making this part almost enjoyable! Unfortunately these pleasantries were soon to be a thing of the past as a steep rocky path confronted us. Whilst it was rocky, it was abrupt and tough. It resembled a dry waterfall and it just kept on going.
Eventually after a very tiring and taxing climb, we all hit a large rocky road. This is the first part of the trail where confusion sat in. Do we turn left? Do we turn right? Or as it’s a Flying Finn and Slipper trail, do we proceed further into no-mans land ahead? The correct choice was left and those choosing this way were finally reassured of their fortuitous decision by the joy of some red tape somewhat further than the usual separation distance. The road continued down mildly and after about a kilometre we were met by the main Nui Dinh road. Knowing where we were now, a left turn was made and we strolled along the road for a couple of kilometres passing the Chua Dieu Linh Buddhist temple on the right, towards our Down Down location of Quan Dung (Suoi Da) coffee shop. The trail was about 4.5 kilometres in total and took on average 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.
Our hashers rejoiced at finally being able to relax, take a seat and have a chat accompanied by a super chilled San Miguel Light or Pilsner (or a soft drink of course – please drink responsibly!) Banh mi was also served together with some mango and Boozers legendary Western style sarnies.
After our team photo, the circle was prepared. Some of our younger members got a brief reprimand for mixing the drinks! We assembled around the circle and we met our two hares, Flying Finn and Slipper. The trail was rated 13 this week from our wide selection of nations. We then met our seven virgins who were: Gam, Ngoc, Linh and Mi from Vung Tau, Hieu and Tiny from Ho Chi Minh City and Geoff from Australia. Poor Miss Tiny had the pleasure to experience the tube of doom.
There were three returnees this week – Mr Romania had been working, Anton had also been busy working offshore and Mr Versace had been entertaining himself doing water sports (reminds me of an Alan Partridge sketch).
We had two sinners this week, although I think they were only sinners as they claimed to be single. These were Tiny again (she loved the circle) and Moonlight. Here Moonlight received the tube of doom.
A local trail will be set for next week. We remounted the bus and departed back to Vung Tau at 6pm.
VTH3 #878 PHOTO GALLERY