10 MAR 2019
LONG HAI / MINH DAM
Hares: Boozer, Mr. T., Secs
Hash Flasher: Kojak
Meeting was, as usual, at café Uno, where hashers waited with happy chatting for the departure of the bus – departure which was slightly delayed as Boozer wanted to deliver a little speech ; what was that about ? it seems that some had complained that others would hold empty seats on the bus for a friend who might be a little late – it was therefore decreed that there should be no more « reservations » of that sort and that empty seats could be occupied by any person getting on the bus. After the speech, all were happy to get away from the high temperature to sit down and enjoy the air conditioning on board.
With only one short stop at Chi Linh to pick up a young lady, the bus took the road to Long Hai, went past that town to stop by the main road at about 2.30.
After a short explanation of the run by Mr T, we started walking on a flat dirt road, hurrying from one shady spot to the other, as the sun was so hot. After a few hundred metres, we turned left to follow a narrow path in the forest which soon led us to the bottom of a sort of staircase. Although mostly cleverly devised from the rocky ground, and therefore rather rough and rugged, it was quite easy to follow : no alternative, just up and up…and up, no real need for the red ribbons ; but it was a really very long climb, mosly shady but still very hot, which necessitated quite a few stops on the way to have a drink and catch one’s breath. Reaching a flat part, then a sort of settlement , built among huge rocks, some thought maybe that was the end of the climb – but no, more merciless steep slope awaited us.
So, it was only after an average of 1 hour, that the sweaty hashers reached the top of the hill : a chaos of huge boulders which, to our surprise was surmounted by the red flags of Vietnam and Vietnamese communist party. We later learnt that the hill had been the theatre of fierce fighting at the time of both the French and the American wars ; some boulders still bearing the trace of falling bombs. Many hashers stayed up there a lengthy moment, enjoying the breeze and the breathtaking view, happy to immortalize the achievement with dozens of photos.
Thankfully, the way down was on much more « civilized » well paved steps and gentle slope, so the vast area of the Down-Down was easily reached in about 30 minutes or less. There, as usual, everyone enjoyed the cool drinks and the sandwiches, before gathering for the traditional photo, followed by the ceremony, with Mr Boozer as the conductor ; the 8 virgins, 4 Vietnamese ladies with 2 children, plus a man from Finland and one from Russia were welcome with a song and a shower of icy water ; the only returnee, a young lady from Finland was granted the plastic tube with the ever successful (with the audience) shower of cold beer ; the sinners had to undergo the same ordeal amid the laughters of the merry hashers. A few hashers had deserved, through their fidelity, to be properly baptised – sorry, I don’t remember the names they were given…
So, after that rather hard climb, the enjoyment of being together, the San Miguel, etc., the return on the bus was really quiet, with a few even going to sleep, thus missing a beautiful sunset…
I am sure that everyone feels, as I do, very thankful for the existence of that so friendly « drinking club with a walking problem »- hope to see you all again next Sunday !
VTH3 #880 PHOTO GALLERY