24 MAR 2019
SMALL MOUNTAIN - "The Three Temple Trail"
Hares: Boozer, Cleaver
Hash Flasher: Secs
Report: Chom Chom
Another Sunday afternoon, another habitual gathering at our registration base of Café Uno where this week, thirty-nine ardent Hashers assembled in anticipation for Boozers trail on Small Mountain.
Upon completion of the registrations, fees being paid and the friendly salutations, we proceeded down to the street to be introduced to the trail ahead of us by our hare, Boozer. Essentially it was a trail of three temples, up to the lighthouse and the familiar route down back to Café Uno. We were warned that a lot of the trail was new, so keeping grouped up would be a good plan!
We proceeded away from Café Uno along Ha Long Street until we got to the Chua Hai Van Temple where we took the hairpin to the right to start our ascent. After climbing many dilapidated steps we met the mountain road and followed this in a downward direction towards Mr Ket. This pleasant stretch was soon to end as Mr T, acting quite stealthily, appeared pointing to a right turn to yet more, even more rickety and decrepit steps, but this time far more arduous and gruelling. It was getting painful here as the tortuous sun glared and dazzled us, no doubt having a good laugh watching the sweat penetrating from our bodies. We arrived at our second temple and grovelled under a makeshift fence to arrive on the new concrete road. Here we turned right and forged ahead, making the most of the smooth, level surface. There were some great photo and selfie opportunities here as views over the ocean were aplenty.
A right turn was taken off the concrete road into a dry and leafy area of forest where we continued to climb up. This was probably the more perilous and precarious part of the trail due to the dryness and lack of grip. We made our way up and shortly found ourselves on far more familiar grounds, by passing the domed bunkers and the crumbled steps. We arrived again at the mountain road and took a right towards the lighthouse. Our third and final temple soon arrived, this one known as Chua Hai Dang, and at long last we made a start to make our way back down from the mountain on the lavish Temple steps. Most of our Hashers knew where we were now and comforted in knowing the trail was nearly over. We left the steps and made a left turn back into the forest, through the undergrowth, under the chicken wire by Leman Cap Resort and eventually arriving at the final staircase down to Ha Long and ultimately our Down Down destination. Looking at my Runkeeper app, the trail was almost 4km and took around 1 hour 30 minutes to complete.
Hashers appeared at their own pace and gradually Café Uno started to rejuvenate. The usual San Miguel Light and Pilsners had been awaiting our return in their ice fuelled eskies making them a delight to absorb in our drained bodies. There was also the usual selection of soft drinks, banh mi and Boozers box of filled sandwiches. This week we had a representative of San Miguel greet us to understand more about Vung Tau Hash and their involvement as a sponsor.
After the group photo had been completed, Boozer called the circle. As in the traditional fashion, we were first introduced to our hares, in this case, our single Hare, Boozer. Next up were our virgins. There were four this week – Phuong, Khoa and Huy from Vung Tau and Laurie (introduced by Mr. T) from Queensland, Australia. Next round was sinners and our pack included Shirley, who was clearly not impressed with Frenchy for suggesting her for having new shoes, and Aqua for having a new luminous orangey-pink shirt! There was one more sinner, Mai, who was called into the circle subsequently for suggesting something was “how rude”. There were no returnees this week. After a quick summary of how trails are set and the varying difficulty levels, the circle was closed and the festivities and jovialities continued.
VTH3 #882 PHOTO GALLERY