21 APRIL 2019
Hares: Flying Finn, Slipper, Chook
Hash Flasher: Secs
A scorching, sunny, Sunday afternoon and 44 wholehearted Hashers convene at Cafe Uno. Once the usual registration process is complete, the Hashmobile is boarded and we are soon hurtling towards this week’s destination - Nui Dinh.
About 45 minutes later we disembark next to the seemingly perpetually under-construction road at the bottom of Nui Dinh. As we march along the sun-baked road, we look with some trepidation at the massive, undulating mountains that stand out against the azure sky. We follow our Hares off the road and gather under the welcome shade of a mango tree. Our Hare, Flying Finn, blows his whistle and, once he has everyone’s attention, explains the trail - follow the red ribbons up the mountain path until we come to the lake at the top, turn left and follow the road back to the Hashmobile - simples.
So On-On we go, along an arid country path. Soon we arrive at the edge of the forest, where the unwavering Slipper is patiently waiting to direct us on to the shady path that will take us up the mountain - and what a path it turns out be! A well worn trail, cut out of the forest with trees providing plenty of shade. And rocky steps - lots of rocky steps. Relentless rocky steps. We take them in our stride, relieved when it eventually flattens out and we see the lake at the top. Not far to go now. We take a left turn on to a dusty, unsealed road and approximately 1km later we are exulted to see the Hashmobile and eskies waiting for us.
Ice cold beer is quaffed, Banh Mi is devoured and the conviviality begins as we exchange tales of the trail. The conviviality escalates as Frenchy breaks out his legendary home-made Passion Fruit Rum. A delicious and potent infusion served in makeshift goblets fashioned from the cutoff bottoms of water bottles.
Just as the down-down is in full swing, we realise that one of our Hashers has not yet returned. This spot is renowned for being a mobile phone network dead spot, so we are going have to find our lost sheep old school style. A search and rescue strategy is planned, locals with motorbikes are commandeered, Buddhist monks are recruited, and a search party is dispatched on foot to retrace our steps. Thankfully, just as the search party is about to descend back down the rocky steps, we meet with Sparkles who has managed find a weak phone signal and has received word that our Hasher is fine and was on her way back to meet us courtesy of a local guy on a motorbike. It seems she’d missed the red ribbons at the lake indicating the left turn and followed some older ribbons from a previous trail. An easy mistake to make.
Anyway, all is now well, and with the light fading, there’s no time for a circle. We pack up the eskies, ensuring we have one eskie filled with enough in-bus-entertainment to sustain us on the journey home. The boombox blares as bus tentatively makes way down the steep, serpentine road. Frenchy takes to the microphone and wishes us all a fond farewell as he will be returning to his eponymous native land. After thanking everyone, he completes his farewell with a song. Thanks Frenchy - see you when you return.
Before we know it, we are back at Uno Coffee.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this week’s Hash - we couldn’t have done it without you.
VTH3 #885 PHOTO GALLERY
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM FRENCHY