5 MAY 2019
Hares: Boozer, Chook, Secs
Hash Flasher: Secs
After the usual registration process, we make our way to 102 Tran Phu - affectionately known as the “Old Ladies Place’ - where we will begin and end this week’s trail. Our Hare, Boozer, tells us we are to walk along Tran Phu until we come to the school at 192 Tran Phu where the trail will take us the mountain a slightly different way, taking in a previous undiscovered bunker, we’ll then join up with the Ho May Park road path and then we will eventually make our way through the bush to the crucifix that sits atop the 800 steps up from the Goddess of Mercy statue and then finally back to where we started at 102 Tran Phu.
The blistering sun beats down on us as we walk along Tran Phu - this is going to be a hot, hot, trail. Arriving at the Hem 192 we huddle under the shade of some trees whilst we await the stragglers - notably Sparkles, who admirably sprinted 500m to catch us up. Assembled again, we tackle our first obstacle, pulling ourselves up some dilapidated steps and onto a rock. This is where we’d normally follow the wall next to the school, however, today the red ribbons take us a different direction off to the left and up a steep hill. Typically this is overgrown with foliage but after several months of the dry season a path opened up allowing as a to climb up.
At the crest of the hill we see a large concrete structure nestled in the rock face. It’s an old, abandoned military bunker, which, unusually the entrances haven’t been bricked up. The braver of us climb down the steps to explore the inside. It’s pretty dark inside, the only light coming from the narrow slits of the from the pill-boxes that strategically look out over the sea. Steps take us down to the third level where we disturb a family of bats - time for a sharp exit.
Soon back on the familiar path we begin the walk across the mountain. Many of us are starting to flag as the incessant sun takes its toll. Thankfully we turn a corner and see a fairly puggled Chook and Boozer resting up at a coffeeshop. The perfect opportunity to rehydrate and replenish our depleted water supplies. Refreshed we continue along the path until we see a plethora of red ribbons leading us in to the bush and we begin the arduous task of crossing the apex of Big Mountain culminating at the acme of today’s endeavour - the view from 235m above sea level.
Many, many selfies later our Hashers begin the next task - getting across the valley that will take us over to the large crucifix on the next peak. It’s a treacherous descent down the near vertical scree slope. Tentatively we make our way down and then back up the other side of the valley until we reach the crucifix. Finally the last leg of the trail. One step at a time we make our way down the many stone steps to the bottom, take a left and back to Old Ladies Place.
Thirsty and hungry we guzzle down cold beer, soft drinks and bahn mi. Once everyone is replete Ringmaster Boozer calls to order the circle. First up are the Hares, Chook, Boozer and Secs - the trail is rated with scores from 10/10 to 20/10. No Virgins or Returnees this week but Mr.T is brought into the sin bin for the heinous crime of having new shoes.
Circle over the exhausted Hashers head off in to the sunset - another great day out in spectacular Vung Tau.
VTH3 #888 PHOTO GALLERY
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