21 JULY 2019
LONG HAI - MINH DAM
Hares: Double-Two, Snail
Hash Flasher: Golden Fish
Report: Chom Chom
Whilst others were relaxing at home in front of warming fires, enjoying a lazy Sunday, preparing their roast dinners, the gregarious and venturous group of Vung Tau Hash House Harriers were assembling at our registration point of Café Uno. Registration today was particularly arduous as additional fees were being collected for the Run 900 Pool Party next weekend, and the Hash Weekender to Cat Tien National Park on August 10th. Whilst registration was taking place, in the background cooler boxes were being filled with soft drinks, beers, banh mi and the essential ice.
Following the registration and emptying our wallets and purses we all set to board our regular Hash coach and departed Vung Tau for Long Hai, the destination for today’s trail.
Upon arrival at Long Hai, we were dropped off in the main car park of the Chùa Khỉ Buddhist temple, a very pretty and well kept temple with beautiful surrounding grounds and views. After the application of sunscreen and mosquito spray, we walked a short distance through the grounds along a gravelly path passing statues, huge rocks and many moderately friendly monkeys. We reached a small pagoda where Mr. T introduced the trail ahead and explained that today we had “live hares”. Essentially this meant that the trail hadn’t been set in advance, therefore Double-2 and Snail, a couple of our more nimble and quick members would place the red tape ahead of our other hashers. For most Hashers this area was quite familiar having had many past trails here. So On-On as we all commenced the journey ahead.
We progressed up the mountain on the steep rocky steps, advancing to the temple, passing many monkeys that seemed fairly relaxed on being photographed. It was a bright sunny day, the sky was an expanse of sapphire blue providing a great contrast for the many photograph and selfie opportunities to come. Whilst we were blessed with radiant rays of the sun, it did make the rough uphill climb over the boulders rather more demanding. As we progressed further up, evidence of the recent rain became apparent as the steps were becoming damper and slippier with a veneer of moss. We shortly arrived near the top and walked through a small temple with a stunning viewpoint. We knew we were almost at the mountains peak and that things were seemingly going to get easier. A short walk later we passed through the cave tunnel, damp and cool – thirty seconds of bliss.
From here things began to get easier as we followed the generous path of red tape carefully meandering through the leafy, wooded path through dense woodland.
One by one, Hashers arrived at the final Down-Down location of Minh Dam car park. Cool drinks were waiting and the joyful cheers of chatter and banter prevailed. Monkeys too were waiting and observing every movement, ready to pounce and grab whatever goodies they could. This week together with the customary banh-mi, we enjoyed the bonus of additional sandwiches from Boozer and a delicious tin of Danish cookies and bananas from HBO, so a special thanks to our foodies this week. Once we were all refreshed and energised again, the group photograph was taken. The traditional circle was then assembled with Boozer taking the centre. Unfortunately for the second week, technical issues limited the audio-visual meaning Boozer would have to shout rather than have the comfort of a working microphone. Firstly we were introduced once again to our live hares, Double-2 and Snail. The trail was awarded a rating of eleven. We then met our new virgins, two this week, David from Australia’s Gold Coast and Paul from Melbourne. Paul had the special honour of the tube of doom. We were then honoured by the return of two Hashers who had been away for more than 6 weeks, Moonlight and On-On. Moonlight made the rather lame excuse that maybe she was busy with her girlfriends whilst On-On simply claimed he had been busy working. This weeks circle also gave the opportunity to provide some Hash names to some of our newer, regular hashers. Four hashers were invited into the circle, Ms Canh was named Pinky, her affable daughter was named Leader, and her son had the superhero name of Spiderman. One more name was given to a Vietnamese hasher, Lovely.
The time was drawing towards six, so the coach was reloaded with the cooler boxes and hash stuff and our drained hashers boarded again for the journey back to Vung Tau.
Due to the Run 900 Pool Party, there will be a shorter local trail next week. Keep checking the website at www.vungtauhash.com and your email inbox. See you all next Sunday.
VTH3 #899 PHOTO GALLERY