24 NOVEMBER 2019
MINH DAM - LONG HAI
Hares: Flying Finn, Slipper, Sandals, Kalle
Hash Flashers: Murph Diver
This week begins, as always, at Uno Coffee with the usual organisation of volunteers getting their pre-run warm up. A steady procession of Helpful Hashers happily hopped up the two flights of stairs to the new Hash storeroom and lugged the many supplies required for each Run back down again: 6 eskies, cartons of Sagota Green and Light, crates of Sagota Pure, a myriad of soft drinks including our new favourite hydrator 100Plus, were all safely transported to the staging area. Our volunteers then ensconced our beloved Sagota in the eskies, swaddled it with ice and humped it on to the Hashmobile.
Thanks to Sagota and our Helpful Hashers - we couldn’t do it without you.
Meanwhile, our resident registrar and bean counter, the Charming Cleaver, received this week’s Hashers and their nominal run fees. We had 66 Hashers register online and 51 Hashers, 13 Hash House Horrors, 2 Hares and a dog turn up.
With the Hashmobile now fully loaded to capacity we set off for this week’s run on Minh Dam mountains. This week’s trail is the follow up to last week’s killer trail set by the esteemed Finnish warren of Hares; Flying Finn, Slipper, Sandals, Kalle. It was promised to be an easier trail but when we found ourselves disembarking at sea level and and looking up at the massive, verdant mountain jutting into the crystalline sky - we realise that this ain’t gonna be easy.
We gather round lead Hare, Flying Finn, for the chalk-talk, he explains that this is a 3.5km trail, all jungle for the first half and it will be easy going after that.
So on-on, as we go, and as promised we are in the jungle after just 5 mins of walking. It’s a steep ascent. Hopping over many rocky steps, ducking under bamboo, and fending off vicious vegetation intent on wounding us with barbaric barbs, we soldier on(on). Just when it seemed like we’d never get to the top, from out of nowhere, it all seemed worth it.
Suddenly we had emerged from the jungle canopy to be confronted by a glistening monolith rising in to the clear sky. There are some brick steps that lead to a plateau, we climb the steps and then, gasps of “Oh my God!”. A jaw dropping view of Long Hai’s mountainous coastline projects itself against an azure backdrop.
And so photos time. Many photos. Many, many photos. So many photos.....
After a photo shoot that would have put an episode of Vietnam’s Next Top Model to shame, we continue on and begin our descent. Pleased that Flying Finn was true to his always trustworthy words, the next part of the trail was well trodden. With gravity now on our side it was a relatively easy walk back to Minh Dam car park where the ice-cold Sagota Beer, soft-drinks, Banh Mi, and fruit are waiting for us.
Conviviality ensues as we slake our thirst and sate our hunger.
Circle Time! Taking the helm as Ringmaster this week we welcome back Sweeper. First up are Flying Finn and Sandals representing the Hares, the trail is rated by various Hashers and the overwhelming consensus is a big thumbs up with a completely arbitrary score of >10 out of 10.
5 Virgins this week hailing from Australia, Norway and Vietnam - all of whom expressed that while it was tough going it was rewarding, sociable and worthwhile. Lucky from Norway proceeds to the tale of how he broke his sunglasses fighting off marauding monkeys and rampaging elephants on the trail. Calling bullshit, Sweeper dismisses our Virgins and calls upon any returnees.
This week we have the Hollywood blockbuster movie, Batman and Jellyfish Return. Batman returns having completed his studies in HCMC and his filial sidekick, Jellyfish returns from her studies in Singapore. Welcome back, studious superheros.
Next up is the Sinners! Lucky is immediately called by Ringmaster Sweeper for the heinous crime of telling the very tall storey of how he came to break his sunglasses. The Tube of Doom and the Chalice of Shame are positioned on his drinking arm and a bewildered Lucky wrestles with the mathematics of getting the beer in the Chalice into his mouth. He figures it out and is rewarded with the inevitable Sagota shower.
Frivolities over, there is just time to mention the up-coming Christmas party at Long Hai on the 7-8 December - don’t forget to register.
Our volunteers regroup to load up the Hashmobile and we begin the journey back to Vung Tau. Accompanied by an eskie full of Sagota Beer and a rock box, it doesn’t feel like long before we are back at Uno Coffee and for the final time today our volunteers lug the much lighter crates and eskies back up to the storeroom.
RUN 915 PHOTO GALLERY - MURPH DIVER