1 DECEMBER 2019
Hash Flashers: Secs
Yet again, this week was the exemplification of the old adage that many hands make light work. It was all hands on deck as our merry band of Helpful Hashers carted the requisite supplies from the storeroom down to the Uno Coffee’s terrace in preparation for this week’s après-run down-down. This week our trail will start and finish at Coffee Uno making logistics somewhat easier.
With registration complete, our one and only Hare, Mr. T, whistles and hops on to the pulpit to deliver this Sunday’s sermon to his eager congregation.
“This is trail has a few twists and turns, look out for the red tape”, he preaches. “We’re going up the Hem next to Uno, climb some steps, look for an old house, turn right at the yogurt shop, don’t go as far as the lighthouse, turn in to the bush, ya da, ya da……”
It sounded complicated, but hey, it’s only Small Mountain - right? There’s bound to be red ribbons - what could go wrong?
Enthusiastically, we On-On.
We march up the narrow Hem next to Coffee Uno, climb the old steps and follow a path through the woods behind the various hotels and houses on Ha Long Road. Soon we meet the many stairs that will take us up the mountain to Chùa Hải Đăng Pagoda. As we reach the top of the stairs, our more seasoned Hashers notice something’s not right - Holy Crap! The quaint temple that was once perched overlooking the ocean is now a pile of rubble.
It’s only a short walk before ribbons indicate we are to go in to the jungle up some dilapidated steps. The trail takes passed a derelict old house and eventually emerging at famous Yaourt Cô Tiên Coffee Shop near the top of Hải Đăng.
At this point a certain number of our congregation committed their first sin, turning left to go down Hai Dang Road instead of going up towards the lighthouse.
The rest of us take a right turn and follow the road almost to the lighthouse. Another set of ribbons points us back in to the jungle. We stop here to gather our flock and some of us relish the famous homemade frozen yogurt from the coffee shop. Refreshed we begin our descent in to the jungle that takes us passed the walled communications compound and then back on to Hải Đăng Road.
We follow the road until we see a bunch of red ribbons tied to a fence indicating we are to jump the fence and take a shortcut down a short, rocky ravine to bring us back on to Hải Đăng Road.
More sinners. Some of our Hashers turned their noses up at the shortcut and proceeded to take the long way round expecting it to be easier. Those who took the relatively easy shortcut waited 5 minutes for our long cutters to catch up before giving up and continuing down the road.
Just when we think we were nearing the bottom of the hill and on the home straight, a chapel of red ribbons arches around a hidden passage of mossy old steps leading back up in to the jungle.
Here’s where the ultimate sinners fell from grace, heading directly back to Uno Coffee.
With a couple of Hail Marys, the remaining faithful continue the crusade, taking on the steep path through the jungle to emerge on the small road that traverses the mountain. Passing a quirky coffee shop and some artful graffiti we are soon rewarded with a divine view of Big Mountain across the sparkling ocean.
Finally we are directed on to a small picturesque path that takes us down the mountain where we meet what is to be the final obstacle. Jumping a fence we find ourselves on stone staircase that zig zags its way through the beautiful grounds of Budhist temple Chùa Hải Vân. A left turn at the bottom and we are soon back at Uno Coffee.
Back at our sanctuary, we break Banh Mi, worship our consecrated Sagota beer and rejoice until it’s time for our evangelical Ringmaster - the Reverend Sweeper to commence the ceremonial Circle.
First celebrant is our Hare, Mr. T, who’d marked this trail on Saturday afternoon returning in the dark. Sweeper polls the congregation and a devotional score of 15/10 is bestowed.
Next up are the are the sacrificial Virgins, a charming couple from Vietnam. Despite protestations of having already been deflowered, the Revenered Sweeper baptises the couple from the font of Sagota.
With innumerable Sinners this week, the Right Reverend Sweeper calls on the Faithful, those who actually followed the trail, to the Circle and blesses them while the Sinners contemplate repentance.
Just time to welcome back our Returnees, Frenchy and Tapio before wrapping up the Circle with a reminder that next weekend will be the Christmas Party in Long Hai.
And thus endeth the Run Report.
RUN 917 PHOTO GALLERY