23 FEBRUARY 2020
Hares: Mr.T, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Uncle, Snowball, Mr. T
Familiar and new faces gathered at Lily’s Baradise and restaurant (formerly Tommy’s), 3 Le Ngoc Han for this week’s run on Small Mountain.
Fees paid, motorbike engines started, and it was “On On” to Happy Valley for the start of what was to be an interesting run alternating between several different degrees of difficulty!
The trail started with a climb up most of the 800+ steps to Jesus with Outstretched Arms on the lower peak of Small Mountain. Then around the very tricky side of the mountain, being careful not to slip on the many loose stones, before heading down through the hamlet above Hem 220 and the very familiar (to most!) Phan Chu Trinh.
A steep climb towards the Wind resort gave a taste of what was to come: an even steeper climb through bone-dry bushland until we reached ‘lighthouse road’; thanks to those offering a helping hand to ensure everyone reached the top safely.
A couple of ‘steep-ish’ short-cuts took us to the popular ‘yoghurt ice cream’ stalls that marked the beginning of a long descent to Halong road – made even longer by the usual steps now being fenced off, so we made the last part of the descent via ‘Mother Teresa’s stairs’ instead!
Then it was back around Halong past the shiny, all new Mercure hotel and marina complex (formerly Lan Rung resort) to Happy Valley, to be greeted by eskie-wrangler of the day, Cleaver, treating his dodgy knee with a Sagota ice pack!
Much conviviality ensued to the background ‘music’ of karaoke as the FRBs awaited the rest of the pack, which had split into several smaller groups, each accompanied by one of today’s four hares, along what had been a longer-than-usual trail around and across Small Mountain.
Everyone eventually returned safely and the banh mi and several different fruits were attacked with relish, washed down by ice-cold Sagota, water and soft drinks. Thanks once again to Chom Chom for his superlative fruit shopping, and Sparkles for some deft slicing of delicious water melon and other fruits including mango, pomelo and miniature apples – yum yum!
Chatting with other hashers while sipping drinks and snacking on delicious tropical fruit as the waves quietly lap the shoreline is surely one of life’s little luxuries. So much so that we watched the sun almost sink below the horizon before realising that we hadn’t yet taken the team photo or opened the Circle – so the VTH3-Sagota banner was quickly unfurled, with Chom Chom accepting the challenge of taking a group photo from less than 3 metres on a bending trail around the waterfront!
Highlights of today’s run were noted as the trail’s range of views (‘selfie backdrops’), varying degrees of difficulty and overall length. Hashers included one visitor from Belgium, 3 SCBs (short-cutting bast*rds), and a couple of ‘firsts’: ‘apologies for absence’ from 2 junior Hashers who were ‘too tired’; and one Hasher who arrived with a big smile to disguise the fact that she was more than 3 hours late!
Next week’s trail was discussed and the overall view was in favour of continuing to avoid bus trips until the COVID-19 situation improves. So we’ll have another local run on Sunday, with Mr T and Uncle volunteering to set a trail on Big Mountain to start and finish at Lily’s Baradise.
Repeat of last week’s footnote: Some regular hashers have expressed confusion with the current Hash situation in Vung Tau. Despite mischievous social media messages to the contrary, the original VTH3 continues with an unchanged Mismanagement Committee, website vungtauhash.com and VTH3 Mailing List for communication with anyone who registers an interest (unless they have a record of unwelcome behaviour with VTH3 or other Hash chapters, as per global HHH rules and covenants).
VTH3 continues to enjoy a new, improved Hash kennel at Lily's Baradise (thanks Rob!) and sponsorship by the popular Sagota Beer (thanks Mr Tien!); so while we're grateful for the support we received from Uno Coffee and San Miguel beer in past years, they are both now part of our glorious and storied history and any messages claiming otherwise are just unofficial "white noise" which can be safely ignored.
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