OCTOBER 25 2020
Hares: Anagram, Bull Ant, Chippy, Secs, Raffa
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Secs
This Sunday started, as per usual, at Tommy’s Restaurant and Bar with a bunch of happy helpers banding together to assemble the many supplies required for this week’s excursion to Minh Dam mountain. Eskies were filled with beer, soft drinks, a variety of food and ice, while Faulty Brakes and Bull Ant took on registration duty. With everyone checked in and the Hashmobile laden with delights we were soon hurtling out of Vung Tau towards one of our favourite mountains, Minh Dam.
Disembarking at the familiar car park at the top of the long and winding road, we are pleased to feel a cool freshness in the air. This bodes well as we gather around Hare Secs who explains that today will be a 4km trail that will take us up and down and around several temples and one spectacular view point. With a spring in our step we on-on up the path that will lead us to the first temple.
Stone steps take us through our verdant surroundings until we reach the first temple. Secs is waiting to guide us through the back where we are presented with what is to the first great view of the day - across lust greenery we can see Long Hai and the mountains of Vung Tau silhouetted in the distance. From there we make our way through thick green grass until we begin a somewhat precarious descent down a rocky and slippy path which leads us to a more level track.
This track takes us through a tunnel of leafy bamboo and out on to a stone path that emerges at the second temple. Lying in wait for us is an unusually brave snake perched upon a white bench that perfectly contrasts the beautiful markings of its long svelte body. With confidence it poses for photos and videos whilst cheekily sticking its forked tongue out at us.
Moving on we start our next ascent up some uneven rocky steps culminating at our third temple where again we are bestowed with yet another fantastic view of Long Hai and Vung Tau in the distance. After the obligatory selfies we begin another downward hike only to quickly be directed up a muddy path. At the end of the path a monolithic rock materialises where Hare Bull Ant is chivalrously assisting our Hashers on to what is to be the most spectacular panorama of the day.
Atop the huge flat rock jutting out of the mountain we stop to catch our breath only to have it taken away by the breathtaking view. After a photoshoot that would put Vietnam’s Top Model to shame we ease ourselves off the rock and begin yet another descent, this time more slippy and treacherous than before. Parents and guardians skillfully guide our junior hashers down, a task which the kids tackle with aplomb.
Our next obstacle is a dark crevice created by two leaning obelisk-esque rocks. Using the torches on our phones, we hunker down and pothole our way through, ignoring any claustrophobic dispositions, until we come to light at the end of the tunnel unscathed.
And so we come to the fourth and final temple of the day - a quaint construction adorned with colourful iconography - and the final vista of the day this time with an unobstructed birds-eye view of the Phuc Hai coastline. From here it’s a relatively short walk back to the car park.
Back at the base we slake our thirst with ice cold beer and soft drinks while we assuage any hunger with the legendary Hash House Banh Mi’s. The Boom Box booms as fruit is carved, our Hashers mingle and socialise until we realise that there is a contingent of Hashers who have not yet returned. We’re not too concerned as we know one of our hardy Hares, Raffa, is leading them, however, there is some consternation as the sun is setting and they haven’t arrived back yet. We needn’t have worried, just as we were thinking of sending out a search party they return - the two gentlemen in the party looking somewhat sodden. After having spent so much time taking photos on the trail they’d decided to take a shortcut back but were confronted with a body of water that they had to wade through with women and children piggybacking across. A valiant effort from Raffa and his cohort.
With light fading there is just enough time to take the team photo before we board the Hashmobile and continue the conviviality all the way back to Tommy’s. Back at our Hash Home we are treated to a live music performance from what is becoming our Hash House Band - Perfect Jive Duo. With the usual suspects shaking a mean hoof on the dance floor some continue to enjoy another beer or three well into the night.
All in all, a terrific trail, fun with friends and a splendid way to spend a Sunday.
RUN 956 GALLERY