FEBRUARY 14 2021
Hares: Bull Ant, Chippy, Chom Chom, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
The excitement was palpable as nearly 40 eager Hashers, including six visitors from our sibling Saigon Hash, gathered at Tommy’s for the first trail of the Lunar New Year. The trail had been promoted as the Valentine's Day ‘love’ trail and was promised to have everything on offer ‘Views, pagodas, cannons, underground torpedos, bunkers, and the beach’. As it transpired the trail lived up to every expectation.
A team of volunteers gathered the beer, soft drinks, fruit and food and ensconced it neatly in to the eskies, and loaded it onto the waiting beer truck. Then it was on to motorbikes and into taxis as we headed to our favourite Beach Hash Shack on Trần Phú Street. Here we gathered around co-Hare Secs who told us that we’d be starting and finishing at the Beach shack and pointing to the large crucifix perched high atop the mountain behind us where we’d be coming down from at the end of the trail. We were instructed to walk for a kilometer along the road where we would be given further instructions.
And so, On-On we go!
We marched along the road enjoying the cool sea breeze until we reached the Hem where Secs was waiting for us and explained the rest of the trail - basically - make sure you follow the red ribbons - not be confused with the other green, blue and yellow ribbons you may encounter. As soon as we’d walked up the Hem we encountered our first obstacle - a steep rocky cliff and some overgrown steps that would lead us to an old war time pill box style bunker and the first viewpoint of the afternoon.
Beyond the bunker we found ourselves on a pleasant forest path where the fallen brown leaves from the deciduous trees and cool air gave it an unusually autumnal feel. The path took us to Ganh Ray Battery - an old French Battle station with six large cannons dating from 1870. A perfect place for a rest and photos. Just beyond here we were able to visit the ‘Underground Torpedo’ cave that was used to store the ammunition for the cannon.
Next we have an easy walk along the concrete path that leads to Ho May Park with plenty of opportunities for more jaw dropping views (and photos) of the seascapes of Vung Tau. An ice lemon tea vendor does well as our thirsty Hashers stop to hydrate. Soon we see the red ribbons and our Hares pointing us to follow a steep road on the right of the path.
This steep path takes us to a quaint pagoda where more red ribbon takes us back in to the forest. This narrow rocky path takes us to the apex of the mountain where again we are greeted with a vertiginous view. Then we begin the first descent of the day. The path takes us down a dry and dusty slope that is slippy underfoot - grabbing hold of any trees we can reach we carefully make our way down. And then - it's back up again - a short but steep climb takes up to the aforementioned crucifix and many of us are relieved to know we are on the home stretch of the trail.
From the crucifix there are many, many uneven steps down past many gleaming white Christian statues depicting the fourteen Stations of the Cross finally culminating with the massive Mother Maria statue. Finally we exit through the grounds resplendent with colourful Tet flowers and then it’s just a hop, skip and a jump back to the Beach Shack.
Back at the Shack we rest our weary legs and indulge ourselves with ice cold drinks and get stuck in to a fantastic array of pastries, banh mi and fruit enjoying the great view of the sea.
Circle time! On the beach, we gather around our Ring Master Chom Chom as he introduces the Hares who are rated with some excellent scores. Next up we have five virgins including Stewart and Thuy Cha-Ching from the legendary bar The Office. All are welcomed with the ‘We are Vung Tau Hashers’ song. Next up we have one returnee and no less than six visitors from Saigon Hash - Shithouse, Allowetty, Fuji Bush, Kama Sutra, For Rent and Tran.
With the circle over we take the time to enjoy the magnificent golden sunset with a few cold beers before dispersing into the night tired but satisfied - another great Sunday with Vung Tau Hash House Harriers!
RUN 972 GALLERY