JANUARY 2 2022
Hares: Chippy, Have-A-Chat, Secs
Hash Flashers: Chom Chom, Chippy
Ringmaster: Chom Chom
Run 989 was the first run of the year and what a doozy it was! A challenging trail to mark the end of a challenging year. It all started very familiarly, Mr. T back doing registrations and collecting the run fees, Chom Chom and Smiley organising the food and beverages and Mr. Da delivering the sack of ice. Doyle, Claire and Rafa are back to join us again and Alice introduces two new junior Hashers.
On the chalk-talk Secs explains that this trail will be challenging but rewarding with some of the best views of Vung Tau and with that its on-on we go. The usual start this week, along Le Ngoc Han to Vi Ba to Hem 36. It’s a steep road that takes us just before the temple which proves to be trying for our new juniors, who sit down and gather their breath. On the right we see the brightly coloured yellow and blue staircase that leads up a quaint pagoda.
Red ribbons towards the back of the pagoda show us the way to the trail that will take us to the top of Big Mountain. It’s a pleasant trail through the jungle, a little steep in places with some rocks and fallen trees to negotiate. Eventually we emerge from the jungle and are faced with one of the first challenges of the day - some very large boulders we need to pull ourselves up on to. Our Hashers tackle it with aplomb, with Mr. T offering a helping hand to those who needed it.
It’s a worthwhile endeavour, the view is spectacular and the lovely brisk breeze cools us as we assemble for the obligatory selfies. On this particularly clear, sunny day we look out towards some of our favourite mountains - Nui Thi Vai, Nui Dinh, Minh Dam and Small Mountain can all be seen from this 180 degree vista.
Selfies done, we begin the next part of the trail - which is to head across the ridge of the mountain and find our way back down. We are afforded one more great view before we begin our descent - and OMG what a descent! To say it was steep would be an understatement - vertiginous, scarped, precipitous would all be appropriate adjectives. It wasn’t helped that underfoot the terrain was dry and slippy, and that we were surrounded by low hanging bamboo.
We hunkered down, slipped, slid, scooched and scrambled our way down, grabbing onto trees and making makeshift ropes from green strands of bamboo until we emerged, a little battered and bruised, in to a clearing. With dusty backsides all round we are all pleased to see the familiar sight of the Thompson’s house and know it’s a short walk back to Tommy’s along a nice easy road.
Back at Tommy’s, nearly four hours after we’d set off, Chom Chom and Smiley have done us proud with delicious roast pork banh mi, fruit and the usual array of beverages. Doyle has also treated us to some toothsome New Year Millionaire’s Shortbread which our Hashers savour as we recover from the somewhat challenging trail.
Just enough time to take the team photo before most of the Hashers drift into the night and the hardy usual suspects continue to enjoy the cold Saigon beer and the entertainment at Tommy’s.
Another great Sunday - until next week when we’ll have our first away trail in 8 months.
RUN 989 GALLERY
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