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MINH DAM BASE - "Rain, history, rain, views, more rain, caves, and yet more rain"
Hares: Secs, Mr.T, Boozer
Hash Flash: Basil, Radiowave, Dr. Who
The rain had been falling steadily all day, but that didn’t dishearten the 43 intrepid Hashers from braving the elements and heading out on an adventure to explore the historical Minh Dam Base on Chau Long-Chau Vien Mountain, near to Long Hai. With expectations of spectacular views and interesting caves, we boarded the Hashmobile and started our journey.
We arrived under the greyest of skies and the rain showed no signs of relenting. Not to worry, we donned our ponchos and rain coats as Hare, Mr, T, delivered the chalk talk and then set off. Our first obstacle to negotiate was a set of descending steps that had essentially become a cascading waterfall. From there we clambered up uneven steps to the summit of the mountain. Here we encountered some spectacular rock formations which were pockmarked from shrapnel - a grim reminder of the mountain’s role in past wars. At 260m above sea level and offering 360° views of the surrounding area it was obvious why this was such a strategic military base. Today, however, the visibility was limited by the mist of the low hanging clouds.
After taking in the views, Hares, Secs and Boozer, directed us beyond the rocks to a trail that would lead us down to a hermit's house perched on the edge of the mountain, where, again, we were afforded more views of the surrounding countryside. On the way we were able to survey one of the many caves that were used by the soldiers in days gone by.
At this point we turned back, retracing our steps, until we reached a crossroads where Mr. T. was waiting and explained that we had the option to further explore some more caves if we followed the different paths, warning everybody to be careful as the rocks had become lubricous with the rain. Some of the more fearless Hashers, armed with torches descended in to the darkness to explore the caves, one of which was used as a hospital in past conflicts.
Back at the carpark we took shelter from the precipitation where we could find it - with most of congregating under the cornice of a nearby shed. We sated our thirst with cool San Miguel as we waited for the final Hashers to arrive back. A team photo in the rain and then time for the circle. Hares, Secs, Boozer and Mr.T., were front and centre and were awarded 11/10 for the trail - with Ringmaster Basil adding on another point for the rain, for a total of 12/10
We had three Virgins this week: Paul from Australia who came with Chi from Vietnam; and Alan also from Australia. Paul and Chi both stated it was a good day out and Alan asked that we don’t tell his wife that he did this in such bad weather otherwise she would have him committed for being crazy!
Returnees this week were: Mr. T., who’d been attending to business in Australia; Tiny Tim, who was on vacation in Russia; and a young lady who simply stated she was just lazy. Basil decreed that there would be no sinners this week as everybody had done so well battling the inclement weather and introduced a visitor from Malaysia, Ms. BB.
It must have been thirsty work again this week, as we boarded the bus there was no more San Miguel for the journey home. However, we stopped to buy a carton of beer and everybody was in good spirits, singing songs all the way back to Hon Ru Ri.
We’ll meet again on Sunday, as always, at Hon Ru Ri: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - in any weather!