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LONG SON ISLAND
Now the Lunar New Year (Tet) celebrations are over for another year and people have started returning to work, we welcomed back more familiar and new faces on Sunday - including several young runners who stretched the age gap between youngest and oldest to more than 60 years: "VTH3 Family Hash - YEAH"!
We loaded our trusty 29-seater Hashmobile and headed up the highway towards Ba Ria, turning left at the Go Gang signpost and over the two new'ish bridges that shorten the former trip by up to half an hour.
We disembarked at the pumphouse next to the lake on Long Son island, listened to the run instructions from Hareraiser Falcon, then headed off for a long'ish trek up the sealed road towards the mountain-top resort (we don't often Hash on sealed roads in VTH3!).
After 1 km, everything suddenly changed. No more sealed road as we pushed on through thick vegetation and the occasional dirt track - which switched to bamboo for a while, and then back again. We made our way along a sandy track which, after another kilometre, brought the pack to a T-junction. Alas, someone had souvenired our red and yellow markers so it was decision time - left turn or right turn?
We opted for the right turn and thankfully found more markers along a trail that led to the sealed road down to the lake - eureka! It had been a circuitous trek, but very interesting and a thoroughly enjoyable ramble through the countryside!
A quick "victory lap" around the lake for some, and then it was time to feast on the delicious Russian bread and salted pork provided once again by Mountain Goat and the aptly-named Mother Theresa. The food, drinks (thank you San Miguel!) and location helped to encourage much multinational socialising in an extremely pleasant environment.
The Circle was eventually called and Radio Wave marked the trail a "provocatively" low 2/10 (he's now been invited to set the next 15 trails!), but Mother Theresa lived up to her name once more and "saved" Hares Falcon and SamSon by adding 5 points for a much more respectable total of 7/10.
Hash virgins Marsha (Ukraine) and Anna (Vietnam) were welcomed; and those "sinners" who ran the extra 1.5 km around the lake were punished for setting a good example! Radio Wave was punished for his low trail score and also for wearing long safety socks (see photo below). Finally, 5-years-old Luca was given the Hash name: The Cool Guy. And he was excused from Down Down'ing the usual amber "baptising fluid"!
Next week's trail (VTH3 #619) will be on Small Mountain (Jesus Hill and environs) set by our two Flying Finns - go to the NEXT RUN box on our home page for more details. And although women are always welcome to join our Family Hash, we extend a particularly fond invitation for next week to mark the occasion of International Women's Day +1 - including flowers for the ladies!
Reporting: Falcon, Uncle
Hares: Falcon, SamSon
Hash Flash: The Flying Finn
All photos at this link available in full size & quality (5184x3456) by personal request to "Contact VTH3"