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NUI DINH - back to our favourite mountain!
We loaded a bunch of enthusiastic Hashers, and a couple of very full eskies, onto the bus for our ride to Nui Dinh (5 km west of Ba Ria) in fair Hashing weather: cloudy, no direct hot sun.
We offloaded after an uneventful ride (the best kind!), near the bridge just past the roadside coffee shops. Co-Hare Basil gave the Chalk Talk and it was "On On" along the fairly easy, mostly level but occasionally rock-strewn track.
But that was only until the inevitable happened and the ground gradually began to slope upwards. The uphill trail was genuinely challenging, and soon stretched the gaps between the FRBs and back-markers.
We passed some interesting local artefacts including an amazing well that was hand-made by a local monk, who was meditating as we passed by (see photo gallery).
We eventually arrived back at the coffee shops, having done a 5 km circuitous route involving dirt track, lush vegetation, at least one stream, and bitumen road - with uphill and downhill gradients.
Captain Hornblower pulled a major FRB stunt by arriving back on a Xe-Om (motorbike taxi). But he paid double the usual fare, so "face" was saved all round!
We were pleased to welcome Big Mac back after a long absence in Australia and he became duty Ring Master, having rated the trail one of the best he'd ever followed (and he's been Hashing for more than 30 years, so that's praise indeed!). Unfortunately, he dropped his phone in the river and now knows for sure that it wasn't waterproof - but no trail marks were deducted for this unfortunate incident ("everyone participates in Hash activities at their own risk"!).
The trail was awarded 9/10, and Basil did the Down Down honours in the unfortunate work absence of his co-Hares KFC and SamSon. We welcomed Hash Virgin Ms An, and returnees Big Mac and Jim. Then it was time for GeoffP and Rosa Le's naming: Rosa will henceforth be known by the tongue-in-cheek "GPS" in recognition of her penchant for getting lost (well, she did it once, anyway!). Husband GeoffP wasn't so straightforward - he was to be named "Camel" because of his extraordinary ability to retain fluids! But no - it was not to be: Jim challenged him to change his name to "Bone" (we won't even go there!), so the Circle voted for "an aggregated compromise" by awarding the Hash monicker of "Camel Bone", which should be good for a few campfire yarns in the future!
And finally, the group thanked Ice Water for continuing to provide such delicious snacks every week like clockwork (she also does a mean job as Hash Cash and "behind the scenes organiser", so is an extremely valuable mismanagement team member). Newlyweds Taffy and Som Tum were also conspicuous by their presence on this day - a warm VTH3 welcome back to you both!
STOP PRESS: Hares SamSon and Basil have now confirmed a 5.5 km "combination trail" in Minh Dam Secret Zone (Long Hai Mountains). The GPS route map will be circulated on email today (Friday, 24 October). If we don't have your email address and you'd like to receive information updates, just let us know at email@example.com or via "Contact VTH3" page on this website.
We'll meet as always in the Offshore Bar 1 beer garden at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - see you there!
Hares: SamSon, KFC, Basil
Hash Flash: Mr Duc. Circle photos: Hard Drive
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