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03 May 2015
BIG MOUNTAIN - Celebrating Mountain Goat's 60th birthday!
Some Hashers were predictably absent this week because of the holidays, but the "Mountain Goat Fan Club" turned out in force and headed away from SB4 to mark her 60th birthday with a hike around her favourite "pile of dirt": Big Mountain. The trail had been chosen to avoid the need for taxi's, because they were in big demand by the usual hordes of tourists on weekends - and especially public holidays.
We crossed Tran Phu, went left around the new museum and headed past SOS clinic and Lam Son Apartments - then on through the residential area until turning left at Hem 89 to climb the steps onto Vi Ba, where we turned left and stopped where the off-road climb began just past the big pagoda on the left. Uncle's chalk talk gave a choice of two trails, but everyone ignored the "easy" option and headed straight up the mountainside!
Once at the "crossroads plateau", we took the left fork to traverse the mountain under the cable cars and eventually emerge onto the broken part of Vi Ba just below the summit, then down to the scheduled "water stop": the coffee shop outside the Army camp. Several sugar cane drinks later and it was down the side of the mountain to Tran Phu near the Ganh Hao restaurant. One of our two Hash Virgins showed her mettle on this section when her fellow HV was having difficulty, so HV1 recalled her Girl Scout training and calmly led her friend to safety!
And so we arrived back at Sao Bien 4 - to a beautifully-prepared spread of Russian delicacies (thanks to Mother Teresa and friends!) and a birthday cake arranged by Ronald Reagan with the message of the day: "Happy Birthday Mountain Goat"!
It was decided to truncate the Circle so we could move quickly on to the main event (MG's party!), so Uncle scored his own trail; then Ring Master Basil introduced our two Hash Virgins Ms Giang and Ms Lien - who both work in Ba Ria and heard about VTH3 from a friend. A quick "returnee pirouette and Down Down" by Uncle, before Mother Teresa charged Tiny Tim for wearing his brand new Crocodile Dundee hat in the Circle! And then Mountain Goat was given a standing ovation and "Happy Birthday to you" song - after which it was time for all to be seated and tuck into the food, San Migs, softies and "yum yum" birthday cake! (not forgetting the vodka, of course...).
Next week's run will be "Mountain Goat's birthday 2" because The Gardener, Ronald Reagan and friends (see NEXT RUN box) have laid a special 'birthday' trail on Nui Dinh, and the holidays are now over so transport will hopefully be back to normal.
We’ll meet next Sunday at 2 pm for 2.30 pm start, as usual, at Sao Bien 4 Restaurant – please see photos and directions on our home page if unsure of the way in.
And please don’t forget sun protection and water - we had a brief downpour on Sunday morning, so the rainy season is getting closer, but it's still very hot out there!
Hash Flash: Uncle. Circle photos: Ms Thanh. Additional photos: Tiny Tim
FIRST, A FEW FROM TINY TIM > > >