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LONG SON ISLAND - "A tale of two bottles and a mug..."
Hares: Basil, SamSon
Hash Flash: Shaky. Additional photos: Radio Wave
Intermittent cloud cover promised a fairly hot afternoon's hashing as we registered at Hon Ru Ri and boarded the Hashmobile for Long Son Island.
Basil's chalk talk included a reminder that the many dogs we would encounter on today's trail were only doing their job as guards and unlikely to bite, especially if you maintain a steady pace as you pass them - and off we went!
Many locals wondered why these strange people were happily chattering through the flat countryside when there's a big mountain nearby - but they wouldn't know, of course, that flat terrain is a novelty for VTH3 hashers, and an occasional welcome interlude from our usual mountain trails.
On and on we went, with the occasional false trail for more novelty value (co-Hare Basil later admitted they'd forgotten to remove the marker tapes when deciding to go a different way!) - until we reached the sealed road which would take us back to the bus and Circle venue at Son Thuy Ngu garden restaurant, with plenty of space for perspiring hashers to eat, drink and socialise.
It was here that FRBs Uncle and Viking decided to throw in a bit of variety by heading off down an old trail around the oyster farms - encouraging everyone else to follow, which they did!
We were back on the sealed road and within reach of the restaurant when the skies opened and all but a few front runners were quickly drenched!
Foodies Basil and Anti had arranged a tasty spread to be washed down with not just San Miguel and softies this week, but also a couple of bottles of Korean firewater courtesy of returnee Cap St Jacques - which left more than 1 or 2 hashers feeling rather "woozy"!
Ringmaster Basil called the Circle and invited "special person of the day" Radio Wave to rate the trail. A combination of points for the trail (as amended to include the oyster farms), plus the weather and various other factors finally resulted in a total of 10/10! Co-hare Basil dutifully Down Downed two cups on behalf of himself and absent co-hare SamSon.
Hash Virgins Colleen, Erik and Carlo were welcomed into the fold, followed by returnees Cap St Jacques, Bus Stop and Brenda. CSJ's excuse for absence was rated worthy of the Tube of Shame, with predictable results! Then sinners Basil (see "false trails" comment above) and Uncle (oyster farms diversion) showed that Radio Wave's "sinners cups" are a worthy addition to the VTH3 inventory by also soaking themselves in beer, which was quickly diluted by the "water bombs" being thrown around by excited junior hashers! Then Radio Wave was invited back into the Circle to receive a mug with Hashing photos of his family as a souvenir to remind him of VTH3 while he's in Russia for the next two months or so. Bon voyage, RW - we miss you already!
The trip back into Vung Tau was the usual noisy affair - with the international song festival given additional oomph(!) by the Korean firewater mentioned above, and Anti's determination to ensure we emptied the second bottle before arriving back at base camp!
A dozen or so hardy Hashers then decided to "On On On" with a farewell dinner for Radio Wave, until the day's exertions and libations took their inevitable toll and everyone trudged home for a well-earned sleep!
We'll meet at Hon Ru Ri again next Sunday, as usual: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start - in any weather!