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NUI DINH - "A tough climb up, temples, great views and a lot of San Miguel"
Hares: Paddy, Ms. Dung
Hash Flash: Mr. Hieu, Radiowave
Another good turn out this week with a total of 40 Hashers on the Hashmobile as we head to one of our favourite mountains - Nui Dinh. We disembark at a small cafe where the down-down is to be held and on-on we go, along Nui Dinh Road, until we approach our entry point to the trail. Hares, Paddy and Ms Dung, who set the trail only that morning would meet us at the top of our ascent. In their place, Basil conducts the chalk talk explaining that we would enter the forest, climbing down to the riverbed and then follow the red ribbons to the top of the mountain. He mentioned we would encounter some obstacles along the way, including some large rocks we would have to scale. With some trepidation we look down at the ravine with one newbie tentatively asking: “Are we really going down there?” The answer comes back from a more experienced Hasher: “Yes, we are”, he says with a grin, reminding everybody to take their time, enjoy the walk and to help others in need.
So on-on we go, with Terminator and his canine friend at the front of the pack as usual. The pack follows and we reach the riverbed. Last time we did this trail the riverbed was dried up, however, now we are in rainy season, we find ourselves confronted with a relatively free flowing river to negotiate. Luckily there are stepping stones and we help each other across, although a couple of Hashers did end up with wet feet.
We begin our ascent through lush green forest and up the steep incline, scrambling over rocks and up pagoda steps. We wonder when we'll ever reach the top but, before long, we see sunlight beaming through the trees and know the summit isn't far away. This gives us the boost we need to keep going and suddenly we emerge to find ourselves presented with the intriguing temple embedded in the array of massive rocks at the top of the mountain. Here we meet Hares Paddy and Ms Dung who direct us to the several awesome viewpoints where many Hashers stop for selfies and take a well earned break on the welcome benches provided by the temple. From here it’s a short walk back to Nui Dinh Road and we start the easy 3km back to the down-down point. Along the way we are afforded many more spectacular vistas and some waterfalls where some of us take the opportunity to refresh ourselves with the cool, clean mountain water. This includes Sandy the Chihuahua who’d remarkably completed the entire trail under her own steam and welcomed the chance to cool off in the small pool underneath the waterfall.
Back at the down-down, we find our beer monitors Buddha and Jeremy had diligently unloaded the eskies from the bus and carefully ensured that everybody’s bags were waiting safely for them when they returned. As the rest of the Hashers returned we slaked our thirst with cool San Miguel until Basil arrived and we call to order the circle.
First up are Hares, Paddy and Ms. Dung, and are immediately awarded 10/10, not only for marking an excellent trail but also for making the extra effort to set it out earlier that morning after the original Hares were unable to due to work commitments.
Quite a few virgins this week - a total of six. We had Mr. Hoang from Vietnam; Ms. Han also from Vietnam who said she was happy to be a virgin and enjoyed the trail; Peter from Australia; Karyn, also from Australia, who said she thought it was a great event - good for meeting other people, getting fit - and of course cold beer at the end. Next up was Steven from Australia who said it was hard work but satisfying to get to the summit - despite accepting a ride back along the road on a motorbike from a kindly passing local. And finally we had Robert from Australia.
Next, the returnees, we had Mr. Phoc and Ms. Tuyen, who couldn’t join us recently because they both had been studying Japanese on Sundays. Then we had the Kangaroo family who hadn’t been with us for several years. They had a pretty good excuse - Mrs. Kangaroo had been delivering their two children and Mr. Kangaroo had also been working hard offshore and raising their two kids.
In the Sinners circle we had Steven for the aforementioned sin of taking accepting a ride some of the way back. Basil was also charged with being too generous for waiting 10 minutes for the arrival of some Hashers who we were to collect on the way. Please remember folks to be on time and not keep others waiting.
We wrapped up the circle with Secs and Faulty Brakes saying next week's trail would be another away trail and then boarded the Hashmobile and head back to Vung Tau. A slight calamity as we boarded the bus to discover our supply of San Miguel had been depleted and there was none left for the trip home. Not to worry, a generous Boozer asked the bus to stop at restaurant and stock up on plenty of additional beer to sustain the thirst beer drinkers all the 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!