Leaving Phong Nha

My last day in Phong Nha this year fell on Friday 30th August. I’d been here the longest of each of the years I’d been coming (more than 32 weeks) and I was definitely looking forward to seeing my family and friends in Turkey next month. This was also the first year that I had chosen not to go back to the UK and that was a bit tough, knowing I wouldn’t catch up with my mates back ‘home’. First, though, I was excited to finally be starting Vietnamese lessons with Lien at Viet Lesson in Hanoi – the same teacher who had taught Captain Caveman, and other westerners living in Phong Nha. On my last day we had breakfast at Coffee Station, lunch at Victory Road Villas, a cheeky cider at Ho Khanh’s and dinner at Chao Vietnam on our last day – all were fantastic as usual. I even got to say bye to Milo and Bomb (dogs) as well as Billy the friendly goat. It was a rainy day and so Khanh Linh arranged a Jungle Boss car for me to town with my massive suitcase (containing a slow cooker, and a selection of freshly made clothes).
It was also my first time going all the way to Hanoi on a sleeper bus which left Easy Tiger at 9:30pm. Most of the other expats and some Vietnamese friends had warned me off getting the bus because it’s uncomfortable and dangerous but Captain Caveman had to take that method due to him taking a bicycle with him!
My good friends Uy and Chung were there to see us off on to the bus and had even got us a gift of a t-shirt, earplugs and an eye mask plus I was travelling with the pillow they made me last year too.
Anetta made it back from her Son Doong trip a day early and came to see us off too and it was good to have time for one last wine together. Aussie Pete, Trevor and Martin also came to see us off but in a much more relaxed manner. I would only be gone for 4 months and Captain Caveman was due back to Phong Nha in 5 days.
When we got on the bus they made Captain Caveman go to the back and I got the second one back, on the bottom left. I had downloaded some Netflix to watch too – Mindhunter and The Fall.
By 9:45pm Phong Nha was behind me and I had already nodded off!!

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