The lunar new year holidays were about to begin in Vietnam, Friday 24th January was Tet eve and we had a busy weekend planned. Unfortunately I was feeling pretty terrible and had a bad cold and cough so didn’t really do much. For dinner we went to Phong Nha Underground where they had a special Tet menu and some live music playing. We shared a hummus plate starter and I ordered the Wild Route Chicken for main while Captain Caveman had a pasta dish. All the food was pretty fantastic and the singer was really good but because I was coughing so much we decided to leave at the interval so that I could hope to be better for the first of the Tet celebrations the next day.
Lucky Home (previously called Lucky Lucky) had invited us to join their Tet day on Saturday 25th January at 9am but I was unable to go. I was pretty rough and I also didn’t want to spread any germs to the lovely family there, or their guests, so I stayed at home. I had not slept and while all the cavers went to the Vung Hue for an amazing Tet meal I rested in bed. We’d managed to get some Australian cough medicine from the pharmacy which was helping but I could only take 3 lots per day, when I found a half packet of cherry flavoured fisherman’s friends I actually cried with relief. By 2pm I was pretty hungry so Captain Caveman and I went to The Villas, luckily this was one of a few places to remain open throughout Tet and the staff there are really good. I had ginger and honey tea, loads of water and popcorn while Captain Caveman had a cocktail and I ate the veggie spring rolls to start. For my main I had the potato, artichoke and edamame bean salad (without tomato) which was even better than I remembered it tasting last year. For desert I added a Jameson’s to my ginger tea and it stopped the coughing temporarily.
We went home and I spoke to my parents in Sheffield, England, who were cold and jetlagged after their holiday but it was good to catch up with them as we hadn’t been in contact for over 2 weeks. By the time I came off the phone Captain Caveman was asleep so I popped my headphones in and watched more of The Fall on Netflix.
The second day of Tet, Sunday 26th January, was also Australia Day but I wasn’t well enough to do anything. We had breakfast at The Villas (our usual of pho ga and smoked salmon) where we ended up staying for lunch as we were joined by Josh and a couple of people from Ho Khanh’s who were already on the booze so Captain Caveman joined them. I decided that Cameron’s amazing chocolate mousse cake was going to be my treat – I’d not eaten this for about 6 months and it was still just as amazing.
For dinner Captain Caveman and I went in to town early and visited Phong Nha Underground again, intending to listen to the singer for a bit longer this time but now Captain Caveman had caught my cold and felt too ill to stay long. We shared starters of garlic purée and hummus plate and of course he ate the bread. He had his spaghetti bolognese down in record time while I took my time with my tamarind chicken, another firm favourite of mine. Back home we had a whisky and water and then tried our best to sleep.