Phong Nha is not all about the caves and so while Captain Caveman and our guest headed off on an Oxalis caving tour for a couple of days I got to relax a bit on Monday 24th February. I had rice crackers for breakfast at home but then decided to go sit by the river and do a bit of blogging at Lucky Lucky. I also decided to organise a group BBQ dinner for the following evening as a get together for Trouble, it also being a farewell to Dianne and the end of an era drinks with our housemate, Veronika, who was moving out at the weekend. My lunch was BBQ pork with fried rice and a coke sat by the river with a nice breeze at Lucky Lucky and there was very few people around with it being so sunny.
For dinner Josh and I decided on Chao Vietnam where we he had the mushroom clay pot and I had some rice pancakes, both were very nice. We had a cheeky pudding at Phong Nha Underground after where I ate just the cheesecake but not the biscuit so that I could have a gluten free treat. I had a couple of red wines when we went to Momma D’s afterwards but once Josh had drank as much water as he could manage we went to the Shop and Go then cycled home, having arranged to meet Aussie Pete the next day for lunch.
The noisy carpenter next door had me up early on Tuesday 25th February as he planed wood from 7am so I popped in some washing as it looked like the last dry day for a while. I also packed my bag because later that evening we were off on another little break, up in the north of Vietnam. I had breakfast of bacon, beans and potatoes at Capture Cafe and did a bit of blogging before cycling home to get my washing out then off to meet Josh and Aussie Pete for lunch.
We had decided to try the Phong Nha Eco Mountain Farmstay as I’d not been this year and it was quite a hot sunny day to say our farewells to the legend and beer monster of Phong Nha. He was leaving for Danang this weekend, heading back to Australia earlier than planned and so I wouldn’t see him until next year. I cycled from home the 2km (ish) away from town on the quiet road until I reached the homestay, a little bit sweaty. Josh and I stuck to the soft drinks while Pete drank cans of Saigon beer and we ordered some food. My pork fried rice was very good and the portion size just right for the price – it even had beetroot in it! We said bye to Aussie Pete and he headed off on his motorbike while Josh and I cycled back home. I got invited to Chrissy and Watto’s for balcony beverages where Veronika had brought a rather lovely wine for us to share. The BBQ meal at Mountain House could be seen cooking and by 6.45pm even though the meal was booked for 8pm and we were waiting for Captain Caveman and Trouble to return from their Hang Tien 2 day trip. They actually arrived back from the Oxalis tour a little earlier than expected and so Captain Caveman and Trouble joined for a beer before dinner.
The BBQ was coming along nicely, the booze was flowing and I’d arranged veggie and meat options for the set price of 150,000vnd each – pretty great value for a private party cooked especially for you and it smelled amazing. The food was really tasty and we had a good time but then it was time to say goodbye. The three of us had a car picking us up to go to Dong Hoi to get the 00:45 train to Ninh Binh, where none of us had been before.