After saying our goodbyes to Trouble at Hanoi airport (and making promises for me to visit Germany for a few days later this year) we got a taxi to our hotel on the afternoon of Saturday 29th February. On arriving at Elpis Hotel we had to give our hands a clean with a rather lively spurt of communal hand gel before checking in to our upgraded room for the night. Even though I’d had a big breakfast I was starving (again) and so we went across the road to Bun Cha Ta to eat the famous dish of Bun Cha – rice noodles and lettuce leaves added to pork patties in a sweet fish sauce broth with veg in it. It tasted fantastic and this place was really good, almost as good as the one at D’Arts in Phong Nha.
I didn’t realise that we were meant to have been meeting our Vietnamese teacher on the way back from the airport and so we rushed to get to Oliberry cafe before she left at 5.30pm. She had kindly agreed to lend Tatas some books so that she could study and pass her IELTS exam, which was really kind of her. I also booked myself in for some Vietnamese lessons in April, between the Grand Prix and our Ha Long bay cruise with The Aussies. Captain Caveman then said we would meet Gary and his pals at the Bia Hoi which is a bit inconsiderate given that I can’t drink beer but I thought sod it and had three small ones, which then gave me a bad belly. We said our goodbyes and scurried off with a bag full of study books to the Bottle Shop, a lovely drinking venue with real ales and wine! We were met by a lovely little puppy who looked similar to Mr Higgins when he was a puppy, this one we called Miss Higgins and she had her own little bowl in the corner of the shop. Captain Caveman had an ale and I wanted a red wine but they only sold it by the bottle – luckily Bamboo airlines had changed our morning flight to the evening so off we went (well, it was a screw top). Next we decided to visit Salt ‘n’ Lime, a little Mexican place, which did gluten free tacos and tostadas. I was ecstactic to be able to eat there and ordered loads of different dishes as well as us having a few margaritas to celebrate the end of our holiday. We intended finishing the wine when we got back to Elpis Hotel but we fell asleep!