If it hadn’t been for the pandemic I would have been in my home town of Sheffield, England, today – Friday 1st May. Instead, I was still in Phong Nha, Vietnam, where I was allowed to go out but having to stay in, because of my injured leg. I remembered that Josh had done a list of swimming pools in Phong Nha he’d tested out before he left, so I decided to use that and add to it for another blog post – the weather was about to get unbearably hot so people may need a pool. I, on the other hand, still couldn’t walk and would be resigned to a sit down shower as my bit of water activity.


For breakfast I had rice crackers, cheese spread and oolong tea (yes, Captain Caveman was on form today). After his leftover pizza Captain Caveman went out shopping and running some errands but didn’t bring back any lunch. Instead I had some crisps and some peanut M&Ms while he was out as I got hungry and I was getting a little bored with crackers.
For dinner Captain Caveman brought back beef stew from Phong Nha Underground and I also ordered a side of bacon, potatoes and onion as a new dish to try but I didn’t enjoy that as much as I thought I would. I was a bit tired that evening but we managed to watch a film, called Toy Soldiers, which I thought was pretty good.

I had a random breakfast of chicken breast, hummus and rice crackers on Saturday 2nd May. I had a look at my injuries and tried to convince myself and Captain Caveman that I’d probably be walking by the time he got back from his 4 day caving tour (starting the next day). He went in to town for provisions and for his lunch and had taken a flask to get me some vegan soup from Veggie Box and I was really looking forward to it,a it had been closed for a while. The portion was huge and I got almost two bowls out of it and had plenty of rice noodles (bun) with it. Unfortunately I didn’t even finish it before I had a bad stomach – I’m sure my body must have gone in to shock at having had so many vegetables at once. That evening Captain Caveman went to collect a big order from Raj at Namaste which included lots of extras for me to have over the next few days.
Before an early night I checked the latest Corona virus data which I’d not done for 48 hours. Vietnam was two weeks after Directive 19 (where the social distancing and lockdowns and been eased) and still had minimal cases and no deaths. The UK had 12,000 more cases bringing it to 177,000 with 2,500 more deaths (27,500 in total) – it was not getting back to normal anytime soon by the look of it. I should have been at a wedding up north this particular weekend and it was upsetting to know friends who were being affected by the pandemic.
We went to bed with the alarm set for the first time in a while and I was about to attempt 4 days home alone from Sunday!

Captain Caveman was up early on Sunday 3rd May, eager to get back to work! He was so excited to be returning to Son Doong and I think he was also looking forward to a bit of a break from me. Whilst he’s not the most attentive person I’ve ever met he is very practical and forward planning so he had put a lot of effort in to making sure I would be prepared for my 4 days (3 nights) by myself. In the lead up to him going he’d also tried to increase the amount of independence I had by not doing everything for me as much so that I would be able to cope. He had rearranged the house furniture for better access to the kettle, groceries and (a very full) fridge. He’d left me towels, clothes and all my essentials in the right places to make it easy while on my crutches! He ate leftover curry for breakfast and then he said farewell and went to Oxalis for his briefing. The forecast was looking good (not that I would be going anywhere) and I had forgotten how hot Phong Nha could be! I had laughing cow cheese spread, hummus and rice crackers for breakfast and had a look at my leg, it seemed the ankle was doing a little better but the knee just wouldn’t take any weight or straighten. I checked the NCOVI app to see that there were still no more cases in Vietnam however the world had reported 83,000 new cases, 5,000 more deaths and 340,000 recoveries in the last day. I had chicken pakoda for lunch but my stomach was still a bit dodgy and I spent the rest of the afternoon going from one room to the other to use the bathroom. I didn’t eat any dinner but did a Turkish lesson and watched a couple of episodes of Ozark in bed before falling asleep.

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