I found out on Wednesday 3rd June that I wasn’t the only cripple in the village! I had slept with the curtains open and woke up at 5am in plenty of time to see the sun rising. I even spoke to Captain Caveman before he set off on his Son Doong tour that morning. Veronika came over to Little Lies to accompany me on my walk to breakfast. I had the phone numbers of reception and kitchen/bar staff so there was no need to leave the pool villa for anything but it was good exercise to walk to the main pool and dining area of the Phong Nha Farmstay. Veronika is definitely a natural carer and walked at the same pace as me, offering support, encouragement and patience where needed – I was very slow and a little nervous of falling on her. We had a lovely, very leisurely breakfast where I enjoyed the pho ga, orange juice and green tea. I’d not seen so many people in a while and it was nice to be joined at the big table by some of the yoga/meditation bunch for a bit of chit chat. We were still there when school finished for the morning for Ben & Bich’s youngest, and then something incredible happened. Ben arrived closely followed by not one, but two men, both on crutches and injured legs! Multi had suffered with a bad knee after a motorbike accident and Steve had broken his foot jumping on to the deck of a boat at Monkey Island, Cat Ba. Bich informed us the government had some spare cash for disabled people at the moment and that we should apply for funds – injury comparison discussions and photo taking ensued. Multi gave me a recommendation for a good physio who had managed to get him moving again and I decided I would go to see her next week.
Ben and the gang were off to the Pub with Cold Beer for some farm to table chicken with peanut sauce for lunch and I got invited along. Check out this video made by guests at Phong Nha Farmstay: https://youtu.be/IwQWUktZ1Wk
I really wanted to go but I had to stay focused on why I was checked in to this marvellous retreat in the first place. Rehab had to be my priority so I decided to get back to the pool villa for some swimming and exercises. Veronika kindly walked back with me and we planned to meet up later, there was talk of some sparkling wine joining us too. I did lots of pool exercises which freed up my knee a bit but my ankle then started to hurt more, I practiced walking across the width of the pool but could only manage 2 widths. I sat by the pool while doing some writing and learning Turkish then ordered some fresh spring rolls for lunch. I needed to take photos of the place but I was struggling to get good enough ones because of crutching and navigating about with a phone stuffed in my swimmers or bumbag! In the afternoon another milestone was reached, I had swam the most so far and then managed to have a short stint of a stand up shower (in the concrete bath) and I was so excited.
I chilled out until before sunset and then Veronika and I had a dinner which I could only have dreamed of a few weeks ago. Duck a l’orange and champagne (well, a fine Australian fizz to be precise) both went down very nicely. Veronika and I swapped stories and spoke of travels and funny encounters we had had. By the time Bich and her youngest popped over Veronika and I were very happy and relaxed. It was nice to be merry on half a bottle of fizz these days and I was in bed fast asleep by 10pm.
Photo credit Bich Le
Need to catch up on previous day’s: