By Saturday 6th June I had been away from Phong Nha village and our house for almost a week and was enjoying my rest and relaxation at Little Lies pool villa, part of the newly opened Jungalo Collection at Phong Nha Farmstay. I was feeling like the luckiest person in the world right now and to be able to have daily baths and no stairs to tackle was making my life so much easier. I met Veronika for breakfast and she remarked I seemed to be getting a bit more confident on the walk to the main pool and restaurant area, which was promising. My crutches were getting a little worn out though and my underarms were starting to hurt from lack of padding. There were a few of us at the table for breakfast and I was about to go back up to start my swimming and exercising when I got messages from Caroline and Momma D to say they were coming over to see me. Rather than take the time to walk back to the villa to come back again to eat lunch I decided to stay sat where I was and then we could order food. Shannon and Stu also arrived but Stu decided to leave his wife to it when it turned in to a ladies lunch. Caroline had brought her new friend, Ha, who was staying in Phong Nha for a month to learn English and I think my Yorkshire accent may have been a bit too much for her. Momma D still hadn’t arrived as she had got held up, in Dong Hoi but arrived a little bit later, as did Veronika, who rejoined for lunch. Caroline ordered some sparkling wine which was very nice. I ordered the smoked duck salad, Caroline had the chicken thighs with rice and veg, and Shannon the Nem Lui. I tried to keep conscious of not drinking too much wine as I needed to be able to walk back to the villa safely and I still hadn’t done my daily aqua exercises or any Turkish language work yet. Shannon had to work later so didn’t drink too much and when Momma D arrived she had just a soda water and brought Caroline a present of tequila coffee – something I had never seen the like before. By this time we were on to a third bottle of wine, a Riesling which we didn’t finish.
After lunch Caroline and Ha escorted me back to the villa (with the wine) where the girls stripped off to there undies and jumped in the pool, it was so hot I did the same (I had black boy shorts and black bra, which looked as good as a bikini), Ha then said she couldn’t swim. Within half an hour Caroline had taught Ha how to swim and they were having a laugh in the pool – we even got on some of Ben’s photos.
At 4pm I spoke to Captain Caveman who had returned from the cave and was off to his gala dinner that night. He would do his best to ask the driver to bring him over to the Farmstay to join me after dinner, then stay over. Veronika and I enjoyed another pleasant evening, I had the duck a l’orange again and we, of course, enjoyed more fizz. Captain Caveman returned at almost bedtime and I had a glass of the Riesling (left in the fridge after lunch). I think Captain Caveman was hoping I would be miraculously walking again but I could only crutch about, still the pain was definitely lessening.
Photo credit – Ben Mitchell & Captain Caveman