After such an amazing and relaxing weekend it would be difficult to follow it up with another exciting day, but on Monday 13th July we tried our best! After a breakfast at Phong Nha Farmstay and making use of the private pool one last time, we met Veronika for lunch. I had fried spring rolls this time and we also managed to get ourselves a great selection of wine to take home. One of our favourites, Santa Digna, was there so we got all the remaining bottles of that! Captain Caveman had organised the return car to take me to Dong Hoi for physio and back so that we could meet up for dinner in Phong Nha later.
At physio the old lady who is usually there was chatting on to me in Vietnamese and I had no clue what she was saying, so I took a photo of us. The Triple Cripple Club were in full attendance, all was well and on the way back to Phong Nha it started to rain quite heavily so I got dropped off at Namaste – the floor outside was super slippery but I managed to get to the door without any help and then Raj came over when he saw me. Captain Caveman and I had arranged to meet friends for a curry, Keith was back in Phong Nha and so we said we would meet there at 6.15pm. The food was so good that I forgot to take any decent photos and, as some of the others went out after to Momma D’s, I booked Phuong to drive me home while Captain Caveman cycled.
All in all not a bad Monday and the first time in a while that I’d been home!
Captain Caveman was off on his next trip to Son Doong on Tuesday 14th July but that meant we still had time for a breakfast at The Villas to celebrate their 3rd birthday. This day also marked 6 months since I left Istanbul and flew to Hanoi. I was very happy to be in Vietnam and was awaiting my visa being extended for another 3 months – sadly it didn’t look likely that I would get to visit family and friends in England and Turkey for quite some time.
Captain Caveman and I went by motorbike to The Villas and, although a bit awkward with my leg, I did manage to get there with only being slightly uncomfortable. This was another first for me and I was pleased to be a bit more mobile, even though I couldn’t have gone much further than a couple of kilometres. On arrival at The Villas they were having all day happy hour to celebrate but I resisted and took my medication instead (one of which looked like a Bailey’s). Captain Caveman had eggs benedict with smoked salmon while I stuck to the pho ga for breakfast. It was a lovely breakfast and the staff looked after me because I still struggle to open and close the heavy glass doors while crutching about. Back home I said bye to Captain Caveman and achieved another first since my injury – I managed to collect the washing in from the balcony and pack it back in to my bag.
Today I was off back to Dong Hoi but was sharing the cost of the car with the other members of the Triple Cripple Club. The car was already on another job and was running late so to make it easier for us to leave as soon as the car came I walked to Mountain Bar with my backpack and bum bag on (another first)! It’s not that far but by this time it was blisteringly hot and the walk was hard work for me, especially standing for any length of time. By the time we got to Dong Hoi the others had to go straight to their appointments so I asked the driver to drop me at Nam Long Plus hotel. I just had time to order some lunch from Tree Hugger, drop my bag off and have a bit of a rest before taking a taxi to my physio appointment. Physio was different today as at the end of my session we spent 10 minutes doing more exercises than normal and I had to play football with my bad leg. Although I managed the activity I did hurt my good foot which resulted in an injury to my 2 smallest toes.
Back at the Nam Long Plus hotel I had a nice bath then I looked in the mirror and saw I was sunburnt. I had a rest, watched Netflix and did some writing before falling asleep, exhausted!!!
Wednesday 15th July was the day my current visa expired and I was hoping to hear my next 3 month visa extension had been granted. My physio appointment was in the morning this time which I do prefer as then I still have the rest of the day to do stuff.
By midday I was tucking in to a Tree Hugger lunch and enjoying my ‘cure for gluten intolerance’ medication (I won’t go into to details but to say the Gastropulgite was doing its job was an understatement)! I enjoyed very much the cheeseburger, a fruit salad, peach tea and a complimentary apple.
In the afternoon I was meant to be going back to Phong Nha but I changed my mind and instead I started watching Bloodline on Netflix. Unfortunately there was a big downpour, the WiFi went off and I had trouble being able to do my Turkish lessons.
I had 7th Heaven delivery for dinner, which was delicious and just enjoyed having a chilled evening.
I had left overs for breakfast on Thursday 16th July, I did some Turkish, watched more of Bloodline (which I was getting in to) then ordered lunch from Tree Hugger. The WiFi was still patchy and the staff at the hotel were having problems fixing it.
Keith from Grimsby was going to be in Dong Hoi that night and so we arranged to meet for dinner. When I arrived at physio the other two thirds of the club members were already in session. My stint went ok, the ankle swelling was reducing and I was needing less ice on it. There was not much change to the knee apart from there was no pain when it was still now.
Back at the hotel I had a bubble bath before meeting Keith and going to 7th Heaven for a night out. We shared a bottle of red wine, he had chilli con carne and pancakes for dessert while I went for the steak with sweet potato fries. It was a good night and as usual the food was really tasty – one of my favourite places to eat dinner in Dong Hoi.
Back at the hotel Keith had a beer, we agreed to meet for breakfast and I was so tired that I went to my room and straight to bed.
Photo/video credit – Captain Caveman and Caroline Borrow
One thought on “Phong Nha and Dong Hoi – the 3rd week of July”
Loving the washing collection bag haha! Your video looks exactly like me walking with crutches too. Am managing to put my bad foot down for a short while! Yay!
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