We woke up after a great sleep at the Vinpearl hotel in Dong Hoi on Monday 27th July. Our holiday within a holiday was over and Captain Caveman was getting picked up at 10am to go back to Phong Nha for work. We both went for breakfast first and enjoyed the lovely buffet breakfast, the hotel was very busy for a Monday morning and all staff as well as a lot of customers were wearing masks. There was alarm in Vietnam as more cases of corona in the community were reported and still no idea where the first person had caught it from. Even the BBC news was reporting about the cases in Vietnam, especially upsetting for the country because they had gone 99 days without a case. The government took the decision to lockdown the whole of Danang for 14 days in an effort to contain/stop the spread. I ate the rest of the Dingo Deli fudge for lunch and then had a bad stomach so had to skip physio. I chilled out, had a lovely bubble bath, watched Bloodline on Netflix then spoke to Captain Caveman. He had his briefing that evening and was off to Son Doong the following morning on his next 4 day tour. Because I’d only eaten fudge for lunch I had an early dinner of ginger chicken with steamed rice then had a couple of walnuts which we had brought from Hoi An.
I was still hungry so I had a cheese and meat platter with a generous glass of red wine, while wearing the obligatory hotel dressing gown. I had a great sleep in the comfy bed at Vinpearl who have the best pillows!!
On Tuesday 28th July things started to get a bit concerning, luckily I had eaten a big buffet breakfast to help me deal with everything. I was due to check out at noon, resume physio sessions and then check in to the Nam Long Plus for the rest of the week. I decided to ask if there was an opportunity for a late check out and there was (and for free). This gave me enough time to decide what to do as Danang had reported another 29 cases most of which related to the city’s hospitals. When I spoke to the receptionist they explained that people were leaving and cancelling in large numbers because people were worried a countrywide lockdown would be implemented and that we should be prepared for it. She also said that they would be able to book me in for longer if I needed to stay where I was and so I decided to extend for 2 more nights, mainly because I didn’t want to miss physio by going back to Phong Nha. Before physio I had some spring rolls for lunch and then got my usual ten minute taxi drive to my session, when I got there it was chaotic – Andrew was in the front area being pummelled and I was ushered to the back room (where the AC and a fan was on). The first thing I saw when I walked in was Mr Higgins (Caroline’s French bull dog) while Caroline was face down getting her back worked on. I was glad when physio finished and looked forward to a bubble bath back at the hotel. I’d also been given more of the stomach medication which coincidentally I believed was allowing me to eat small amounts of gluten without any consequences. I decided to put it to the full test, I was so hungry after 2.5 hours at physio that I ordered a pizza and chips, with a glass of red wine.
An emergency alert (no.17) was issued listing all the places that the infected people had been in the time before they knew they were positive for the virus. The first one on the list jumped out at me as it was the Intercontinental in Danang – luckily the dates were the 2 days before we went there for Sunday brunch so that had been a close one! We were lucky that the alerts were so detailed and easy to follow so that everyone who had been in the same places could come forward for testing, isolation or quarantine as needed. I updated my NCOVI app and updated a medical questionnaire on there so that I could be up to date if the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and prevention) wanted to know about me.
I watched more Netflix and chilled in the evening and was contemplating if I would be able to finish my physio sessions or if we would have to be in lockdown again soon.
The next day, Wednesday 29th July, was spent in the hotel not going anywhere and either doing language lessons, blogging, watching Netflix or crutching up and down the room. I really put the medication which was allowing me to eat gluten to the test a bit more by having more flour containing foods too. Because I had cancelled my physio I was feeling very stiff in my ankle and toes and so tried to keep them moving. The Triple Cripple Club were still at physio but I wasn’t able to go and had to cancel the rest of the week and decided to head back to Phong Nha the next day.
I had a good night’s sleep and woke up on Thursday 30th July ready to go back home. The Gastropulgite wonder powder had worked it’s magic and I had no symptoms of having eaten gluten!! My driver came to pick me up after I’d checked out and I had a rather heavy bag. It was not my usual driver and he didn’t seem to speak English so was not too helpful with offering to carry the bag, despite me being on crutches. It was a chore, to say the least, to get the bag upstairs to my room. Weather forecasts were constantly saying we should be in the middle of a storm and for days it had still been sunny and very hot. I took a long time to get up the stairs to the top floor and when I opened the door, our room was like an oven, I could have cried. It was so hot that the half can of tonic, left next to the bed, was too hot to hold and the coat hangers in the wardrobe were hot to the touch. I decided to have a shower but because our tank is in full sun on the roof the water was scalding hot. The AC could not cool the room and even after a few hours and a cold can of strongbow I was still too warm and struggled to sleep that night in the heat.