On Friday 28th August I had a half bowl of pho bo (beef noodle soup), orange juice and tea for breakfast at the Nam Long Plus Hotel, but by lunchtime I was rather hungry and had crisps and some pork fried rice from 7th Heaven. Vietnam had reported 1 more death, 2 cases and 5 recoveries as the lockdown in Danang continued. There was also an update in the news that some Vietnamese hospitals were failing safety checks and a hospital in Hanoi had been closed because of this. In the afternoon I became ill with a headache and feeling sick, I couldn’t stand the sunlight and had to close the curtains and cancel physio. I took a Gastropulgite sachet and had a rest at the hotel. When I woke up later that evening I felt hungry and decided to try a chicken, pineapple, mushroom and olive pizza from 7th Heaven which I ate while watching Million Dollar Beach House on Netflix.

I was awake very early on Saturday 29th August and saw that in Vietnam the Corona data reported 26 recoveries, 0 deaths and 2 more cases in the last day. I just had a banana and water for breakfast and I also took more Gastropulgite medication even though I had not suffered any effects of having eaten gluten last night.
For lunch I ordered from Tree Hugger a fruit salad with yoghurt, veggie spring rolls, herbal tea and peach tea – all were delicious. I was back at physio in the afternoon, I was feeling much better and Thuy was even able to offer me an appointment for the next day which was Sunday. I booked to stay another night at the Nam Long Plus Hotel and I started learning Vietnamese again on Duolingo as well as brushing up on French. I walked up the hotel stairs but only got as far as the missing handrail section and reversed back, but still it was a little bit of practice. I ordered pork ribs for dinner which I always state ‘no chillies’ on the order but when it came I could smell chillies on it. I messaged to check and they said it didn’t have chillies in but I was convinced and checked again. They confirmed it was a new chef and because I had said ‘no chillies’ they hadn’t put fresh chillies in just chilli sauce! They offered to bring me more but it was already 9pm so I rinsed them in water and ate what I could of them, with a burning mouth. I did point out that when people have allergies to peanuts or fish that peanut sauce and fish sauce are still not ok to have, just like chillies and chilli sauce are the same thing! I was still awake at 1am not feeling too clever!

The world had exceeded 25 million Corona virus cases when I got up on Sunday 30th August. Vietnam had reported 2 cases, 2 deaths and 14 more recoveries. I skipped breakfast as I had to be at physio for 8.30am and I didn’t have lunch as I was heading back to Phong Nha with Phuong and I would have some cheese when I got home. On the way Phuong picked up his wife and her friend, Mun, who I also know from Funny Monkeys Homestay. As we approached some traffic lights they noticed a shelving unit that had been thrown out with the rubbish and decided to salvage and recycle it. When I got to our room at home it was so hot, I opened most of the windows and doors to try to get the heat out. I was ravenous and all we had in was cheese, pickled onions and olives which I ate plenty of. Captain Caveman came back from his Son Doong trip and was getting ready for an early dinner at Chay Lap. He invited me along and I initially said yes as I’d not been there this this year, but then I decided I’d go to The Villas where I could catch up with some blogging while having a margarita or two. Because I’d not eaten much I started with a Gastropulgite, a herbal tea and I was introduced to a combination of snacks which I had never tried together before. Ha, the waitress, who makes the best frozen margaritas and always looks after us, told me to try peanuts and popcorn in the same mouthful. Well, another first for me and it tastes great especially once I got started on the Happy Hour margaritas. I also had a pizza and was on my second margarita when Captain Caveman said he was on his way to pick me up. He wanted a takeaway pizza ordering but I still had over half of mine left so said he could have that. By 7pm we were on our way back home which meant we were sober enough for a good video call with my parents. It was great to talk to them both and we always have a good laugh despite the fact we might not be able to see each other for quite a bit more time yet!

Photo credit – Ha at The Villas

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