Captain Caveman was off to Son Doong on the morning of Friday 4th September, this trip was a group from the National Park and would be his last trip of the year, it was also going to be a shorter trip as they were planning on going in and out of the exit. His managers would be following him in a day later to do the derigging of the cave ready for it closing for the wet season. Storms and heavy rain are much more likely in October and November but can come in September too so Son Doong is the first to close down for winter, shortly followed by the other cave tours that Oxalis do. I was feeling a bit better and was convinced it was just dehydration or heat stroke so drank as much water as I possibly could. I started watching a cringeworthy show on Netflix called Below Deck which was hilarious and decided not to eat lunch before heading to Dong Hoi for physio. This time I had arranged to stay at the Nam Long Plus Hotel, again in my usual room (201) where I had to choose the luxury of a bath over working internet. I managed to download more of Below Deck on my phone before departing but I did run out of things to watch. Instead I did more Turkish, French and Vietnamese lessons to keep me entertained. At physio they checked on my ankle and I found that the pressure points the therapist touched seemed to make my sciatic nerve worse and could also feel pain in my knee, which was strange.
For dinner I had the amazing pork ribs with sweet potato fries from 7th Heaven, delivered directly to my room and then had an early night.
I woke up early on Saturday 5th September and went for breakfast of pho bo and orange juice at the hotel and downloaded another episode of Below Deck while near reception which usually has good internet. After a large portion of pork fried rice from 7th Heaven for lunch and checking out I went to physio for a couple of hours and then Phuong picked me up to go back to Phong Nha. Captain Caveman was back home from Son Doong already but was sick and had similar symptoms to those I had on Thursday evening. I went straight home and just had crisps and cheese for dinner while Captain Caveman had nothing and stayed in bed.