On Monday 28th September I had an early pick up booked with Phuong for 06:50am because, by the time Thuy had agreed to my morning appointment, my driver was already booked in by Shannon and her family. Luckily she agreed to let me share the vehicle and he picked me up first then on to pick the 4 of them up. I got dropped off first at physio and then they were all off to run errands in Dong Hoi for the morning. They were staying in town longer and so I couldn’t get a ride back with them but Phuong arranged for a taxi to pick me up for the ride back to Phong Nha. Physio went ok but Nam really put me through my paces and I nearly cried with the pain, especially when he wiggled my nerves near my ankle, which made me feel hot and faint. Once back in Phong Nha I was dropped off at Phong Nha Farmstay in readiness for our lunchtime adventure with Ben and some of the Farmstay guests. Captain Caveman came to meet me there and we all set off in the jeep with the others. We went through streams and rivers in the jeep and by the time we got there it was raining and we were all covered in mud. At one point we decided to go a different way so that we didn’t get stuck in the river. Ben had ordered the local pork dish and the famous BBQ chicken with peanut sauce, sweet potato leaves with garlic and steamed rice. I was so hungry because I’d not had any breakfast and so I definitely had my fill, I even had Gastropulgite and a beer! When we came to pay it worked out about 100,000 vnd per person for an absolute feast! It was so delicious and the first time I had managed a visit there in over 6 months!
Afterwards Ben decided we would go for it on the river crossing and we got stuck, the jeep filled up with water and I worried I wouldn’t be able to get out to swim, walk or push. Ben put it in to reverse, I could tell he wasn’t sure if we would get out but we did and some of the route was pretty adventurous (for me, anyway). I needed a lay down when I got back, I was so full and tired.
That night Captain Caveman decide to go hunting for snakes with Ben and a Farmstay guest who is a snake enthusiast and very interesting bloke from Australia. Videos were made of the Pub with Cold Beer trip as well as the snake search which I have added below for those who are interested in having a look.
Check out Melissa’s video of our Jeep ride to the Pub with Cold Beer: https://www.facebook.com/784377811644124/posts/3366881766727036/?sfnsn=mo
Ben captures our visit to the Pub with Cold Beer: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10159417295983115&id=552758114&sfnsn=mo
Ben’s video of the search for snakes:
Photo and video credit – Captain Caveman, Melissa Wiringi, Ben Mitchell