As the world’s Corona reported figures hit 36 million cases, 27 million recoveries and 1 million deaths we were heading off to Dong Hoi for a couple of days and to attend our first ‘event’ since lockdown. We had already missed a couple of weddings either due to my injured leg or because of Corona restrictions so we were excited to be able to attend this one. As Wednesdays go, in my world, the 7th October was pretty exciting for us. I’d not slept much as there had been a storm during the night (it turns out that what I thought was a bad storm was actually not that bad compared to what would follow later in the month). Firstly, we were off on a shopping trip to Dong Hoi and our first stop was at the organic shop where I found quinoa and bought a small bag of it to try. The next stop was my first ever visit to the Co-op Mart (I usually wait outside this massive supermarket), I was up for trying it seeing as though it was quiet. Once I’d managed to walk around the aisles downstairs we went upstairs and found the bargain of the day – a massage chair which was only 10,000 vnd for 6 minutes (33p)! Next time I decided I would not put my bad leg in or the arm with my watch on – this machine was obviously made for small Vietnamese people!

Captain Caveman’s video of me walking down an aisle in Co-op Mart

After shopping we went to Geminai for lunch where I had veggie fried rice, Captain Caveman had two cheese toasties, Veronika and Howie shared a chicken burger and chips with lots of ketchup.

The rain was heavy now and there was talk of a storm coming so Bich dropped us at the Vinpearl hotel where Captain Caveman had booked us a room and they went back to Phong Nha. When we arrived at the hotel door the staff waved us to the side entrance through the doors and when we got out of the car it was so blustery it was like being at Brighton pier! I struggled with the steps but one of the staff came out to help while Captain Caveman carried our two bags and his bicycle, which he was taking to Hanoi the next day. The Vinpearl Hotel had locked their front doors and had put sandbags up as they were expecting the river opposite to flood. In the room I had a bath (I do love a bath) and then got ready for the wedding of Phuong and Dat. Because of the terrible weather we had been asked if we would like to attend early so we did and arrived at 4.30pm. I was happier about this as it meant I could see better for walking in the wet weather.

The bride looked stunning and her husband was very handsome and such a nice guy – this was the first time we had met him and both of their families. The wedding party were so much more welcoming and friendly than any I’d experienced before and the ceremony and food went on to exceed expectations too. I did drink beer to do cheers with but kept it to a minimum and had taken the Gastropulgite before we got there. I had pork and chicken which were both delicious but the prawns were the best I’d had in a long time. Luckily we were sat next to a professional when it came to peeling them and I was lucky enough to get a spare one. The sticky rice was really good too but I had to draw the line at the last dish of turtle! We didn’t stay late as the rain was coming down hard, we thought it might get more difficult to get taxis and I certainly couldn’t walk anywhere. Back at the hotel we had a bottle of wine and I managed to wreck the place by having three knobs come off in my hand; first the bath one to put the plug up and down just fell off, then the one on the bedside drawer, followed by the one for the speed of the ceiling fan.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Photo and video credit – Captain Caveman

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