Thursday 8th October would be our last day together before Captain Caveman went on holiday to the north for a week by himself. I would only be a burden as I can’t walk yet and he had planned to have some days in Hanoi, some days in Sapa visiting friends and doing some treks. I really wanted to see Sapa but the terrain there is too steep for someone who can’t yet manage much more than 5,000 steps on a good day. We got up for breakfast and noticed the rain outside was pretty heavy, the winds were very blustery, even the Vinpearl hotel had towels at windows catching the leaks and the dining room was virtually empty. The river was looking like it was about to overflow but Captain Caveman was already looking up the tide times and pointed out the tide was changing and it wouldn’t overflow. There was no buffet service so we were given a very extensive menu to pick anything we liked off – and we did! I had taken a Gastropulgite so that I could have croissants and cheese!!! I also had pho ga, bacon, sausages, and fruit so I was very full. Captain Caveman made me 2 cups of earl grey tea to wash it all down with and I messaged Thuy at physio to see if I could come for an earlier appointment.

The Vinpearl hotel staff had very kindly given us a free late check out and so I went off for physio, managing to get down the steps and in to a taxi with Captain Caveman’s help. He went to run a few errands and nip to the ATM so that he could give me some money as my funds were now depleted due to all the physio and transport costs. My physio became a tag team of three therapists all giving me what for and it was difficult for me to tell which bit was the most painful, I think it was the foot on the bum which clinched it.

Captain Caveman’s video of the river in Dong Hoi

I got back to the hotel and was so pleased with myself that I managed to get up the very wet marble steps in a blustery storm, Captain Caveman had come down to meet me but I was already at the lift when he got to me! We checked out but the weather was getting worse so we decided to have a hot beverage in the cafe area where the cute receptionist chatted on to us for a while, practicing her English on the few remaining guests. I contemplated booking an extra night at the Vinpearl hotel but we thought I might end up stuck there.

Captain Caveman’s clip of the weather from the Vinpearl hotel

When we realised the weather was not getting any better we decided to get a taxi to 7th Heaven for some food, leaving our bags at reception. We were the only ones there and both ordered a delicious steak, with a bottle of wine, as our last meal together for a while. All the time we were eating the rain was getting worse and the road outside looked like it might be flooding. Phuong was coming to pick me up to take me home and we drove to the Vinpearl hotel where Captain Caveman got soaked picking up the luggage, then we drove to drop him at the train station. By now the weather had got worse and we wondered if the train might be delayed but when we checked, it was still on time. Floods had started in Hoi An, Danang and Hue and it was on the news, saying it looked bad this year. We said our goodbyes and I was pleased Captain Caveman would be able to pick up my passport in Hanoi once my visa was renewed.

Phuong drove me and another suprise passenger, who had jumped in at the train station for a free lift back to Phong Nha. I was getting dropped off first because my drop off was at Veronika’s where she already had the wine chilling. It was very wet and I was glad to be high up in case the rain got bad, I felt very lucky to have somewhere nice to stay and with good company while Captain Caveman was away. The storm I had just been out in was going to seem like a bit of a light shower to what was to come but at the time I could not even imagine it. Before bed I spoke to Captain Caveman who was still in the train station, his train delayed and he was several beers in! He was already delayed by 5 and a half hours by the time I fell asleep.

Captain Caveman’s video as Phuong drove us to the train station in Dong Hoi

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