On Saturday 17th October I still hadn’t heard back from Thuy and so didn’t go to physio. Instead I ate some of the veggie rice I had in the fridge but the asparagus had made it soggy and I had to throw the rest away. The rain and wind was pretty hard and it blew the outdoor balcony furniture in opposite directions. The temperature had dropped considerably, for the first time in ages I had to put another layer of clothing on. Elsewhere in Vietnam photos showed terrible flood scenes and some sad ones emerged of lots of livestock getting stuck in the mud. Captain Caveman decided to make a Spanish omelette which we would be able to eat if the power went off. We stayed in that evening and I cooked fried rice with veg and salami. We shared 2 bottles of fizz and mentally prepared ourselves for the 6 days of ‘bad’ rain that had been predicted – tomorrow was going to be a bit of a shock to me!

When we got up on Sunday 18th October I realised that the flood situation in our wider area was going to get bad. We could see that it looked like it may even turn out to be worse than 2010. Where we were staying was amazing and we were certainly very lucky, maybe of the luckiest people in Phong Nha. The banana trees in the garden outside had seen some movement, some were blown over, a local man was moving his cow to higher land and the paddy field opposite was becoming a lake. People were posting more and more photos of their circumstances on Facebook – these were now becoming people we know and friends. Captain Caveman made me bacon and beans for breakfast and then I had some grapes because I was still hungry. The rain didn’t stop and there was talk of moving our kitchen stuff on the ground floor up to the first floor. The neighbours didn’t have a first floor and they were also worried in case they became flooded so we offered space at our’s if they needed it. We had a picnic lunch and had made short work of the Spanish omelette when the power went off. Luckily we have the use of a generator and so it wasn’t long before it was back on. The new lake opposite us now had ducks visiting and by 4.30pm the rain was getting heavier. Captain Caveman got the emergency lights at the ready, the fridge got moved higher and we even decided to move the wine and empty all the bottom kitchen cupboards, just in case. I had a snack of cashew nuts and we opened the red wine earlier than usual before I cooked us some egg fried rice with salami. On Facebook emergency phone numbers were posted for those in Phong Nha who needed evacuating and all residents were warned the flood was here and would continue for a couple of days at least. Cars and motorbikes were moved to higher ground and even animals were being moved indoors. We were in bed when I got a message at 10.15pm from our neighbour because they were being evacuated – we had left them the door open!

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