On Tuesday 1st December Captain Caveman and I decided to go to Dong Hoi earlier than I usually do and also book a night at the Nam Long Plus hotel. Our first stop was for breakfast at Mr Bull’s for Bo Ne which is really good and comes with bread and tea. The place is really nice and I was surprised to see that they had put up a Christmas tree.

Our next stop was lunch at Tree Hugger where I had the veggie spring rolls, herbal tea and the most amazing lemongrass, ginger, kumquat and honey tea I had ever tasted. Captain Caveman had his usual favourite of the egg sandwich with coffee.

While Captain Caveman relaxed at the Nam Long Plus hotel I went for my physio session and found the bit where the therapist massaged my calf muscle with her elbow, thus pressing on my trapped nerve, excruciatingly painful this time. When I got back to the hotel we had some red wine and the leftover pizza from last night’s leaving party for Hanh before I had a bath and then we went to meet friends.

7th Heaven restaurant is one of our favourites in Dong Hoi and so we met Tatas and Trang there for dinner. We had a starter of sweet potato fries to share first and then ordered individual dishes for main. Tatas had a prawn spaghetti dish, Captain Caveman and I had steak, Trang ordered beef curry. The food was delicious and the wine flowed while we all caught up, it had been a long time since we had all been out together too.

Having slept well at the Nam Long Plus hotel in Dong Hoi, we woke up on Wednesday 2nd December and decided to visit Mr Bull’s again for breakfast. The hotel do breakfast too but we really wanted to have the Bo Ne once more before we went back to Phong Nha, as we can’t get it there. It’s an absolute bargain at only 40,000 vnd (about £1.30) and so tasty. This time I had mine with an orange juice and of course I gave my egg to Captain Caveman. I really enjoyed the meat, onions and soft white baguette though.

Back home, via picking up a few essentials and collecting our bags from Nam Long Plus hotel, we had a spot of lunch. Captain Caveman made chicken, bacon and salad baguettes which were delicious. So much so that we had them again for dinner, he of course slathered his in mayo and mustard and I stuck to the plain bread. That afternoon I had a zoom session with Ruth, my UK physio, and found it really useful. She also gave me some more exercises and could see I was progressing, even if it was too slowly for my liking! I had been struggling with the squats still so Captain Caveman held the camera while I demonstrated and to my amazement she said I was doing it ok. Before I went to bed Ruth had already sent me my next plan and I was ready for the next level.

Captain Caveman was off out early and called in to Oxalis Home for coffee and a catch up with his fellow cavers on Thursday 3rd December. I had cheese on toast for breakfast and then felt ill, starting with a bad stomach. My guess it was the cheddar cheese that had an adverse effect rather than the bread but I decided to eat neither for the rest of the day. For lunch I shared a mango and an apple with Captain Caveman and was even more ill so had a lay down while he went back out. Captain Caveman made a mushroom risotto for dinner and I stayed off the booze, but still had a bad stomach and deduced maybe I had a bug.

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