On the morning of Thursday 31st December the Phong Nha Farmstay started a 4 day yoga retreat for a group lead by Marzena, a yoga teacher from Poland who lives in Hanoi. I had been invited to give the first yoga class a try and was ready at 6.30am, on my way to the 7am session. Captain Caveman left for Oxalis a little later and it was quite a cold, rainy day. There was a big Countdown to 2021 party going to be held in the town centre with some DJs and EDM (Electronic Dance Music) blasting out. I wasn’t going to any of that and was quite happy to do my own thing, probably involving wine, food and the Phong Nha Farmstay.
The yoga was challenging for me, because of my injuries and poor fitness levels but I survived the 2 hour session without too much pain or further injury and I actually really enjoyed it. I had pho bo and orange juice for breakfast at the Farmstay and then came home for a shower, via the scenic route.

At lunchtime Captain Caveman and I went by motorbike to the The Villas in the rain, when I could have had a lift with Bich, Veronika and Matty, so I was soaked and cold when we arrived and I went straight to the fire to warm up and dry off. Veronika and Matty were already sat with Momma D who was drinking a glass of champagne and was having lunch before getting ready for work at her pop-up bar that night. Captain Caveman ordered a beer and the rest of us ordered fizz too, with our food. Veronika and I went for the special festive menu of confit duck leg for main and the others had the tomato soup with cheese toasties, which looked fantastic. We had more fizz, I had a sticky date pudding for the first time – oh-M-G, it was so good! We ended up having about 2 bottles of the champagne and we were tipsy when I said goodbye and an early Happy New Year to Captain Caveman. He was going to go help Watto with some electrics then go to the Oxalis party, planning on staying in Phong Nha for New Year’s Eve so he could have a drink at the Countdown party. Back home I managed to have an afternoon nap as I didn’t need to be at the Farmstay until 7.30pm for dinner.

After napping for a bit too long I was more than slightly reluctant to get out of the nice warm, comfy bed to go out for New Year’s Eve at Phong Nha Farmstay. Veronika and I got a ride with Duyet, both feeling like we had peaked too early on the fizz at lunch time. The yoga retreat guests were booked in for an 8pm dinner, after their evening yoga and they were a really fun group who were not your stereotypical yoga types at all. The night started with a glass of wine for me and Matty while Veronika stuck to her cup of tea. Just before 8pm Captain Caveman called, it was a bad line and I only got part of the conversation, saying his plans had changed and he was on his way back to the Farmstay. I sat at the end of a long table with Matty, who was the first to the buffet dinner, followed by me, where the food was fantastic (and plenty of it). Captain Caveman arrived and had already eaten so just had a drink while I scoffed meat and veg skewers and fried rice. The amazing brownies were for dessert and I managed two lots as they were so nice. By 10pm, though, Captain Caveman and I had overdone it and were back home and in bed! Quite a lot of people went in to town for the countdown and said it was a great night however we were already fast asleep well before midnight.

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