I started the year on Friday 1st January, hangover free, knowing that I would be spending more than a year without leaving Vietnam, this was the longest I had been in the country since I first started visiting regularly about 6 years ago. I had also managed to accidentally put a bit of weight on over the festive period, even though we didn’t do a lot of the traditional celebrations we may have done if we had been in Turkey or the UK. Since arriving in Vietnam I had managed to lose just over half a stone more and I was pleased to see that I was still less centimetres on all my measurements. This blog was going really well and, despite 2020 being a terrible year for most, it was surprising that I had a lot more views than previous years. I was really grateful to find that December had a 21% increase on November and now the top 5 viewers by nationality had changed; Vietnam was first by a big number, followed by UK, Australia, USA, Canada and Turkey. It was reassuring to me because I had not really been able to write about too many exciting things but I was very happy to be in a safe country. Vietnam had handled the pandemic well (a 2 week national lockdown in April plus city specific lockdowns in July/August) and the numbers were very low here, life was pretty normal and we could go about our business quite easily in Phong Nha.
It was 12°C in the morning, which is not as cold as it can get here but it felt so much colder than I was used to – maybe I was finally becoming acclimatised to living in a hot country. Captain Caveman was at Oxalis Home early, catching up with the rest of his work colleagues over a coffee, he even got a last minute invite for a lunch at the Vung Hue with all the cave experts. I had gluten free cereal with UHT milk for brunch followed by homemade popcorn as I needed to save myself for pizza night. Captain Caveman, Veronika and Matty were also regular frequenters of the ‘all you can eat pizza’ on Friday nights at The Villas restaurant and tonight was no different. We really enjoyed the pizzas and this time my favourite one, The Showstopper, was served in the middle of the night rather than at the end so I still had enough room to enjoy it better. Back home, so full of pizza, it was an early night for us as Captain Caveman had to be up before sunrise on Saturday.

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