Captain Caveman’s alarm went off very early on Tuesday 12th January as he was off to Hang Son Doong. He was going on the preparation trip with Watto for 4 days to get it ready for the first customer tour of the season. I had an online job that I needed to complete so I decided to get that out of the way before my important appointment at 9am.
Bich had organised a joint birthday celebration for Veronika and I at Tree Hugger in Dong Hoi and had also invited Matty and Hien. We arranged to meet at the Farmstay at 9am and so I got there early.
We arrived at Tree Hugger and we were seated in the shop area upstairs, I managed to get up the stairs, for the first time, fairly easily too. Hien was meeting us on her lunch break from work and so we ordered. I decided to have the honey, lemongrass, ginger and kumquat tea which I really like. Bich had the same, Howie a hot lemon juice, Veronika and Matty went for cappuccino with Bailey’s in. Howie and Bich shared pork spring rolls and the beef and veg rice plate, Veronika went for a pretty breakfast bowl with beetroot in, I had pork and ham toasties and Matty ordered the special which was pumpkin soup, burger and ice-cream. I was still a little hungry after mine so I ordered a portion of spring rolls and Howie shared them. The meal was finished off with plates of free fresh fruit that was so juicy and then we had a browse of the shop where I picked up some wool socks. It was a lovely brunch and I was feeling rather full as I slowly tackled the stairs and we left. Bich had an idea to wander round a massive market which had smelly fried food on sale – we weren’t in there long but it was interesting to see all the stalls – I even crossed a big road with traffic on for the first time since my injury. We also had to have a pee in the bathroom of a bedding shop and a stop off at the organic shop, just for good measure.

That evening we met back up at Phong Nha Farmstay as it was shepherd’s pie night and we opened the bottle of Bordeaux from Matty which we had between the 3 of us. I was grateful to get home and get my warm socks on as it had turned cold again and I’m not sure how much more birthday celebration-ing I could handle.

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