We had a busy day planned on the third day of Tet, Sunday 14th February and, as it was Valentine’s Day, I got my bacon sandwich breakfast brought to me in bed. We got our helmets and big coats on, filled up with 50,000vnd of petrol and were off on a day out.
Our first stop was to visit Giang’s family at Rice Paddy homestay, where we received a warm welcome. They gave us a cold drink and some nibbles and were really pleased to see us, especially Alice who’s 14 and misses her aunty Giang.
Our next stop was Funny Monkeys where we wished Moon a happy new year and we had a drink and some nibbles, including delicious cashew nuts. Before we could finish chatting Moon had a family of 4 arrive for lunch and so she had to go cook and we forgot to get photos.
On the way to our next stop at Lucky Lucky (now called Lucky Homes) I popped to The Villas for a green tea and to use the loo, while Captain Caveman ran an errand. When we got to Lucky Lucky the owners were so pleased to see us but had been expecting us yesterday so we didn’t get to see Xiem, the English speaking daughter. The lady there is so sweet and gave us some Banh Chung to take home. I had quite a bit of beer and did a lot of cheers and of course I couldn’t resist a couple of spring rolls.
We had an important party to attend at 5pm but before that we had chance to meet up with Ali and Mo (owner of Earth cafe in Dong Hoi) at Tree House where I said happy new year to the owner and tried a cinnamon tea. It’s the first time I’ve been in the place and it is very nice and reasonably priced.
At 4.50pm we set off back towards the Glass House as we were invited to Howard and Deb’s house for a Tet party. On the way, outside Green River homestay, there is a bend in the road and as we approached there was a lot of people and traffic congestion. As we got nearer it was evident there had been a nasty accident and I could see the injured people were on the floor, no helmets, lots of blood. I didn’t want to look but it was too late and I felt very sick – luckily 2 of the cavers and lots of helpers were there so Captain Caveman decided to carry on as there were enough people there.
It’s a sad fact, here in Vietnam, that far more people will be killed in a road accident in 1 week of Tet than will die in a whole year from Corona.
When we arrived Deb had to send Captain Caveman back to pick up Momma D’s chicken and it turned out he didn’t see an email asking him to bring ice as his contribution – it was too late to start putting warm beers in ice now, anyway.
The party was good, the buffet spread was impressive; roast chicken, pizza, sausage, chips, beef and beers. It was lovely to see all the Vietnamese friends I had not seen for so long and I even managed a little dance with Phuong to some Faithless. Watto was in charge of the whisky and he was doing a grand job of persuading everyone to have a shot or two. I felt a bit bad that Captain Caveman had to drive me around and so couldn’t have a drink with all his colleagues. I didn’t want to be out after dark with so many drunk drivers on the road so we left as it was getting dark.
We drove straight back to the Farmstay where we received a welcome from Bich in the form of rice wine shots, a free margarita and some Tet table photos, she even interrupted Veronika and Matty to come join us for a shot!
We rounded off the day with a fabulous Sunday dinner (most of which we had to take home as we were already so full), wine and lots of laughs with the usual gang as well as Chris (the Belgian) and his lovely girlfriend, Huong, who had just arrived. They had only been going out for 3 months so I hoped she wasn’t too disappointed by having to share her Valentine’s dinner table with us but I really enjoyed their company and didn’t mind when the boys went to play killer pool and us girls, we are both slow eaters, finished our dinner and wine and chatted. It was a lovely day in Phong Nha, continuing to celebrate Tet with all our friends.