On Monday 22nd February I was woken up at 5.30am by the loud announcement through the tannoy system. It was starting to get really annoying now that we are forced to listen to it and it wakes us up. On a positive note I was able to catch up on the news and was only a few hours late to catch up on the UK prime minister’s latest update – it seemed to be good news.
In Vietnam there were plans to retest all experts who entered Saigon in 2021 because of the death of a Japanese man, more here:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/saigon-to-re-test-all-foreign-experts/
Reports of mass screening of medical staff resulted in 1 nurse being positive who was asymptomatic (see below):
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/886061/nurse-in-hai-phong-tests-positive-for-sars-cov-2.html
In the UK Boris Johnson’s announcement suggests that things could be ‘back to normal’ by the 21st June, I was sceptical but remained hopeful (see Facebook page):
https://www.facebook.com/228735667216/posts/10158568653927217/
Meanwhile, in Phong Nha, we were still virus free and I was about to have an exciting trip out! First of all I completed my third Bluey ride to the French Road and back and this time it took me 9.5 minutes, which is pretty good and a whole minute quicker than yesterday. I arranged with Bich to have a lift to The Villas for a late lunch and we had organised a bit of a celebration, considering it was Margarita Monday. My Dad had reminded me that it was the national Margarita day and so I had arranged to have lunchtime margaritas with Matty, Veronika, and Trang. I messaged them all to inform them (and Tatas) of my arrangements and got various responses; Veronika was already at The Villas sat by the river, Matty was also already at The Villas sat on the terraced area with his laptop out, Trang was already at Tree House with Tatas and didn’t know if she would make it to The Villas as she had to get back to Dong Hoi to her sick mom, Tatas wouldn’t make it because she didn’t want to drink before tonight’s Son Doong briefing and she needed the afternoon to pack. Well, this looked like it could be a bit of a piss-poor Margarita Monday!
Ben picked me up and he was going to be working at The Villas because Manu was away, we had a laugh driving in as we discussed the rather impromptu Margarita Monday! On the way we saw Veronika walking in to town and so she didn’t join us for Margaritas, or lunch, and it was just a cosy one for me and Matty! Ha and Lan popped in to say hello on their way back from a nearby wedding and I ordered a margarita and a tomato soup with a toasted cheese sandwich, Matty ordered the same. The food was great, although the bread there does give me gluten tummy, it would appear.

Trang finally arrived (she’s usually late) and was introduced to Matty but he left shortly after as he had to work later. Tatas arrived, I ordered a second margarita for me, nothing for Tatas and a watermelon juice for Trang and we were having some serious chatting, including encouraging Trang to stay an extra night to take a well earned rest.

Our friend Luc arrived and joined our table and then Captain Caveman and Ali turned up after their Son Doong trip. Margaritas were served all-round, even the non-drinking girls had one but some of the group had to take it easy. Tatas went off to do her briefing, Captain Caveman to his gala dinner at Chay Lap and Ali went to Momma D’s for dinner instead of the gala dinner.

Luc, Trang and I moved to an inside table to eat dinner, with another margarita. I had salami and prawn spaghetti, Luc had smoked duck salad and Trang the confit duck leg – all of which were very tasty. Tatas came back after her briefing and by the time Captain Caveman returned from his gala dinner, he was hammered. We had a great Margarita Monday and unfortunately my day 4 of being frugal with the housekeeping had not been successful. I had spent £1,425,000vnd (£44) in one day and was very grateful for the free lift back home from Ben. Margarita Monday had been successful in my eyes and I fell fast asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Photo credit – Ben, Trang, Quyen.

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