Monday 8th March was rather exciting for me as I achieved a couple of my progress goals. First I had to contend with the loudspeaker noise and waking up soaked in sweat at 5.30am! Captain Caveman was off to Son Doong for 4 days and was up and out earlier than he needed to be. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I watched more Amazing Hotels, ate carrot cake for breakfast which I had a bad reaction to!

Matty was due back from Saigon, Hamish and Mik were due back from their Hang En trip and it was Margarita Monday so arrangements were made to meet at The Villas later. My dodgy stomach had gone by 1.30pm when Veronika and I bravely set off on our bicycles to cycle the 8.9km to The Villas. This was about to be the first attempt at cycling this distance all in one journey and it was quite a hot day for it. Matty had messaged to say he would get his taxi from the airport to drop him straight to The Villas.
The news in Vietnam reported that discussions have started about international tourism and the potential reopening of the country, but it still seemed a while off:
Meanwhile back home today was the start of the new UK plan to come out of lockdown. Today, back in England, everyone is allowed to meet one other person in a park and I genuinely wondered how the logistics of that would work and wanted to ask everyone I knew in England who they chose and why – had the person you chose already chose someone else perhaps?

Veronika was faster than me on her bicycle and there were sections where she was way ahead as we cycled along the road passing what used to be The Bomb Crater Bar and Sy’s homestay. I saw a bright yellow and green snake as we neared the underpass not far from Magic Fingers massage place and homestay. My knee didn’t hurt but my bum certainly did by the time we arrived at our destination 37 minutes later with a bit of a sweat on! Bluey was parked up with the intention I would get a lift to come ride her back tomorrow but I seriously wondered if I would be able to even move tomorrow. We sat at a table by the river hoping for a peaceful rest and we ordered juices from a new waitress, Van, who I wished Happy Women’s Day in Vietnamese, while we waited for Matty. Veronika had already eaten lunch so she ordered a panacotta while I decided to try something I had never had before – a chicken, bacon, lettuce and gherkin sandwich with chips.

By the time Matty arrived the next door place to The Villas had the karaoke blasting out and so Veronika decided to cycle home while Matty and I moved to sit at the back of the The Villas, near the pool. We ordered margaritas and got free popcorn but Matty had to work at 6am the next day so didn’t want to drink too much. That went out of the window when we moved to another table, nearer the bar but still outside, and Hamish and Mik arrived. They were straight on the Gin and Tonics, we got another margarita and then the tequilas made an appearance. It sounded like they had an exciting Hang En trip and gave us an update of their 2 day adventure. Vu and little Ngoc, were also at The Villas and they insisted on buying me another margarita for Women’s Day and we decided to test out the dancefloor. I even had a dance with the security guard who is always really nice and helpful to me – my first dance as a duo in almost 11 months. Poor Manu, the manager, was a bit nervous I might fall and so was there looking out for me. I was quite safe though and I was so grateful to have cycled nearly 9km, including getting over a bridge, and was able to dance again – progress indeed. We had such a good time but we all forgot to order any dinner and I think the Margarita Mondays might be getting out of hand a bit!

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