After a busy start to the weekend I planned to have a relaxed and easy going Saturday on 13th March. I had buttered toast for breakfast and had suffered no ill effects of that, or the pizza from the night before. I decided to make pork and sweetcorn fried rice for lunch and made far too much so saved the rest for dinner. Captain Caveman and Quyen had returned to Phong Nha from their Hang Va cave trip but I didn’t meet either of them. Captain Caveman went to The Villas for food and then got on the bus to Hanoi at 7pm, he was off on an exploration holiday for a week with our Sapa friends, Phil and Hoa, in Tuyen Quang. Quyen had still to find herself somewhere to stay so went for Tropical Homestay. We arranged to meet the next day rather than for dinner because of either one of us having to cycle in the dark, which wasn’t a good idea.

On Sunday 14th March it was Mother’s Day and so I tried to make sure I was busy enough to avoid worrying about my mom not being able to have a Mother’s Day celebration, back in Sheffield. My parents were still staying at home and now the celebrations were coming back around again – who would have thought a year later it would be like this!
Captain Caveman had arrived in My Dinh (Hanoi) bus station around 5am and had 3 hours to wait for another bus to Tuyen Quang, while I didn’t wake up until 7am. Quyen and I had arranged for her to borrow a bicycle from Tropical Homestay and cycle to my place so that we could then ride the long way to the Farmstay for lunch.
Quyen arrived, later than expected, after it took her almost an hour to get here and she got lost a bit. The ride to the Farmstay was really nice and we took it easy so that she could admire the country side and rice paddy views. My friend absolutely loved it and I was pleased because I was worried she would find the route too easy. We sat by the pool at the Farmstay and ordered some wine, where I introduced Quyen to Veronika, Bich, Matty & Hamish and their friend from Danang, Richard.
Our food came and it was really good; Quyen had the seafood banh xeo, Matty chicken quesadillas with chilli jam, Hamish a chicken salad and I had nem lui.
Both Richard and Quyen were going to Dong Hoi that afternoon so they arranged to share Quyen’s car which she had already booked and we got ready to leave so she could get back in time. I was going to pay but Quyen wouldn’t have any of it and paid for our wine and lunch which was really kind and unexpected. On the cycle back we took some photos, it was a lovely day and I even caught the sun, despite the factor 50 suncream. I decided I would go to the Farmstay to eat Sunday dinner with Matty, Hamish, Mik and new guest, John.
John had already met Captain Caveman when he came to Phong Nha before and had been cycling with him so we chatted about that. I shared the bottle of white wine which Matty had bought while the others had beer or water. The Sunday roast was lovely, as usual, and I took some home with my carrot cake that I couldn’t manage.
I stayed up late so that I could video call my mom and dad and we had a good chat, luckily they are keeping safe and staying at home but I was definitely missing seeing them a lot. By midnight I realised I might be a bit noisy so we finished the call and I went to sleep.

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