I had spent 590,000vnd (£18.30) yesterday I noted, when I got up on Tuesday 30th March and I was conscious that the spending was creeping up again. Wine is just so expensive here and I really didn’t want to have to drink beer or cider instead so maybe I would just need to limit myself a bit more. That was easier said than done as there was another girls night booked in for later. I put on lots of high factor suncream and packed a spare shirt and something to cover my head with, for the cycle to The Villas with Ania. She didn’t have a bicycle yet, or know the way to get to The Villas via our place, so I agreed to meet her for breakfast at the Farmstay so we could cycle together. Tatas had a day off and was keen to meet because she had a new bikini that she wanted to wear at the pool and get me to take photos of her for Instagram, as is the Vietnamese girl way.
When I arrived at the Phong Nha Farmstay I was a hot, sweaty mess and I started to think we might be a bit stupid to cycle almost 20km in a day in this heat. My journey only took me 8 minutes and 3 seconds which I think was my fastest yet but that was because I was desperate for some shade. I had a pho bo for breakfast and lots of water but then had a bad stomach straight after, with pain, even though it contains nothing I’m allergic to. Annette and Veronika had taken motorbikes for a jaunt around the national park for the morning, I said we might meet them at The Villas, along with Tatas for lunch but the more we thought about it the more it seemed a daft idea so we stayed where we were. Sonya joined us and we sat by the pool drinking water and chatting until lunch time.
For those who remember Keith, from Grimsby, he messaged to say he was back in Dong Hoi and would be coming to Phong Nha tomorrow. This settled the going to The Villas by bicycle conundrum as we could go tomorrow to meet Keith and so we had lunch at The Phong Nha Farmstay instead. Already having a dodgy stomach (for no particular reason) I chose a chicken salad without the cucumber which was really tasty but I was ill straight after and had to cycle home. It took me 9 minutes 40 seconds which was very slow but I felt quite unwell while riding Bluey back home. Veronika was already in the pool and after I felt a bit more stable I got my swimmers on and went to sit on the balcony. I noticed the pool had quite a lot of feathers and twigs in it from some sparrows who were building a nest in the eaves. While Veronika had to pop back up to the Farmstay for babysitting duties, I spent half an hour by the pool until it was time to get ready as Tatas was on her way over. She was going to stay at ours tonight and so had brought her overnight bag to drop off, then we got a lift with Duyet to the Farmstay.

Ania was still in an online meeting so we got a bottle of wine and started without her. When she arrived she brought yesterday’s spare wine and then Veronika came over to say she was already sat at a table in the dark with Annette and Sonya but they had already eaten. I decided to have duck a l’orange with rice and vegetables for my dinner, hoping my stomach could handle it and it was so good. Annette came to join us for a bit of wine and some girly chat before going to bed and we ended up drinking until gone 9.30pm again! It was a good night, less wine than usual and no shots this time so we would be ready for a full day tomorrow! My bill came to 610,000vnd (£19) as the duck dish is one of the pricier choices but I felt fine after eating it and I really enjoyed it.
Back in England today was the day that more relaxing of the lockdown rules took place and people were allowed to have 6 people in a garden without masks – it made no sense to me, as I couldn’t understand the rationale or timing, but a lot of my friends back home were going to be taking advantage of this new freedom. I read that the beer gardens in England would be opening next month so that socialising could begin again.

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