I was awake early on Friday 30th April and the weather was better (the garden had benefitted), good enough for a trip to the market with Veronika. I checked the news and read that, because of the man flying from Japan to Danang, who did 14 day quarantine with negative tests but then tested positive after he had been let out, Ha Nam and Hanoi would impose stricter restrictions, more info here:
Both Veronika and I suspected that there could be the possibility of this being a 4th wave and the likelihood of lockdowns coming. The Khung Ha market goers must have had the same thoughts as the place was heaving as we arrived by bicycle and left our bikes with the attendant. The market sells lots of fresh fruit and veg and some of the basics but I tend not to buy meat there. I didn’t have much money left until Captain Caveman got back later and I was conscious I had plans for dinner so I just bought the essentials; carrots, mushrooms, dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, potatoes, onions. I had forgotten to time my journey on the way their but the way back was 5 minutes 12 seconds. As soon as we got home Veronika had to go up to the Farmstay to babysit during the bank holiday chaos and I’d hoped for a shower but the housekeeping ladies were in. I had buttered toast (with no ill effects), half a pineapple, 1 apple and 2 pots of jasmine tea.  After the cleaning had finished the staff brought in some fruit for each of us, dragon fruit and apples (my favourite) which was very nice and was from Hien, the owner of Elements Collection. For lunch I had more chicken pasta with extra mushrooms and no reaction to the gluten.
The usual pizza night at The Villas was cancelled due to the holiday weekend and so we didn’t go to town that evening. It worked out fine though, as although I wouldn’t get to see Caroline and Vee, I had dinner at the Phong Nha Farmstay with Andrea, Bruno and Rob, where after several sunset ciders with Andrea, we went on to the red wine. I shared some tasty spring rolls and a fresh chicken salad with Andrea, both were lovely and better for my stomach than pizza anyway. It was a great evening, the wine and conversation flowed as usual and it was good to see friends from Saigon who were here to do some more caving with Oxalis. After Captain Caveman had finished his gala dinner at Chay Lap he went to Momma D’s, where he had left his bicycle, so I asked him to bring me a sausage roll home, it tasted bloody wonderful but I was ill before I’d even finished it (which I still did) – because of the gluten!!!

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