The loudspeaker was doing it’s thing at 5.09am on Thursday 6th May and so by 6.30am I was on my 2nd gluten-free pancake with banana and honey – it was far too early! It was rice harvesting season in Phong Nha and so when we cycled up to the Farmstay it took me 10 minutes 27 seconds because of having to go over the tarpaulins of drying rice in the road. Bruno had arranged to meet for an early lunch before heading off to the airport for his trip back to Saigon. I was really thirsty after cycling in the heat so I managed to polish off an orange juice and a ginger beer pretty quickly. For lunch I ordered some vegetarian fried spring rolls and a coconut as the group that had been on the Tu Lan 4 day tour spoke about how much they enjoyed it. Captain Caveman had an impressive looking burger for his lunch and there was a discussion about the forthcoming Saigon Children’s Charity cycling event that a few, including Captain Caveman, Andrea and Rob, were going to be doing to raise more money for the charity in July, ending on Captain Caveman’s birthday. After we said bye to Bruno, we cycled back home, it took me 10 minutes 5 seconds and it was so hot that I got a bit of sunburn, even though I had a high factor suncream on. Captain Caveman did his dutiful filming of me riding Bluey and I looked pretty much back to normal apart from still having my seat low so that if I had to stop I can put both feet on the floor.
That evening Captain Caveman and I joined Rob, Andrea, Veronika and Sue (a returning guest from Hanoi) back up at the Farmstay after a 10 minute 28 second cycle, including getting off to walk across one patch of drying harvest. I decided to have mushroom soup for a starter and the duck à l’orange for my main course at dinner, plus a few (4!) glasses of red wine. There was talk at the dinner table of going somewhere nice for lunch tomorrow with our friends and Phong Nha Farmstay guests and I suggested we could maybe see if we could organise a trip to the Pub with Cold Beer, a trip I’ve been on many times. Everyone agreed and would like to go around 11.30am, after Veronika and Sue had completed their walk and the others had finished their morning’s work. It didn’t work out though, as only Sue and I would need transport as the others were happy to make their own way there by bicycle or motorbike. When I checked with Ben he had a trip he could organise which left at 9.30am and returned at the latest by 2pm, by jeep and included a rubber tapping and pig experience as well as lunch at the Pub with Cold Beer for 300,000vnd. Unfortunately the timings and activities didn’t suit our group of 7 on this occasion and we had to decline Ben’s proposal and think of a plan B.
I messaged Duyet for a lift home, leaving Bluey in the car park over night, while Captain Caveman cycled back in the dark. When we got home both Captain Caveman and I decided we would go to East Hill for a BBQ chicken lunch tomorrow at 11.30am, as it was easier for me to get to, and invite people if they wanted to come – a much more simple plan.

Captain Caveman’s video of me cycling from Phong Nha Farmstay to Elements Collection
Captain Caveman’s video of my cycling – my leg much stronger
Captain Caveman’s video of me and Bluey arriving home

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