I was feeling less optimistic on Wednesday 26th May but at least I knew I was no longer going anywhere and could stop feeling in limbo. We went to Mr Bull’s for breakfast again and the Bo Ne really is so tasty – it’s probably the best breakfast in Dong Hoi.

Back at The Nest Hotel we packed and got ready to check out, I double checked that my passport still hadn’t turned up then I decided that going back to Phong Nha was the best option, staying in Dong Hoi was costing too much. We now needed to restock up on provisions as the fridge and cupboards were a lot emptier than usual, due to our planned going away! I messaged Bich to check if there was a shopping trip that we could join that afternoon and if not we were going to go shopping by ourselves. Ben replied to say the Phong Nha Farmstay were on their way to Dong Hoi for lunch and shopping and we arranged to meet them at 7th Heaven, one of my favourite restaurants. Captain Caveman ordered a cheese pide, I ordered pork fried rice, the others ordered pizza, chilli con carne, chicken schnitzel (with mashed potatoes and vegetables), beef salad, chicken wings and chips. There was a new dessert to try which we were given 4 to share for free and it was really good. Tham, the owner was there and we chatted to her and I told her we had stayed at The Nest Hotel to try it out. While we were sat at the table Captain Caveman went on his phone to book a flight to Saigon, he had decided he would leave later today. After paying the bill and grabbing our bags we got in the car to go to our first shop of the day, the An Nong organic shop.

I was so excited to buy more cherries at the Organic shop on Wednesday 26th May and, if I wasn’t able to go on holiday, I was also treating myself to some prawns! Captain Caveman was still with me at this point, as I added cherries to the shopping basket and I would have got more fruit but the whole shop reeked of durian and I had to get out. Our next stop was the VinMart which we had requested because I also needed the Medicare shop. Unfortunately I had a bad stomach, probably because I had a piece of Captain Caveman’s pide and a spoonful of the dessert at lunch, so I left Captain Caveman in the supermarket to go to the toilet. When I came back he hadn’t bought anything from my shopping list because he was off to Saigon tonight and also hoped I would be following him, tomorrow. I did manage to find tampons in the Medicare shop, it’s a really difficult product to get in Dong Hoi and impossible in Phong Nha. At 72,000vnd for a box of the 16 regular sport variety they aren’t cheap but they are essential. I also needed rehydration tablets so got the multivitamin versions which were 44,000vnd for a tube of 20.

Back outside, the Farmstay family were sitting out by the Vinpearl Hotel having coffees so Captain Caveman sat with them and joined in, while I helped the youngest read the shop names on the big sign! I wasn’t too sure about Captain Caveman going to Saigon without me, especially if the Corona case numbers meant more lockdowns but I could understand why he wanted to. Captain Caveman mumbled something about running some work errands while he was in Dong Hoi so he gave me a quick peck on the lips and we said bye.

I was cheesed off, to say the least, at leaving Dong Hoi without my passport, so I tried to have a nap on the way back to Phong Nha. On reflection I don’t know what I was most upset about; the potential losing of my passport, Captain Caveman going on holiday without me or me missing out on the best Indian food in Saigon that night. By 4pm I had unpacked my bag, at 4.02pm I got a message from the visa agent to say that my passport had arrived in Dong Hoi this afternoon. At 4.17pm she had got the passport and I was online trying to book a flight to Saigon. I wouldn’t make it back to Dong Hoi airport in time for the 5.45pm one but there was an 8pm one, although I didn’t know if I could get a taxi organised in time. That flight was unavailable and so Captain Caveman booked me an alternative, 6.55pm tomorrow. I was so excited, at last I would get to meet up with friends, some of who were leaving Vietnam next month, eat some great food and buy another bra (which was lucky as I’d already had to throw 2 away recently).
By 7pm I’d organised to go to get my passport earlier than required tomorrow so I definitely had it in plenty of time for the flight. By 8pm Captain Caveman had reassured me that despite the concerning news of an increase in Corona cases all seemed pretty normal in Saigon, taxis were running and he could go out for dinner – he’d even booked us a nice riverside apartment and told me to bring an umbrella (it is rainy season down South). 

Feeling super happy and relieved I went downstairs to slice the bread that had arrived while we had been in Dong Hoi. I had all of the cherries and half of the blueberries with cashew nuts and walnuts for dinner then went to bed, so much happier. I was disappointed we wouldn’t be able to go to Tam Hai but we would still get a nice city break and would go once we could enjoy more than a couple of nights there. Captain Caveman sent me a message to say he had booked us a table at Baba’s Kitchen for when I arrived off the plane and to go straight there tomorrow night at 9pm.

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