I’d mentioned to Captain Caveman that the weather forecast had predicted heavy rain and thunderstorms on the morning of Saturday 12th June but he cycled in to Phong Nha regardless, believing it wouldn’t rain. Veronika must have thought the same thing as she also had already decided to cycle to The Villas so she could retrieve her motorbike, left there from yesterday. I had some bread and a banana for breakfast and watched the rain come.
Vietnam had now surpassed 10,000 Corona cases in total since Jan 2020, and people were getting more concerned about this 4th wave causing more potential lockdowns. Info here:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/972684/covid-caseload-tops-10000.html
I still felt safer here as I read an article showing why Vietnam is doing better than a lot of other countries:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/vietnam-has-much-lower-levels-of-viral-transmission-due-to-greater-levels-of-government-and-public-vigilance/
I checked again about my passport and it was confirmed it would be collected from Dong Hoi on Monday, so I probably should stop worrying – there’s just something very unnerving about not actually having your passport.
When Captain Caveman arrived home, soaked to the skin, I put a towel and a bathrobe in the downstairs bathroom for him and he tried to find a bucket to fill to wash his bicycle, there was still no signs of Veronika. Captain Caveman and I teamed up to make a chicken salad for lunch which I had with jasmine tea and he had a gin and tonic. The rain stopped and it even started to fine up enough for Veronika to drive home later, having been at The Villas all day. I had a couple of rum and diet cokes and some cashew nuts from Funny Monkey’s (they are much better than the ones in the shops). For dinner Captain Caveman made a kind of gluten free macaroni cheese with bacon and spinach as we embarked on testing my potential dairy/lactose intolerance. The food didn’t look too great because of the macaroni being made from white rice but it tasted amazing. Unfortunately, the conclusion was that I definitely could not tolerate the cheddar cheese. We agreed from now on I would continue eating small amounts of gluten but no lactose and see what happens!

Sunday 13th June started with Captain Caveman making me breakfast in bed. I was pleased to get brought a bacon and mushroom toasted sandwich with brown sauce but when I bit in to it I could taste butter – I never have butter on sandwiches but as I was meant to be cutting out dairy it meant I’d failed at the first meal. Captain Caveman realised he’d cooked the mushrooms in butter by mistake and I suspected this is the kind of thing that is happening to me whenever I eat out as I never thought of people cooking with butter, which they do. I read in the news that reports of fully vaccinated staff at a hospital in Saigon were positive, but mostly asymptomatic (as you might expect), more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210613/coronavirus-hits-employees-at-covid19-treatment-hospital-in-ho-chi-minh-city/61475.html
Captain Caveman decided we were off on a bicycle ride and I had to be ready to go straight away, he had a trip out planned and was off to pump up Bluey’s tyres. It had been a while since I’d taken Bluey out because it had been too hot for me so she needed her cobwebs dusting off and plenty of air. Captain Caveman set off and I pushed Bluey out of the gate only to see she had a flat tyre again. Captain Caveman came back and sorted her out and the sun was starting to come out already. We cycled towards the Phong Nha Farmstay but kept going past until I was in to uncharted territory, we were off to see Andrew and Chung Son at their house, which I’d never been to before. I’d asked Captain Caveman if there were any hills and of course he had said not, but there was a big one which I had to get off and push Bluey up. I was tired and had to walk slowly as I passed a lorry with a brick delivery on. The one way journey took me 20 minutes and 4 seconds for both cycling and walking. When we arrived I was a sweaty mess but luckily Andrew had some iced green tea available, he served it to us in massive glass jars which I thought was a great idea (I might steal that idea). We sat on the front step and admired the views around and they certainly live in a very nice rural area with friendly farmer neighbours. When we cycled back I forgot to start my stopwatch but I think we did it 4 minutes quicker and I even dared to cycle down the steep hill, definitely testing Bluey’s brakes! From the Farmstay back to our place I did time it and we did a leisurely 10 minutes 25 seconds, not including the stopping for a snake. I spotted the cute little snake just slithering along the road and shouted snake (as is the protocol) so that Captain Caveman would stop, I had to stop, otherwise I would have run it over. He followed it to get some photos and it was a bit too quick for a video. He later got it identified as a buff striped keelback which is harmless so I’m glad we watched it go off in to the grass.

Back home I had a fruity lunch of 1 banana, 2 mangosteen and half a dragon fruit with some walnuts before getting in the much cooler pool for a dip. The housekeeping staff came to clean the room while I sipped gin and pink grapefruit on a sun-lounger feeling rather privileged.
As we were trying our best to cut back on spending while Captain Caveman had less/no work, we had to forgo the Farmstay Sunday Roast dinner tonight and instead we made a chicken dinner together at home for less than a sixth of the price. I doubled up on the roasting of the potatoes, onion and garlic, in Veronika’s three-legged oven which I’d recently found out works quite well, so that Captain Caveman could make a Spanish omelette with the spare. It was still a lovely dinner and although I was missing having wine whenever I felt like it, I was definitely having less calories so hopefully I would be seeing the benefits this week! I wouldn’t have been able to have a Farmstay dessert anyway because of the avoiding of dairy so we were happy to make the sacrifice.

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