Monday 12th July was a bit different to my usual days of late and I did a few new things for a Monday, too. Tatas had stayed over at Elements Collection and I wasn’t at all surprised when her alarm went off at 6am, as it always does! She doesn’t even wake up and turn it off but just keeps on snoozing it! So my day started off feeling very tired and I offered to either go for breakfast at the Farmstay with Tatas or make pancakes with bananas and honey for us both. Tatas wanted to go to Funny Monkeys for coffee so I decided I would get a lift to Phong Nha with her and go there for breakfast as I’d not visited there for such a long time – it would be nice to have some time in the Phong Nha town area for a change. I decided to have a peach tea which was delicious (in fact I had 2) and we joined an American guest, Leonard, who was in the wars a bit with an injured shoulder but was enjoying a milk tea. For breakfast Tatas and I ordered a bowl of the pork and prawn rice noodle soup which I really enjoyed. We were joined by Ngày, Ly Ly and Moon for a bit and Leonard was making us laugh as well as telling me interesting stories, so much so it was past midday when I got round to leaving for my next (small) adventure. I decided to walk (in the hellish heat) from Funny Monkeys to The Villas, it’s not far but I was carrying my helmet as well as a bag, there was very little shade and there was zero breeze.

When I arrived a hot sweaty mess I went to sit down outside with Veronika but Hien, the waitress, took my temperature and suggested inside with the Aircon might be better for me – she probably thought I’d put customers off looking so pink!  For lunch I decided to have a Margherita pizza and a lemon juice of which I managed to eat 5 delicious slices of and put the rest in a takeaway box for later. The Villas closes at 2pm and reopens at 4.30pm so I had intended on leaving my motorbike helmet, my bag and the Naturals crisps I had bought, while I took a walk but the manager, Lan, said I could stay there until the afternoon staff came back, so I did. I wrote up a bit of blog preparation and learned some Turkish on Duolingo. Captain Caveman had returned from Son Doong and was coming to meet me for Happy Hour and a Half at 4.30pm. When he arrived he snaffled the remaining 3 slices of my pizza and we turned it into Margarita Monday.

He got picked up for his gala dinner around 6pm and I carried on with the cocktails until it was time to try The Villas’ curry night. I was joined by Stu, Max and Jack for butter chicken, steamed rice and naan bread and was very pleasantly surprised. I’d not had a buttered chicken since the closing of Namaste and Raj leaving back in September 2020 so I was happy – it tasted really good. I got a lift back with Ben and Bich quite early so Captain Caveman missed getting a lift with us and went to a leaving party at Dangerous Corner with Tatas after his gala dinner. It was 11.30pm almost when he came in, quite worse for wear.

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