I wasn’t hungry when I got up on Thursday 15th July but I was aware that there were quite a few things that I still needed to eat up out of the fridge before starting on the new stuff. I had to salvage pieces of banana from the 3 blackish ones for my pancake and, because the housekeeping staff were in our room, I decided to roast the jackfruit seeds. Once they were cooked I began the laborious task of peeling them while Veronika sat down opposite me with a cup of tea and watched the process. I gave her some to try, she liked them and I put some in a jar for the Elements Collection staff to eat, I froze the rest to put in a curry another day. The housekeeping staff took almost 2 hours (they are very thorough and do a great job) and so I sat drinking jasmine tea with the fan on, Veronika went to the Phong Nha Farmstay for her coffee fix. I had an amazing lunch, the leftover BBQ jackfruit, which I reheated in the slow cooker, served on a baguette with shredded red and white cabbage, carrot and gherkins – it tasted much better than the last time we had it too.

I was having a cold beer by the pool, I didn’t go in because of my eczema, when Veronika came to tell me that tonight’s pick up would be earlier if I wanted to go for fish and chips at The Villas at 5.10pm – not one to miss out on a Happy Hour I got ready for an early bar. My current visa had expired 6 days ago and I hadn’t heard to say if my passport was back in Phong Nha yet so I decided to see if I could pick it up from The Villas, if it was back. You need good patience here because it just so happened that it was already at the Phong Nha Farmstay reception but I’d not been told – I was a bit more chilled out than previous passport encounters and said I’d pick it up tomorrow, happy to have got it back in a week this time. Ben was taking the Phong Nha Farmstay guests’ kids stand up paddle boarding before dinner, hence the early pick up and when we arrived I bumped in to Moon from Funny Monkeys. She was doing her delivery rounds of cookies made at Bella Cafe, within Funny Monkeys. A dishevelled Stu came out to collect 2 big jars and had just woke up and had hardly had time to put his shirt on before Moon was taking his photo and calling him handsome as she buttoned his shirt. Veronika had been interested in buying some cookies for some time so she arranged to walk and get some this evening when Moon was back from her deliveries. These cookies really were going down a storm and were a popular addition to the treats we can get in the town now. I sat in the Aircon at The Villas with a margarita and did some blogging as I had the whole room to myself. One of the cavers told me that he and Tatas had got back from their cave trip earlier than planned so I messaged her to say to come for a drink. When Tatas arrived Happy Hour had finished but she still had a couple of margaritas. Stu came to join us while I had fish and chips and the food took a bit longer than usual to come because of all the guests at The Villas tonight – I didn’t mind as it was good to see it busy again.

Photo credit – The Villas restaurant

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