At 5.30am I was up and taking photos of the sunrise (my camera doesn’t do it justice) and I had pineapple pancakes and jasmine tea for my breakfast on Sunday 18th July while reading the news;
An announcement that Hanoi was to go in to lockdown too, more here:
https://vietnaminsider.vn/hanoi-tightens-covid-19-restrictions-as-vietnam-reaches-new-height-in-daily-infections/
This was hopefully not going to be a problem for a friend who was heading up there for a few days before his international flight, as well as another mate who was already there and would be stuck in his Hanoi hotel for another 9 days. This would be the airport I would leave from and so I would change my plans to stay less time in Hanoi and I’d take food with me so I didn’t have to go anywhere. The good thing about being British is we know how to queue but in Vietnam it is practically alien to do so, meaning the Corona situation worsens as people don’t understand not to crowd, more here: 
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210718/tens-of-thousands-leave-vietnams-southern-hubs-ahead-of-mass-covid19-social-distancing/62134.html
Captain Caveman had stayed at the Glass House last night and had taken himself off for a birthday breakfast of Eggs Benedict at The Villas on his journey back home. We had organised a birthday lunch for him at one of our favourite places and had invited some of his friends and colleagues.

We had took a chance to book a table at East Hill for BBQ chicken and beers from 11.30am – it gets busy on Sundays so we usually avoid weekends. Captain Caveman pumped up Bluey’s tyres for me and we cycled it there in about 10 minutes, being overtaken by Stu and Jack on the way. On arrival East Hill had very kindly reserved us a table and even had a sign with my name and the time on. We ordered 2 chicken combos when we arrived, we don’t preorder because often the Vietnamese contingent can arrive late and then the chicken has been snaffled already. Next to arrive were Colin, Watto, Howard and Deb who had impressively cycled it from Phong Nha, then Mark arrived and we all ordered cold drinks and waited for others to arrive. The Funny Monkey’s team arrived and brought Captain Caveman a gift of homemade cookies which was so lovely. BBQ chicken arrived, the cavers ordered 2 more and we all started on the first lot of food. Mr Nguyen was last to arrive, looking very smart and carrying 24 cans of beer – what a legend! More beers were had and some photos taken and I had the bright idea to order even more chicken, thinking that any latecomers would show up soon! It was a really good lunchtime treat and it was good to see so many people celebrate Captain Caveman’s birthday.

Having left East Hill after a wonderful lunch we arrived back at Elements Collection about 2pm. Thankfully Tatas had taken the beers on her motorbike as Captain Caveman has no basket and I would have struggled to carry them on Bluey. It was so hot that we got in the pool straight away, Tatas hadn’t brought her swimmers so sat in a deckchair in denim dungarees. We all had a beer and it was at this point that Captain Caveman revealed what had happened to Tatas’ carrot cake on Tuesday; he had taken it, in the seat of the motorbike but had decided to take it to Oxalis and gobble it down for his hungover breakfast then pretend it had been stolen from the bike! He confessed from the pool, Tatas and I were shocked especially as we had lots more cake at home!  Hien popped round and brought Captain Caveman a bottle of red wine, which was really lovely. Tatas and I ‘persuaded’ (it didn’t take much doing) Captain Caveman we should go to the Farmstay for a happy hour drink to finish off his birthday with the Farmstay family. We ended up having chicken quesadillas, pitta bread with dips and wine! A birthday cake was presented and we sang Happy Birthday to Captain Caveman before all having a piece of cake. When we got back home there was a tiny surprise which I had forgotten about until the next day.

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