Captain Caveman managed to stay in bed asleep later than 6.30am on Monday 19th July, which was nice. For breakfast we just had toast and it must have been a tad cooler today as the pumpkin soup I took out of the freezer took a few hours to defrost. In the news there was a report which showed that the Corona situation was still a concern in South East Asia, more info here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210719/it-s-not-time-yet-for-vietnam-to-live-with-covid19-singaporean-expert/62141.html
We spent some time in the swimming pool before and after lunch but my eczema on my face and ear was getting worse because of it. Captain Caveman went to the Lake House to collect our order of freshly baked bread and this time we were successful in getting 6 croissants – it was like Christmas! We got 2 sourdough loaves, 1 wholemeal loaf, 6 croissants and 2 (free) breadcakes for 390,000vnd (£12.90) – proper bread is expensive here, in Vietnam, but the chef at the Lake House is so good!
While we were waiting for our pick up to The Villas I spotted the newest member of the Elements Collection team, then remembered getting back last night from the Phong Nha Farmstay and having cuddles with the new puppy. He came to greet us but hadn’t worked out that the hose pipe he was chasing had some leaks with water squirting out and he was a bit wet – he was such a cute little thing too.
That evening we joined everyone for a trip to The Villas for curry night but on the bus were 2 new customers who didn’t wear a mask, even when Ben asked them to and offered to stop at the market to buy masks they didn’t – this was the first time I had witnessed people not wearing masks (something I would probably have to get used to once I left Vietnam). In the UK today it was the day they had eased the restrictions so that people could pretty much do as they pleased and it was almost 3 weeks since Turkey went back to ‘normal’, both of which made me nervous but not as nervous as the couple of no-mask strangers in front of us.
Captain Caveman and I sat outside and, although Veronika put all her stuff down to sit with us, she was her usual social butterfly flitting about the tables, guests and kids. It was the busiest I’d seen The Villas in a while and so Lan, the manager, came to let us know that the butter chicken tonight would be at least 40 minutes and we said we didn’t mind and ordered another cold beer each. By the time we did get our meals it was almost 2 hours since we arrived but we weren’t too bothered that we had been kept waiting. The curry was certainly worth the wait, it tasted really good and came with nan bread and steamed rice, we were even offered more bread but we didn’t need any as it was a good sized portion for 185,000vnd (£5.74). Veronika didn’t get any food at all and when she finally asked Lan if she would be getting her curry she was told there was only 1 small bowl left but it was already allocated to a customer who had ordered the chicken curry without the chicken! When The Villas staff did the rounds to apologise and let us know there was a delay somehow Veronika had not heard or been seated when this happened and was unaware of the issue. A few minutes later a small bowl of buttered chicken appeared in front of a hungry Veronika and we can only presume the fussy customer then had to be told that Ben’s mom had eaten her order. The owners and staff were visibly concerned that they had not been up to their usual excellent standards but considering that almost every western expat or customer in Phong Nha was at the restaurant at the same time tonight, we still enjoyed our night. At the time none of us knew that it could be our last curry, or even our last meal, at The Villas for a while – things were about to get a little more restrictive.

Photo credit – The Villas

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