This was the day that I should have left Vietnam but because of the nice immigration man I was told I could stay for 1 more month. I’d not heard anything further since my request to do the visa extension without the flight booking I had been asked for. I decided not to bother asking as I was at the point now that if the passport got returned without the extension, or less days than I’d been promised, I would just leave – In some ways it would have been better to leave today, in others it would not have been so easy. 
Today was also Captain Caveman’s first day in his new role at Oxalis as the Safety trainer for the Tour Guides, he’d done some planning over the weekend and was really looking forward to it. I had buttered toast for breakfast and 3 mangosteen while checking the Corona data. Our province, Quang Binh, had 47 positive cases which was a little concerning and I read that Turkey was struggling to reach 70% fully vaccinated as cases reach 25,000 per day, more here:
By the time it got to 3pm I was rather peckish; I had steamed chicken, rice and sweetcorn all cooked together in the rice cooker which was a first for me to steam the chicken. I’m glad I did, as it tasted so healthy and fresh – I really enjoyed it and there was nothing to upset my weak stomach! At 3.30pm in our bedroom it was 29°C despite having the Aircon set at 25°C and I was just too warm, even the swimming pool was like bath water! Captain Caveman arrived back at 5pm in readiness for our Monday night out and this time it wasn’t for Curry Night at the Farmstay!!!

Often, in Phong Nha, Mondays have been our Saturdays and Monday 9th August was one of those times! Instead of cycling there, as was Captain Caveman’s preference, we decided to walk to the Lake House. We had made arrangements to have a few drinks and dinner with Tony and Tham who had reopened their hotel and restaurant at the weekend, after being closed for 2 weeks in accordance with the Corona guidelines. We also had an order of freshly baked bread and croissants to pick up so we could do it all at the same time. I forgot to time the walk there but I think it was about 20 minutes and mainly uphill so coming back would be easier. It was still hot and humid after 5.30pm and I arrived a sweaty mess, so much so that I had to have a wash in the toilets, just so that I could see. We had a refreshing iced lemon juice and I felt bad that Tony moved the massive fan on to us from his daughter, who was enjoying being sat in front of it. While Tham was busy doing stuff the 3 of us chatted about the construction industry over a couple of beers and some nicely made bruschetta style snacks. Tony decided to open a bottle of fancy wine which was from an area of Italy we love and it was absolutely amazing! Captain Caveman ordered chilli con carne for dinner and I had beef luk lak, both of which were so good that I completely forgot to take a photo, plus we were busy chatting and enjoying the Primitivo too much. Of course we had no will power to say no to a second bottle of wine, which went down well and we had a good laugh with Tony and Tham. It wasn’t too late when we went home but it was pitch black and I had the head torch in my hand while Captain Caveman carried the paper bags with bread and croissants in. It may be quiet in Phong Nha at the moment but we had really enjoyed an exciting Monday.

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