Sunday 19th September was one of those remarkably good days, it was my 25th day of #STFAH during the lockdowns and Captain Caveman made me the best breakfast ever! Beans on (Lake House sourdough) toast with Stu’s smoked bacon, it was so delicious and I had missed baked beans more than I ever thought I would. The number of Corona cases in our district were none and there were none in Dong Hoi. This was good news because tomorrow I was attempting to leave Quang Binh again; I had booked to have my PCR test at Medlatec in Dong Hoi, which I had booked on their Facebook page, I’d booked a taxi there and back with the Phong Nha Farmstay receptionist and I had also decided to combine it with an ‘essential’ shopping trip. Captain Caveman got on with writing a shopping list while I got the suitcases back out and had a repack. We knew, in order to leave Vietnam for Turkey, that I needed to have a flight out of Turkey before my free 3 months visa was expired there. Even though I fully intended to renew my expired residency in Turkey, the rules don’t allow for me to not have an onward flight out of Turkey booked, so Captain Caveman had a look for a cheap flight for me while I had a dip in the pool. Before we knew it we had found a flight, booked and even managed to get it within the dates of me having my 3rd and 4th vaccines in Turkey, assuming I will need them to get back in to Turkey and possibly to get in to the UK without quarantine, by then. So, I now had a flight booked from Istanbul to Heathrow which would land on Saturday 11th December at 4pm, how exciting that I would probably get to use it too. It was only £35 so a bit of a bargain and I could now go back to my home town for Christmas, even if I had to self isolate for 10 days down south first!

In the afternoon I still didn’t know if I was leaving or not, we would find out tomorrow, but we did decide to do something a bit naughty. Veronika had invited us over to say bye and drink some sparkling Lindeman’s white wine at her Jungalo Collection private pool villa, next to the Phong Nha Farmstay. Captain Caveman had already gone to Stu’s to pick up some ‘essential’ pork products while I took Veronika’s remaining box of kitchen stuff, in the jeep with Duyet. There was no longer a blockade between Elements and the Farmstay so it worked out ok, Captain Caveman was there to meet me and carry the box when I arrived. Veronika had hummus, roasted peppers, olives and rice crackers too for us to have with the chilled bubbly. We thought, if my plan comes off, it would be the last time I would see her for a while, so we ended up having 3 bottles of the fizz, Bich and Ben came over and they gave us pizza and calamari. It was the end of an era as I said my goodbyes and I was sad that we didn’t know when I would see them all again. I was also pretty tiddly and it probably wasn’t the best thing to do when I would perhaps be having the longest day in quite a while, tomorrow! In my head I was expecting that I would be still in Phong Nha for Christmas so it was all a bit unknown right now.

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