Sunday 3rd July was going to be my last day in Phong Nha for a little while. I was off to Singapore and back because of the visa situation and I wish I’d had more sleep last night! I had Frosties for breakfast and packed my rucksack, I only had hand luggage allowance so I had to be careful what I took. I knew I might be sleeping in the airport so a pillow and a travel towel were the essentials taking room up in my bag. I also had a book, which Ben had given me to read, Burmese Days by George Orwell. For lunchtime I made myself a strawberry soda, just chicken and gerkins to eat and planned for a big meal tonight. Captain Caveman was due out of the cave this afternoon so I got out of the freezer what I thought was butter chicken curry from Baba’s Kitchen in Saigon. We had transported it 1,100km so it had better be good!
When Captain Caveman got home we had White Russians by the pool, he booked me a return flight from Singapore to Hanoi, which I didn’t check thoroughly enough. I would fly back in to Hanoi and Captain Caveman would come to join me 3 days later, taking the overnight train after he got out of the cave. This meant that, if all went according to plan, I would have 15 hours in Singapore and Captain Caveman had given me some screenshots of where to stay, how to get there and some spare dollars for any difficulties or emergencies.
After Captain Caveman had left for his next Oxalis briefing, he called to ask me to get his bank card out of the safe as something was the matter with the booking he had made. I think it was a sign that I should have rechecked my ticket but I didn’t, as Captain Caveman is usually perfectly capable of sorting these things out. Instead, I got busy completing my online form to enter Singapore and saving all my vaccine proof which was still needed. Captain Caveman returned and he got busy booking accommodation in Hanoi, and our flights back to Dong Hoi for the 10th July. I went to cook the butter chicken only to find it was Captain Caveman’s masaman chicken curry without any vegetables in it. There was nothing we could do about that now and I needed to eat something before my trip so we proceeded. Obviously he had put far too much chilli in it for me so I had to have 70:30 rice to curry ratio and stock up on imodium. We opened wine and decided we would plough on through until my car pick up at 2am tomorrow morning even though Captain Caveman had to be on tour. We opened a nice bottle of red which we’d bought for a bargain 154,000vnd (£5.55) in Dong Hoi and I popped on my ‘travelling in’ clothes.

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