Friday 29th July was a very long but great day! The loudspeaker outside our home was back with a vengeance, on loud at 5.15am, and was playing dramatic music. I went out in to the living area to see if I could see any kind of reason why it may be on, but found no clues. There was a lovely sunrise and I went in to the spare room to have a closer look. Oddly, 2 medium sized pillows had been removed from the spare bed but I wasn’t sure why and could only deduce that the housekeeping staff had ‘borrowed’ them.
Captain Caveman had his medical in Dong Hoi in the morning, hence why we had returned home when we did. He drove over to Oxalis, where he was told he would be leaving by car at 8am. Obviously this is Vietnam, where things rarely happen when they should, so by 10am he was on his way back home. No one had thought to let Captain Caveman know, but the trip to Dong Hoi had been moved to 1pm instead. He didn’t seem too cheesed off by that, I’d have been annoyed.
As it was Friday I took my measurements and was pleasantly surprised;
Bust no change,
Waist -3cm,
Hips -2cm,
Right Thigh -0.5cm,
Left Thigh no change,
Right calf -1.5cm,
Left calf -1cm.
It did mean that I was back to having a difference in my good and bad leg measurements but only by 0.5cm. Even more shocking was that The Villas’ Friday Pizza Night was cancelled for this evening, we were looking forward to going but they were on hold for the time being.
When Captain Caveman got back home we had an early lunch of chicken and vegetables. The car was due to pick Captain Caveman up at 1pm from Elements to drive to Dong Hoi. I got on with some Turkish practice while he was gone but the heat was making it difficult to concentrate, the AC was struggling to keep the room cool too – it was 35.5°C when it was set to 26°C! Captain Caveman did his medical and then got to call at the supermarket. When he got back he had some much needed provisions and I was pleased he would have more time off in August to eat food at home.
What I didn’t realise, though, was that I had just 20 minutes to get ready because we were off to a party!

Darren, another cave expert with Oxalis, was leaving and we had both been invited to his farewell party at Oxalis Home, on Friday 29th July. Captain Caveman and Darren do the same job and get along very well. He was planning on being back in Phong Nha to work again from April but I was concerned this would mean Captain Caveman would be very busy in February and March of 2023, when he wanted me to be back in Phong Nha!
Captain Caveman was the designated driver so we agreed he could have a couple of shandies and I could have a few more. We got there a little bit after the start time of 6pm and Captain Caveman was miffed that it took me too long to get ready. There were quite a few friends and colleagues who I knew and Oxalis had put on a lovely spread with lots of different dishes. I particularly enjoyed the homemade chips, eggplant with soy sauce & garlic plus the barbecue pork. Everyone was going to miss Darren and I think he had a good send off. We said our goodbyes and went home on Trigger, thinking that was the end of the evening. Just before 9pm Captain Caveman was in the pool with a beer and 10 minutes later I was in there too. We had a right old lark about but by 11.30pm we were drying off and enjoying a Ron Zacapa rum, one of my absolute favourite rums.

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