My intention was to ride Bluey up to the Farmstay at 7am on Tuesday 2nd August. I’d arranged to have breakfast with Andrea, Nick and Lottie before they left to go to Hue. The rains yesterday had cleared the air and it looked like it was about to be very hot today. Duyet was waiting for me in the jeep and I remembered (drunkenly) saying to him last night “tôi đi Farmstay bảy giờ” which means “I go to Farmstay at seven o’clock”.
I was the first there, closely followed by Andrea, and Nick’s promise of a 6am swim had been forgotten. For breakfast I ordered a Pho Bo (beef noodle soup), Andrea chose omelette which comes with bread and the others had a sausage related breakfast with a big hash brown. It had been great to catch up with them and they were looking forward to a sightseeing trip, by private car, to Hue this morning. I sent recommendations through as well as the reminder of the Nook Eatery where Andrea had eaten with Captain Caveman before. We said our goodbyes and I hoped to see Andrea in Ho Chi Minh on my way back to Turkey, later in the month. I had to wait 30 minutes for Duyet because he was busy so I hung around the Farmstay bar, trying to keep out of the hot sun at 8am. I noticed a glass container which should be used for drinks being used as a fish tank – it was a bit random. I chatted to Bich who was looking forward to joining Ben and their friends on a 5 day motorbike trip up in the north of Vietnam.

Back home, I did a few chores and when it was a little cooler I did a bit of shade-bathing on the lounger by the pool, where I saw lots of dragon flies. For lunch I had fruit and teacake loaf and then had a swim. I got a message from my mate, back in Southampton, who was going to be in the Muğla province of Turkey, the same province as where I would be, at the end of August. I was so excited and we decided we would plan to meet up, as it turned out that we were both arriving at Dalaman airport on the same day which was a great coincidence.

In the evening I had been invited to another party but this time it was a sad occasion; Duyet was leaving on Friday and was having a party in the garage with the staff tonight. He had invited me to join them at 7.30pm and I had assumed it would just be for some beers. I had an early dinner of chicken and veg stir-fry with steamed rice then had a shower and got ready for a few drinks. When I went outside there was an abundance of drinks and food, all the staff were there including Duyet’s replacement, Quoc. The party was great and we had a good old laugh using Google translate, and they said how much they loved having me there. I told Duyet we would miss him and that we were sad that he was leaving. His plan was to go to work in either Hanoi or Saigon but it had not been finalised yet – none of us wanted him to leave but I tried to be understanding. The party turned out to be a good one and I even taught one of the housekeeping staff’s kid to dance to ‘Billy Jean’, by Michael Jackson. I managed 3 beers but Hien managed at least 5 and we all had a joke that she could almost drink as much as Captain Caveman. It was a lovely evening and the Elements Collection team showed so much generosity and kindness.

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