After a fairly calm few days in Phong Nha, I was about ready for a bit of excitement on Saturday 13th August. The day started calmly but ended in what an onlooker may call wild debauchery!
By 9am I had finished my breakfast of toasted teacake loaf, orange juice and Yorkshire tea. I had taken 3 jars out of the freezer, as per Captain Caveman’s instructions before he went in to Son Doong, and I’d sent messages to friends about tomorrow’s party.
Caroline and Vee came to visit for lunch and we decided to have East Hill BBQ chicken. We had a beer while we waited for the delivery and then we went on to white wine with ice and soda with our lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool, having a good old laugh and drinking lots more wine (in plastic cups).

By 5.20pm we decided Caroline should borrow my more modest swimsuit and we should go for happy hour at the Farmstay. We were already pretty happy but Caroline wanted to meet Andrew and Trang there, so off we went in the jeep. We had a swim, several rum and cokes were had and we ordered pizzas. After a few more drinks we decided to go back to Elements as Captain Caveman was on his way back from his gala dinner. He’d got back late from his last tour so we hadn’t seen him this afternoon. We asked for a driver and the jeep to take us home. As we waited there was another guest waiting to go back to Elements so we shared the jeep ride back with him.

Captain Caveman was just going in to the house when Caroline, Vee and I arrived with our new friend, Benjamin. We had invited the young French man in for a gin and tonic and it was only around 8.30pm. The 4 of us had a couple of drinks and then decided to get in the pool, Benjamin popped back for his swimmers and made it clear he was not stopping long as he had a cave trip booked for tomorrow.
It was a great night which turned in to absolute drunkenness and shenanigans; Benjamin dropped his villa keys in the pool which lead to us telling him about the ‘keys in the fruit bowl’ meaning in England, there were competitions of who could tread water the highest out of the pool. We even put on Kate’s boat trip play list on Spotify, drank over a litre of gin and sang a lot – it was lucky that our only neighbour was in the pool with us! The ultimate competition was between a former submariner, Caroline, and a Caveman who finds it impossible to float – who could stay under water for the longest?
We don’t remember when Benjamin left and I’m sure that Captain Caveman and Caroline were still in the pool when the loudspeaker announcement started in the morning. Vee had managed a little snooze and I’d tried to go to bed at one point. By the time the pool party finished it was the next day and the sun seemed to be unsympathetically shining as Caroline had to call the owner of her hotel for a lift home.

Some photos by Caroline

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