I spent most of Sunday 14th August hungover, wishing we didn’t have our own 100th birthday party to attend at 4pm! Captain Caveman had worked out that, because I would be in Dalyan, Turkey, on my actual 50th birthday, and his 50th had been last month, that we should have a joint party in Phong Nha, Vietnam. This would be our first celebration of 100 years but the intention was to have at least one more in Turkey and possibly something in England if we got the chance to go back there this winter. Captain Caveman had arranged for our party today to be at Karst Villas, where Hung (the owner) would have cold beers and nibbles ready for everyone. All our friends in Vietnam had been invited and Captain Caveman had chosen a Sunday so that it gave Oxalis staff the best chance of being able to come. Throughout the day we got various messages from people who were unable to attend and, quite frankly, I fancied declining the invite too! There was no way I could drink after last night’s (and this morning’s) antics.
As we set off, on Trigger, it looked like it might rain. We passed the Elements staff (including Duyet) who said they would see us at the party. We had got a few minutes down the road when a huge storm came and we had to take shelter at a stranger’s house. The lady got out her spare chairs and gave them to us to have a seat, we thought it would pass quickly but I think she knew it would be a while.
We arrived at our 100th birthday party at least half an hour late but luckily there was only Harry and Linh there that I instantly recognised. Captain Caveman’s friend Dat and her family were there and we were presented with the most gorgeous bunch of flowers. Cuong and his family was also there before us and we were introduced. Harry and Linh introduced us to their colleague, Chuc, and we had our first beer, to be sociable. Some of Captain Caveman’s Oxalis colleagues arrived and we had to have more beer to do cheers with. Stu, Max and Jack arrived and Stu was absolutely wasted so he didn’t stay long. René stopped by for a few beers and then had to get home, while Caroline had still not surfaced from her room (at the Karst Villas). Andrew, Trang and their son came and people started to ask what we had done with Caroline. Bom and Quet arrived looking dapper and drinking only water (lucky them) and joined Mr Tu, Minh and his 2 young sons, who were so well behaved and polite. Last, but certainly not least, to arrive was Kat who had come from Hanoi. She came with a gift of the gluten free tiramisu sweet treats, which I love!
Unfortunately Tatas, Chung, Uy, Phuong (all of them), had to work and one friend had the Corona virus so didn’t come. I also think the rain earlier had put a few people off coming.
I’d planned on not drinking but it was proving impossible, Captain Caveman sure was taking the cold beers for the team by the time Benjamin and his caving budding, Carolina, arrived. He updated us that he had left yesterday’s pool party at midnight. He knew he had to be ready this morning for his trip but he’d had to come back this morning to get his shoes! Eventually Caroline surfaced with Vee but was unable to stomach a beer and we were ready to say goodbye by that time.
After a few celebratory shots (thanks to Kat), we got a taxi home with Benjamin and dropped Carolina off on the way. This time we all went home to our own villas – I was desperate for my bed!

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