I still had 10 days left on my Vietnamese visa on Tuesday 16th August but there were certainly signs that my stay was now coming to an end. Captain Caveman went to Oxalis while I had my usual teacake loaf for breakfast, then he went to the Glass House to get me a suitcase and drove it back on his motorbike. I already had the suitcase, which I had borrowed from my parents, but Captain Caveman wanted me to utilise the whole of my 25kg allowance, so I needed a bigger case. He would bring back 2 cases, including my parents’ one as he had a bigger allowance than me. Captain Caveman had picked up the sausages from Viet Ha so he made me a 2nd breakfast. It was lovely too and I was impressed with the sausages. I also ordered some strawberries but they would be available to pick up tomorrow.
Just before lunch time the cleaners came and stripped the spare bed down to everything except for the mattress protector and took all the remaining towels. I thought they were going to replace them but maybe because of the rain, and the Dong Hoi bedding woman saga, they didn’t have enough to cover both rooms. Captain Caveman had invited Stu and the boys round for beers, dinner and a dip in the pool so they arrived at 5pm. Caroline had already drove over and we had some pool beers.
It was a fun evening for us and we carried on drinking and swimming, even after everyone had gone home and the spaghetti bolognese had been eaten.

Wednesday 17th August was super exciting and I was sworn to secrecy about most of it! You will find out more about the secret shenanigans eventually but, for now, I have to keep it under my hat. What I can tell you is that Captain Caveman and I took Trigger, the motorbike, in to Phong Nha to meet Tatas at Coffee Station. She had missed out on enough fun and celebrations already, due to being underground, so she was keen to meet up. While Captain Caveman went to Oxalis, she and I caught up and ate an English style breakfast with smoothies (and coffee for her). She had enjoyed her last Son Doong tour of the season and one of her guests was Turkish, I suggested I could meet him but she didn’t seem keen. In fact, after our meeting, she was off to meet her tour group for lunch and drinks at Len Con Peak but I didn’t get an invite.
Stu and the kids arrived, with friends, as we were eating breakfast and we said hello. They ordered breakfast, then Captain Caveman arrived and he had coconut coffee and a mango smoothie. I made the mistake of ordering a second mango smoothie and then had a terrible stomach, due to too much fibre at once. Caroline arrived shortly after, as we had arranged to meet her for a ‘secret squirrel’ mission. She had failed to realise that the intended plans could not include taking Vee, the dog, so she had to go back to drop her off.
Our secret mission involved Captain Caveman driving us both in to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park on Trigger, who really struggled on the steep hills but we managed it. Captain Caveman, Caroline and I spent the morning in the national park then met Harry, Linh and Chuc for a cold drink at the Botanical Gardens before riding back in to town.
Our strawberry delivery had arrived so we called at Phong Nha Vegan to collect them from Chung. I was peckish and suggested we go to The Pork Shop for a Banh Mi so we met back there for a late lunch.
While eating, Captain Caveman got a call from work saying that he had to go to Dong Hoi for a police check. I, luckily, had Caroline there to give me a ride home on her Royal Enfield motorbike and I had my own helmet with me already. It’s a really nice bike and so comfortable, Caroline rides it well too. Back at mine it seemed really warm as I said bye and arranged to meet for beers at ours later.
It turned out that there was a bit of a to do with Captain Caveman’s paperwork which resulted in him having to go straight to his briefing instead of coming home to join me for a swim. It did work out well for me and my mom though, as he had time to nip to the phone shop to get my mom a new phone. By 4pm it was raining in Phong Nha and I wondered what I might have for dinner. I had a makeshift beans on toast but then had a bad stomach again.
Captain Caveman was late home after his briefing so we cancelled the beers with Caroline. Although Captain Caveman would be in Son Doong tomorrow, Tatas had a rare day off and I was looking forward to doing something with her.

Captain Caveman brought me a pot of Yorkshire tea in bed, before 7am on Thursday 18th August. He left for his last Son Doong trip of the season and would be back on Sunday. I was looking forward to having Tatas and Caroline round for an afternoon in the pool with some beers.
I made myself some chicken fried rice for brunch and got through all my tasks so that I would be free for frivolities later.
Captain Caveman called me from the village on his way to Son Doong to ask me to ride Bluey from Elements to the Glass House. This was a distance of 13.5km and the heat was too much for me to do this, but he said if I didn’t do it, it would only be another job for him to have to do when I left. I decided to wait until a cooler day, or maybe even cycle to an event in Phong Nha tomorrow evening, after the sun had gone down!
Tatas was the first to cancel this afternoon’s plans because she had to go to Dong Hoi at lunch time. At first she said she would come to mine on the way back but then said she wouldn’t have time as she needed to tidy her room and pack for her next trip tomorrow. Caroline was next to cancel when she found out she had to be back in Hoi An earlier than expected. She decided to spend her last night, tonight, at Ho Khanh’s Homestay but did invite both Tatas and I over there instead. I wasn’t fancying getting a taxi there and back so I declined. Tatas didn’t answer any texts to ask if she wanted to go to meet Caroline, which was nearer to her house than mine. My afternoon involved watching Trainwreck on Netflix, a documentary about a Woodstock style festival in 1999 which gets completely out of hand. That evening I chilled out and had French onion soup for dinner.

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