Day 71: Christmas Day

IT’S CHRISTMAS! Or in our case December 25th. To try and get in the mood for the most festive day of the year Sarah and I put on the movie “The Grinch.” We managed to get about half way through it, before Sarah was overwhelmed with homesickness again and grew restless. With that, the pair of us got out of bed, had a shower and went for breakfast at our hotel. It was around 11am by the time we were ready, so I guess you could say we had brunch more than anything, it was reasonable food for a reasonable price. During breakfast we were sending messages back and forth to Jamie. He agreed he’d walk to ours to meet us this time. After we ate, I bought a cornetto ice cream, seeing as Sarah had no presents to unwrap I allowed her to unwrap that (spoil her don’t I!). We then explored the grounds of our hotel. We discovered they had two annoying birds which mimicked sounds, another pool out the back and a view which looked out onto the sea. While we were admiring the crushing waves, both Jamie and Jasmine came out the back and surprised us. The four of us then decided to hire out bikes and go for a ride.

It wasn’t badly priced, costing us 60,000 dong for a whole 24 hours use. We then had a choice of several different bikes. Sarah and Jamie were fortunate to get the two yellow mountain bikes, and Jasmine and I had to settle for the cruiser style ones. Our main ambition for the day was to find the beach, because of the waves coming in very quickly it meant certain parts were under water. We rode for at least ten minutes until we found a side path which looked promising. Jasmine and I struggled to ride on the sands because of our bikes having road tyres. Fortunately the path led nowhere and we were forced to return to the road. Five minutes later we came across an expensive looking resort, around the other side of it was the beach. Apparently it was ok for us to park up our bikes and walk through (I base that on the fact nobody stopped us).

The resort was lovely (and we later found out it cost £65 a night) containing its own well stocked gym, a spa, a decent sized pool, a minibar near the beach, and sun loungers looking out onto the sands. We spent the majority of the day there, soaking up the sun, the highlight being when we gave the bar staff some loose English change to keep. We don’t think they’d probably seen it before, so it was nice to give them an alien object like that. It was funny to watch the boy and girl argue over who would have what coins. I tried my best to exercise by going for a run on the beach, but I found it hard to keep my shorts up (because of the weight loss I’ve sustained) and also to avoid the rubbish that kept washing up in the tide. In the end I just splashed about in the sea, constantly paranoid a shark was going to get me. The sun was beginning to set before we left, with that out came tens of little crabs. They were all lightning quick, darting back into their sand holes or burying themselves whenever they felt us coming near. One wasn’t so quick however and using a piece of plant leaf I tested the strength of its grip. Even though it was tiny, and its claws were small and transparent, the little blighter was really strong. In the end it buried itself under the sand and we left the resort to return our bikes.

After putting the bikes away, the four of us decided to go for a drink at a nearby bar. During the walk we discovered there was a public gym people could use at their leisure. By now I had given up any hope of gaining back my size, so instead I kept walking (plus, all the people in there weren’t wearing any tops, and after last time I wouldn’t want to use a sweaty bench). We returned to the Funky Bar Sarah and I visited the day before. From there we enjoyed the sunsetting behind the mountain in the distance. When we were done, we all parted ways to get ready for the night ahead. Sarah and I returned to our room, got ready and began walking back towards Jamie and Jasmine’s hostel. The whole while we were looking out for a taxi, but to our disappointment not even one stopped. By the time any showed interest we were pretty much on their doorstep. Jamie was already outside waiting, it was quite a funny sight to see as everyone was Skyping their families on their devices, including Jasmine. We didn’t have to wait long before the four of us set off to find a place called Mia Resort (this was the rebranded title of the Sailing Club) which contained their Sandals restaurant and was open to all-comers for a meal or a drink.

When we arrived we were asked if we had a reservation, as they were extremely busy given the day it was. Luckily, they found us a table and we were allowed to order food and drink. Although it was very busy, throughout the whole of our meal not that many tables filled around us. We were only given one menu to share, after all having had a look we came to the same decision, all the food looked too good to select just one plate. We managed to whittle it down in the end and all selected a westernised dish. It took a while to arrive but was worth the wait as it was all delicious. Then came the ordering of desserts, Sarah and Jasmine had to share one as they were too full to manage one each. The second round was even better than the first, and when we finished I was the only one not feeling completely stuffed. We remained around the table for a little while exchanging funny stories, mostly on Jamie’s part (if he was a Mr.Man he would be Mr Bump with the amount of accidents he’s had). Before leaving, we had a quick nose around the grounds. The place was astonishing, definitely worthy of a five star rating, if you wanted to stay it would cost you £80 a night. After playing with the sands on their privately owned beach, we hit the road in an attempt to burn off what we had eaten.

The journey back from the restaurant appeared quicker by foot than when we arrived by taxi, even with the quick shop stop we made en route. When we arrived at Jasmine and Jamie’s hostel we said our goodbyes and continued up the road to our own hotel. Again, we struggled to get a taxi, I guess that served us right for not accepting one of the many that badgered us when we left the restaurant. Eventually one stopped and took us the remaining kilometre up the road. After paying the man we made our way to the pool so Sarah could Skype her family back home, during which time I fell asleep on a sun lounger. Due to having a full belly Sarah wasn’t even jealous of her families home cooked Christmas dinner. After seeing what presents everyone got and their smiley faces, we returned to the room where we saw off Christmas with an episode of Dexter.

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