Kaz and I were up early, we had heard about the notoriously long queues at the home office and were determined to be there before the doors opened. The early bird catches the worm so they say, but as we arrived at the office we realised these birds had gotten up a lot earlier than us. It was 7.50am and the queue was enormous, we followed it to the corner before realising the line disappeared further round the block, "this could take a while".As I settled in line, Kaz was sent on recon' to make sure we were in the right place. Our luck had finally changed, we were told we required a different floor and therefore could move to the front of the queue, and although we were so relieved we felt quite intimidated as the only white folk marching our way to the front of the line whilst 1000 beady eyes stared back at us. We were halted by security at the bottom of the stairs, he was counting down till the opening and I felt a bit like we were waiting for the doors to open at the packed Myers post Christmas sales back home. He counted down for us, "1 min, 30 sec, 10 sec, 1 sec, ok you can go up now". First in line as we had hoped, but when we arrived at the office there were no staff interested in serving us, it seemed the public service in Africa was even slower than general service (if that's possible). Maybe there's a reason why South Africans are paid such poor wages, or perhaps you get what you pay for, but the 2 black women behind the desk had little interest in serving us immediately. They chatted away sipped there coffee and eventually got round to us like we were some gross inconvenience to their social life. We were met with a steely reception, they could not understand our situation, informed us we were in serious trouble and told us there was little they could do unless we lived in PMB. We tried to explain that we didn't "live" anywhere in South Africa, we were in fact on holidays and this confused them even more (why else would we be after a replacement "holiday" visa). People lose their passports all the time, there must be a process to allow them to leave……………..too confusing, better call in the boss. The boss didn't want to speak to us, like many black South Africans we had come across in a position of power, he seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder and was set on trying to inconvenience us "white folk". So the confused, unhelpful black ladies tried to explain our situation, although what we overheard was nothing like the story we had given them. Eventually he'd had enough too, "follow me" and so we did down to the top dogs office. We sat there for 15mins, and meanwhile Kaz was starting to freak out, "can they throw us in jail"? Out came the big boss, a solid Afrikaaner. It may sound racist but we were so happy to see a white face. He sat down with us, confused by his staffs game of Chinese whispers, and listened to our story. The man was helpful, he explained that we potentially could have been in trouble, but with computer records up to date (quite uncommon) it was a minor issue that they dealt with regularly. They knew we were legally in the country and we could prove our identities so it was a simple process to re-issue the "lost" visa into our new passport. His subordinate was still confused and was trying his best to keep us there for days whilst he verified our story, but the boss deemed it unnecessary and sent us back upstairs to the unhelpful ladies. They weren't happy with the apparent ease of the solution, "what is your address in PMB" they demanded, being Thursday, and tomorrow Friday we were told we could hardly expect our visas to be issued before Monday. Luckily for us though, the big boss wandered in, confused as to why we were still there, "surely you can just stamp their passports now" he barked at them. It was at this point the ladies realised that they could not send us away without at least a temporary visa to show any authority who may ask, and with the big boss doing the rounds they were suddenly our best friends, quite bizarre really. 10 mins later, the problem had disappered, and the now overly cheerful lady sent us on our way as she scowled at the next white folk in line…………….. so much for the 3 day process we muttered to each other. We were out of there, it was 10am, plenty of time for a 3rd attempt on Sani pass but when we arrived back to the hotel we had another problem. By this time Susie had discovered someone had gone on a spending spree on her credit card and she would need to sort it out. We were starting to wonder, was this trip cursed?Susie and Bones needed some time to sort out there finances, so in the meantime Kaz and Ithought we take some time to chill. The weather was still unexcitable so a hot drink was in store, and we found a nice little café tucked away in the art gallery opposite the colonial town hall building. We enjoyed our tipple and had a brief wander around the gallery whilst waiting for the others. Surprisingly they had a couple of obscure Picasso's, but the highlight was the classic 19th century clock which played out a little scene complete with dancing children and a blacksmith hammering away, as it chimed on the hour. It reminded me of the glockenspiel in Munichs town square, it was really quite impressive, especially given its age. We met back with Bones and Susie to devise a new plan. It was nearing Midday and Kaz and I were keen for another onslaught on the Sani Pass. We had all been looking forward to the Lesotho part of the trip effectively lost just over a day. Kaz and I believed we could still make it in plenty of time, and also did not want to be responsible for us all missing this part of the journey, but by now Paul and Susie had lost their desire to tackle it at this time and a new plan was hatched to head North through the Zulu battlefields en-route to Swaziland.