It is nearly 2am and struggling through the 'To-do' list but I believe working on a tight deadline is part of the fun.
And no, the Ethiopians did not come to the party. In fact, they are having a party because they are closed for some obscure bank holiday back home for the REST OF THE WEEK! So, our idea to leave Saturday to go via Botswana to Livingstone and beyond, got sunk. TIA. This is Africa. Plan B: head straight up for Joburg, and hopefully get there by Sunday and Monday first thing be at the Ethiopian embassy and throttle it out of them. Originally they said we can get it at the border. They handed thus the passport back to our couriers but when I called a day later as a little voice in my mind told me to double check this info, it was confirmed we MUST get it before leaving SA. Imagine us arriving at the border and then had to turn back over an 600km road which is apparently the worst on the entire trip to courier our passports from Nairobi back to SA. So, all in all, better driving via Joburg and the latter option.
Today started off running - trying to pay for my vehicle license for next year otherwise I will have a fine upon return if it was not done.
Fixing a few things at the house before moving out as the first summer tenants are arriving in less than 6 hours from now.
Getting my computer systems in place as my trusted Apple Mac will stay behind (hope it forgives me) and a little Samsung notebook will join me onwards.
Also struggled to get our return flight booked. Tried to get a free ticket with my Voyager Miles, but there is a catch: still have to pay R3500 airport taxes!!! But she told me: buy a ticket for R7900 and get more miles. Yeah right, get more miles but can't use them because I can't afford the airport taxes. Lo and behold, checked with Emirates and got it eventually for R4300 INCLUDING R150 airport taxes. Makes you think about this whole 'Miles-loyalty system' hey?!? Anyway, return flight booked for 5 March 2011 via Dubai from Milan. Not sure if I should have done it from Rome, but thought that as we will be leaving the vehicle close to Milan at the docks, we might as well use Milan as base and explore Italy and always return.
Got a book from Kingsley Holgate - Cape to Cairo - and will give it to Dad as he enjoys reading adventures of people through the continent. It is due to him I believe that my spirit of adventure was awakened since birth practically. Was told that I was only 2 when Dad took us to Victoria Falls, 12 when going to Malawi and 18 on a safari in Botswana. Not to mention 5 glorious years on a farm in the Kalahari.
My neighbour, Trevor, stopped me in the road today very excited and told me about a great thing to take along. A beautiful designed crate for 6 bottles of Syrah 2006 called 'Cape to Cairo'! So, will take this along and hand it out to some people I already promised some vino along the way. Might 'oil' the odd difficult border crossing to make it a bit smoother...
Tomorrow, sorry later this morning, will need to get our Italian Schengen visa - hopefully my connection there will help to make this a smooth operation. Then still need to buy some hiking boots and a few other items.
Only a 2 more days...