22 November 2010
Start - Sasolburg
Sleep - Eduan & Enit (Arina's son and his wife)
Today is Visa Day. Left Sasolburg at 06h00 and tackled Johannesburg traffic. Thanks to good advice from my brother Adrie we did good time and 08h20 stopped at our first embassy, the Ethiopians. Asked them in a super sweet voice if they can help me the same day. Friendly assistant said yes, but we must give them 3 months' bank statements. Off we go to the closest bank and 45minutes in the queue, we are back at the Embassy. Then the assistant tells me I cannot pay cash and must deposit the money in the bank! Couldn't he not tell me this the last time!?! TIA. Back to the bank to deposit the visa fee. On the way back first stopped at a contact I got through a friend at the Southern Sudan Government office who arranged an appointment at the Sudan embassy the same day. Without his help, this process can involve a laborious struggle of invitation letters from people in Sudan and weeks of waiting. So, again in Africa anything is possible if you only know who to talk to.
Back at the Ethiopian Embassy, they finished the passports and off we go to Egypt. They gave us a visa for only two months from date of issue - which means it will expire before we get there! Arrived at 11h05, 5 minutes after closing time but the lady at reception was kind enough to let me through. I explained my predicament and with a flick of a pen, she changed the 1 of January to a 2 for February! Presto! Problem solved! TIA.
Off to the Sudanese. Again, it is all smooth sailing and we are expected and within half an hour all paperwork is done and told we might get it back today. At 16h30 got a call to say it is all done! 3 Visas in one day - Must be an all time record. Due to a small issue we had to sort out with the Landy at a local Landy agent, we could only pick it up tomorrow. Sweet.
The Vehicle: The landy has some small clutch issues, but a quick change of the slave cylinder seems to have sorted it out.
Sleep: Eduan & Enit
Collect our passports and did some last minute shopping. Came home and built in the inverter we got from the 4x4 club, attached with gas cylinder to the roof rack so it is out of the way inside the vehicle and a few other odds and ends. 4pm and we are as ready as ready can be.
Eduan and Enit prepared a beautiful chicken. Our last home cooked meal in the luxury of a home! Fantastic thunder during dinner with lots of lightening and rain. Only an indication of what is to come.
We are ready for Africa and tomorrow it is all systems go go go.