Visa’s… Day 29 – Papers, Tips and Bon Voyage

So the Afcon has been in full swing during the past few weeks in SA.

I have been following the game with quite some interrest. I am not what you would call a football fan but I loved the way the foreign nationals would come to life rooting for there home team. As you drive in the street of Johannesburg I saw Nigerians, Malians etc waving flags from there car windows and pressing the horn of there cars.

I also realised how many foreigners are currently in SA, the staduims were packed to the max. Most of the games sold out and at least we saw Bafana Bafana progress past the practice grounds.

I popped in the last week too pick up my passport from the Malian Embassy, but guess what, the embassy was closed. I struggled hard to fight back the feeling of nausea that overwhelmed me as I kept telling myself ” Jip, they have closed the embassy and you have just lost your passport and now you have to go back to Angola and reapply for your visa…”

I phoned up a restaurant close too the embassy on thursday morning to find out if the embassy has opened yet. I live 70km away so i didnt want to drive all the way there and waste my time. It was confirmed however that the embassy was still closed. I started making alternative arrangements to acquire the balance of my visa’s for the trip up the west coast.

My plan was to courier my second passport back to SA when I reach Ghana so that I could arrange the visa’s for East Africa while travelling through Europe. Well Friday morning came and I drove past the Malian Embassy and they were open. Sighs of relieve overwhelmed me as I drove past. The lady inside said ” sorry man, we closed to go and watch the soccer.” I then said ” o ok i understand I am rooting for Mali”, not knowing that they were kicked out of the tournament the night before. She then commented on how I would support Mali if they are kicked out? I just acted like i didnt hear her and said “cool, thank you, good bye”.

Mali Embassy

I headed over to the Morrocan Embassy to drop off my passport again as I heard from Jolandie Rust that the visa takes 15 workings days to process.

When I arrived I was told by the security that, first of all my bike is parked in the wrong spot. Secondly, I can only submit applications Tuesday to Thursday’s. Ok cool.

Back to Mauritania we go. I was going to skip the visa for Mauritania and just get it along the way, but seeing that I could hand it in and get it back on Tuesday, I thought I should just get it here and save some hassle.

Mauritania Embassy

Papers required for Mauritania:

Application form

1x Passport Photo

Letter of Employment

Proof of Accomodation

Itinerary

International Drivers

Registration Documents

During the week Odette at AASA advised me that my Carnet de Passage is ready for collection. Its that one piece of paper that you always tend to forget in your budget and when you pay that lump sum over you get a kind of nervous feeling and a thought that says ” O shit, I hope I have enough money for this trip”.

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Also had a visit/couch surf from Jay- Jammin Global. He is currently completing his tour of the Global South. Last country in his 3 year journey is SA and then he is heading of to India. We had a really good time, braaing and talking overlanding everynight.

He gave me some valuable tips, ideas and a whole lot of movies.

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With 21 days to go till departure I still have a few things outstanding. I’d like to think that I have everything under control but almost everyday there is a new item on the to do list. I am however jobless officially from Wednesday so I have more time to get everything sorted out.

I had my going away party last night and I was suprised/honoured at the turnout. My staff were all there aswell as my boss and a few other colleagues.

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Its a beautiful weekend in Joburg. Think I’ll take it easy and soak up the sun, maybe play some cricket on sunday, fit and check a few things on the bike.

Cheers

R

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