|Don & we depart...Don for his much waited for safari in Kruger NP and we back to try our luck w/ visas again. Time has gone much too fast...like Christmas, we seemed to be anticipating Don's joining our journey forever and then all of a sudden it's over. We very much enjoyed Don's company, he travels much as we and understands the viscisitudes of travel backpack/public transport style. We already miss you Don!!
We head for Greyhound station which leaves 40 min late at 11:40, thus we get into Pretoria late due to a huge traffic sloowdown betw. JBurg & Pretoria a distance of 45 km which should take half an hour but instead over an hour, plus we were delayed in leaving JBurg waiting for the bus from Durban!!! Taxi to NS BPers to drop our stuff and then to internet and try to connect w/ Todd to arrange plane ticket refunds. No go, no Todd but in contact w/ Tiff we hopefully will connect tomorrow nite.
At dinner I break off a tooth so dentist is on tap as well, hmm!
A long disappointing day…1st to Russian Consulate w/ high hopes – we’d gotten info from Arden via email & bought travel ins. On line to satisfy all the criteria they had requested. Unfortunately, they decided we need proof in the form of a receipt that we have paid for train out of Nova Sibiersk! Bon explained that they don’t issue tickets until 45 days prior to departure…”It’s not our problem” was their response!!! Very Russian very bureaucratic, very disappointing. The bright side was a dentist who filled my tooth…not a cavity unfortunately, but a broken tooth that eventually needs a cap. Bon also fount a PT gal who worked on her hip and gave her exercises (some Bon had already been doing). Unfortunately, we have not been able to take good advantage of Skype which is often hard to find, especially where it really works like here. Bon could not reach Arden at WN to explain the Russia problem and likewise unable to connect w/ Todd regarding ticket refunds. Very frustrating…meanwhile, we do busywork and I updating the website which is a major bright spot for me!
It has been quite cold here, seems this NS BPer & Travelers Lodge has no heating system. Luckily they provide great comforters and it is conveniently located for all our needs except Russian Consulate, a half hour walk.
Very late getting going since nothing really pressing…got to internet about 3 and Bon had gotten an email from Arden which was disappointing…he said that they have run into this problem before where a consulate will just put roadblock after roadblock in the way of applicants which don’t “suit” them. He suggested our only option is try a different consulate…which means in Turkey. Not good since this will mean we have to get 6 visas there in only 3 weeks time…we may opt to change our leaving S. Africa a bit early so as to give more time for this chore in Turkey. As it stands now we can only depend upon getting India here which is not good since we were hoping to wait until the end of June to give us the maximum time for our India visa to be valid – 6 months only puts it to mid-Dec., maybe enuf.
So now we may leave tomorrow or Monday for the Cape anyway, no reason to stay here!
Just read in the news that Zimbabwe’s currency has devalued to 1 billion Z dollars to one US dollar!!! It was 210 million to one US when we were there less than a month ago!!! Those poor people and still no violence against Mugabe…amazing but how long and what will happen after the election, hmmm!!!