Visa mania and other stories – a short update

The last few weeks have been hectic, sorting out all the lose ends, so here is a short update:

Only yesterday, four days before departure, and two months after the application was submitted, Joachim finally received his visa. Getting it was manic, and to keep a long story short: In the end, Joachim had Norwegian diplomats located in; Liberia, Mauritania, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, and Norway, all working for him. He had the organiser working for him, Adrien was making calls, his wife was making calls, the rally organizer was making calls… In the end, all that was needed, was a simple phone call by the Mauritanian consulate for Norway, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mauritania – a call that Joachim had stressed repeatedly for two months that they needed to make (nothing goes through in Mauritania without luck or push, often you need both). We also started looking into alternative plans – splitting up to get Joachim to rabat to try to get a visa there, or to fly him from Morocco to Senegal to meet up with the team and the scooter there…

It looks as though our offroad tires are not going to make it – we shipped them after the scooters to Jorge in Portugal, who was to bring them to Spain for us. They have still not arrived. But, we can deal without… 10 inch wheels with street rubber or offroad rubber, it is to Bissau or Vallahalla trying.

We’ve also been busy making roadbooks (a low tech navigation tool consisting of turn by turn instructions on a scroll of paper and a bracket to hold it). It a bit strange, navigating by landmarks, compass courses and GPS coordinates… How does that work at night – riding with a flashlight looking for a big rock where we need to turn to the right onto the mule path?

The president in Guinea bissau died in France two days ago, which can make things interesting for the rally – a coup in the making???

Besides that, we are just about ready. All our papers are scanned and copies printed, all items aquired and set aside to be packed, teeth are checked up and fixed, hair is cut…

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One Response to Visa mania and other stories – a short update

  1. Magnus says:

    Its a shame we will not bee able to use our offroad tyres. They would have let us do some spirited riding along the pistes. However, the street tyres from Schwalbe we will be using are more of the “dual sport” type and should handle pretty well. This is from a gravel track in the Norwegian mountains this summer: http://youtu.be/OxP6Xl9G4nI

    As long as the gravel isn’t too loose or the pebbles too big we’ll do fine!

    The schwalbe tyres have reinforced sidewalls so that they don’t collapse in an instant and send the rider into a ditch before he’s able to say shit. Thats an important safety feature the offroad tyres do not have. A blow out with a tube-type tyre is a lot more catastrophical than on on a tubeless tyre (with a tube inside)..

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