peking to paris hel

Visa Time!


One side effect of our politicians falling out is that before we can get a Russian visa, we now need to have biometric tests carried out, or to you and me, fingerprints. The time flies by, and with less than 1 month to go, we have, or rather the very efficient Victoria in my office has, sorted the Chinese and Mongolian Visa. But somehow we both have to get to London for fingerprinting. Now with 12 000 kilometres of driving through countries we don’t know, you would think London was a doddle in the park. Lynn is away in France and she often comments that I cannot be trusted out alone. So when the very slow SW train pulled into Waterloo and I grabbed my bags, the first thing I realised was that all my money and wallet was still in Devon. With one hour before the banks closed, a reception in the House of Lords, and no money, it was already a rather stressful day. After much co-ordination, the nearest HSBC bank was found and taxis sorted. The first bank turned out to be a bank machine, not much good with no cards. So then it turned into a run across London to Borough Market for the next bank which, on showing my passport (luckily with me to sort my Russian visa) cash was in my hand.

London on a sunny evening is great, and a few glasses of wine went down well. Nigel arrived the next day to meet me at the most helpful Real Russia agency who sorted everything. They wanted a copy of the car V5, which was on my phone and in short shift we were on our way to the Visa centre for fingerprinting. An imposing guy screened us on arrival, and clutching number 304 we waited as number 225 was called to the counter.

Nigel likes talking to people, but had been briefed to stay quiet. I think this proved quite a stress, but with cameras watching and microphones listening, he remained quiet. People watching entertained us for 3/4 hour and then it was our turn,

Taxis sorted,  we rushed to Waterloo. However a tyre puncture in the taxi led to more running! With a few minutes to spare, we made it to the most expensive (£117) one way ticket to Exeter.

Nigel could rest and would be back in time for last rabies jab.  Now we only have to hope we get our passports back!

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