Here’s the latest blog from Katie Powell. ‘Business days’ have clearly become the default way for her to count time now. But with most of the preparations now completed, we can’t wait to see them on Thursday! Thanks Katie! Follow along for a full account of their adventures in the U of K and beyond…
13th January 2011
This past Wednesday morning the first thing I did when I woke up was open the computer and check the online application status of our Indian Visas. Last Saturday I was told it was going to take five to seven business days to process. To my surprise they were ready to be picked up a whole two to four business days early! I ventured off to Vancouver in the dreadful, snowy weather to go pick up our prized possessions.
The Indian Embassy office opened at three thirty and to be absolutely sure I would be first in line I was there early. Unfortunately too early, I was sent down stairs to the lobby to wait until precisely three thirty when I would be let in. So down I went to the lobby like a good little girl and waited for the clock to slowly tick by. More and more people arrived, they went upstairs and were sent back down to wait with me. When it started to get close to three thirty, people began inching closer and closer to the elevator door. I have no idea how it happened but there ended up being at least sixteen people in front of me for the elevator! The first batch of people loaded up and the doors began to close. Someone who wasn’t paying attention kept pressing the up button before the doors closed to allow for the elevator to go up. I was getting a wee bit impatient and noticed there was a door on the outside of the building that I was sure had to be a stairwell. I decided that I was not going to let all those cheaters and line budgers beat me up there!
So, I went for it! I bolted up the six flights of stairs huffing, puffing and hoisting myself up with the rails as fast as I could. I had to beat the elevator! Finally, I got up to the top of the six flights of stairs and walked as fast as I could to the embassy door. Then I realized that I did it! I beat all those people! At the same time I was thinking someone is going to have to call 9-1-1 because I was sure I was going to a small heart attack. So, Get Rid Of Me I have a small confession! I am terribly out of shape! I am really hoping that this trip is going to whip my lazy bum into a more desirable level of fitness.
The next day after my heart rate returned to normal, I drove back into Vancouver and lined up an hour and a half early to apply for our Chinese Visas. Showing up early was good because they start giving out numbers before the Embassy is even open. I got number sixteen and patiently waited my turn. Since we are so close to our departure date we needed to pay the extra fee to have the application process rushed. They were ready by two that afternoon.
To kill time in between my Dad and I had breakfast, and while taking advantage of the free internet I noticed that I had received an email from our best friend Matt! He had sent the finalized version of our whole tour and I have to say Evan and I are blown away by what they have in store for us for the next six months! After breakfast we drove to Richmond and my friend Art Factora toured my Dad and I around the Astral Radio station that is home to AM 650 and Virgin Radio 95.3 FM. Of course I busted out the signature glasses and passed out the business cards! After the grand tour we went right back to the Embassy to make sure that we had the number one ticket to pick up the visas. Once they handed me back the passports I sighed the biggest sigh of relief! All the tourist visas we had to apply for in advance were done and we are “Visa ready” to go!
Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better I got a call from my Mum saying that my hiking boots had arrived and that the pack sacs my Auntie Kip had made came in the mail! She made us bags to stuff our back packs into so when we check them with the airlines there is no risk of our straps getting caught in the belts! The last thing I need is a busted back pack strap when I arrive in London! Things are just falling into place nicely! We started doing laundry to get ready to pack our travel clothes and I think we are going to have a test sleep on our new sleeping mats soon. Today I got a fairly drastic hair cut so I won’t have to deal with my long luscious locks while I am away. Evan got a very interesting haircut…standby for photos! We are so excited there are only five more sleeps until we meet our “On the Go Family” next week!