Mayan Prophecy Countdown
Yep, today is a rest day in a way. My main concern was in trying to get my paperwork sorted for the Chinese embassy and planning when to go there, where to stay etc, plus I also needed to visit Garmin HQ in Southampton to hand over my GPS for repairs. I also had the faulty Gerbings controller to sort out and of course find a replacement for my SPOT
Step 1- Chinese Visa application, this was all filled out and during this time Bob helped by chasing up the embassy details, that is when we found that to physically hand over the passport I need to book online and the waiting period was 2 weeks!!!!! I could send it in, but then there would be a 14 day return policy, bugger! So, I got in touch with Neil, he was the chap who had started this whole Chinese tour thing and after a few back and forth emails, managed to confirm with the embassy that I could arrive with his group of 5 on the following Monday, so that was a relief.
Step 2 – During all this, I was trying to sort out accommodation in London, my cousin Mark has a flat there, but I was having problems contacting him, but the back up plan was another cousin, Neil who also lived there, see what happens, but I should have no problems to ride in drop the passport off, maybe stay with one of them then ride south to Southampton to the Garmin HQ the next day before riding to Bury
Step 3- Gerbing have their European HQ in Holland and for me to claim a warranty job on the controller, rather than send it in with no forwarding address, I would need to exchange it over the counter. It was only 150km from here, so I was just suited up and ready to ride up there, when we finally got through on the phone and found he has none available and is waiting on a backorder :( We came to an arrangement that should suit though, he will try and locate a controller(mine is the portable style that just plugs in) from one of the dealers around Europe and have it ready for a drive past in a few weeks. Failing that, he said he WOULD work something out, maybe with a permanent wire solution, we can only hope on that score, but a result nonetheless.
Step 4 – Trying to locate a replacement for my SPOT device which I had buggered up last week, this was successful in the end and a nice chap on the Vstrom.UK forums called Gassoon helped me immensely. My main problem was getting a unit shipped to where I would be soon. My Ebay account would NOT allow me to ship to another address, I could buy it, but it would only go to OZ, so with Gassoons help, he bid for a unit on Ebay, and was successful, he then had the seller deliver it to my cousin Paul’s place in Bury St Edmunds and I then sent him the required amount via PayPal. A roundabout way of getting things done, but it worked :) As I am writing this from the future I can tell you it arrived, it is registered and is now operational, of course I am not riding right this minute, so nothing to see yet :)
In between all this, I was sorting out routes to England and doing a few blog updates, so the day was mostly relaxing with a bit of chit chat as well :)
A few beers and home made pizza for dinner before watching the soccer on teev, I had been told by Ingo to watch a Spain match as they are magic, well they played terrible tonight and although there were some real good plays, they made quite a few mistakes, but still won the game, so the result is all that counts.
Tomorrow, I was off to good old blighty and as I had now no need to go to the embassy in London until next week, I changed my plans. I would ride direct to Southampton from here, around 700km but a ferry ride in there as well. I would gain an hour as I went west, and should maybe arrive late afternoon, depends on what time I got away in the morning, 8am was not too late and not too early for Bob and Sabine :) In Southampton, I would stay overnight and HOPE there was a quick turnaround on my GPS unit(standard is 5 days) then ride to Bury St Edmunds for Friday evening where I was promised by Jane, traditional Toad in the Hole for dinner ;) I may have to ride there without a GPS which could add some excitement!
Cheers from Duisburg, Germany