Mayan Prophecy Countdown
The first thing I had to try and sort out this morning was internet, there was none in the flat and no free wifi around. I ended up buying some access time from a company with heaps of hot spots, it should come in handy over the next week or so. One other job that needed doing was to send some stuff home. I had acquired a number of items, mostly tshirts, but also some left over currency and souvenirs etc. So, off to the PO to get that sorted, it was actually inside the local supermarket, very strange! But it proved relatively easy to do, although once again, not cheap, but there you go. As it turns out it was cheaper to split the bundle into two, saved about 12 quid ;) Then it was off into the underground, it has been a long time since I used this, but I found it easy once again to find where I needed to go, I just used a day pass, rather than an individual ticket.
As it turns out getting there was easy, getting up from the tube platform to the street to the correct exit was more of a challenge. In fact I ended up at the wrong one because of a long connecting tunnel, so I arrived at the Monument exit, instead of Bank exit. This caused a bit of confusion, because I had written down the directions from Bank, but once I had found a street map on a board I could see where I needed to be and within a short time I was outside the China Visa Service Centre, waiting for Neil, the English chap who had organised pretty much the whole China ride.
So, I met up with Neil, then Chris another biker, and the 4WD couple and we then entered as a group and got in line. The visa application was already filled out and this place just accepted them and made sure they were all correct before they got processed by the Chinese Embassy. It turned out to be a relatively easy process, and after a short wait for our number to be called, we had all the papers handed over and a receipt given out and told they would be ready for picking up on Thursday, so that was all good :)
As it was getting close to lunchtime, I decided to walk down to see the Tower Bridge, of course London is full of history and all the old buildings still looked great.
I tried to get some traditional battered fish and chips and mushy peas for lunch but was thwarted by the half hour wait when I found a local pub that had it on the menu :( I had seen heaps of sandwich joints, but settled on some KFC down in a tunnel system. Silly thing was, after lunch I came out of the tunnel right near the Tower of London and nearly every establishment here was selling fish and chips, lol, oh well, I was fed so off to take some pictures.
I posted that last picture of Tower Bridge on Facebook and received a few comments, my reply to them are – no there is no beer in the picture as I was not drinking at that time and Guy, I had no bike here, so wheelies are out sorry,
plus I have trouble getting it up plus my bike does not have the power to lift the front wheel like your 1000 ;) I headed back mid afternoon and did some blogging and also managed to clear my head of the Russia section of the trip. I was running out of June, my Russia visa starts July 1st and only goes until 30th July. I needed to know how long it would take to transverse Russia and into Kazakhstan, as it turns out, when I did a Google search of a route from Moscow to Almaty, it was only 5000km between the two capitals, and I had two months worth of visa time to do it. EDIT, ok thanks to Beemerbird who pointed out a confusion here, I have one month visa for Russia and also one month visa for Kazakhstan, just to clear the maths up :) So, it looked like I could use some of the 30 days I had planned for Russia and use it here in Europe. That meant I could do Wales and Ireland and probably squeeze some north Europe in as well. If worst came to worst, I could get through into Moscow then find a closer border into Kazakhstan. I have missed so many things here just because of chasing visas, and of course I had a heap of people to go and see, with many more yet to go, I am not sure I can meet up with everyone!
Anyway, I felt a lot better, so once I get this visa in my hand, I will be finished with chasing things and could start riding and enjoying the travel again. :) Mark came back later that evening and we had some dinner around the corner at a little French cafe with a very cute Romanian chica as our server, before having a few pints and a chinwag at the local bar.
Cheers from London