Greetings from the foothills of Andes Mountains, after a while without blog up to date for the last weeks of Buenos Aires, there were no much happen in the big city and if happen they swallowed with hassling for Chilean visa.
After 1 month and 10 days of waiting without knowing if it is going to be No or Yes, it makes the situation worse. I’m prepared for the challenge but this was starting to were me down, the only last reason remain to go to Chile was to fulfill the name of the project. I’m flexible as I mention it before inmost case I have been forced to change the travel plan due to some difficult such as this, I was resistance to give up because I couldn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t get Chilean visa. This was the same to the in charge she couldn’t explain why it take such long, and still she couldn’t say YE or No. In some case she confuses herself for the information she give me in the previous days.
It was difficult time consider as the begin of the tour but this time offer lot of experience. Thank you very much for anyone who jumped in and offer help. Every single help is valuable and I real appreciate for those who write letters to me to the embassy though Buenos Aires take them for granted but Mendoza consul real think they were important to take the case serious.
For my community in Buenos Aires…
Thanks for those who offer accommodation, food and company, you make this project possible, since it is non-profit project and so far running for the personal support in terms of finance, I’m required to stick in the shoes string budget but there were no rooms for this in place like Buenos Aires. Most important is your company and sympathy though things were not working out well you were there to offer possible help. You are so many to remember; Adrean , You owe a lot for Chile to Kili. I’ll establish Racing supporter in Tanzania for you fantastic club. Carla, I couldn’t know there are place like Bella Vista or getting pressing bureaucracy in the local way as you did not to forget you lovely mum who teach me to say ‘Que bueno’ which make even bad thing to sound good. I now use “Che” and “Que bueno” more than it supposed people wonder if I have been here for years. Bella Vista remains one of the highlight in BA. Olsalvado, you know yourself your ‘Cool’ , I’m glad I raise your sense of wonder for Africa which make you start to follow the news and buy National Geographic Africa edition. Mara, the coffee meeting where awesome just a good break from Mate. Mati, you rock buddy. Can’t mention all of you her but for what you did I remember you by heart and you made Chile to Kili move on.
This is your project I’m happy you still keep your commitment. Thanks Bakari for asking me to come back and take another year for preparation, that was a thought of it kind buddy!
I made up the mind to the alternative which was hard things to do as my intuition was not agree with my ratio though. I ask BA Chilean consul if I can peak my visa at Mendoza since she is not sure when it will be authorized and this could be relief for her not to see my face cause she was real tired to see me. One day she work away and leave me in the desk. She thinks for a while and agrees and say she will send the information to both part Santiago and Mendoza. I ask my friend in Chile to ship my equipment from Santiago to Mendoza just across the mountain but cost more than ship them for USA. I resume my bus ticket from the argent I book with since back home, I pass at their office as make try to pay for bike transport, I was told I’ll have to pay to the drives. 21hrs big comf bus show up, for my surprise the fat bulk hear drive tell me we don’t carry bike ‘this is not track’. With no further explanations and no one pay attention, I have experience some case of racism here and as I try to push in, explain that I wasn’t informed no one pay a hid. As the bus was taking off I was told to get my refund from the argent I but ticket. It is 22hrs no one in the office, moving with bike in this busy terminal it very difficult and cart push guys charge 50 peso ($11) more than tax to take me back to the city. First cart push leave me and as paramilitary order to stop I was asked to pay him. They real annoyed me with their irrelevant questions so I said I don’t speak Spanish and they don’t speak English, the west time going through the stamps and visa in my passport . I wonder what the hell they do since everything is written is English except Argentina visa which they dint even not. They return my passport and ask in Spanish what I sell, I open the passport and show them my visa and ticket just like they wake up in the long sleeping they nod heard wish good, Ciao negro! I thought sleeping in the terminal but this could be real fetal with 2 bags and box so taxi and find accommodation, what expensive day! Next day at bus argent two girls can explain to me what is going on neither in Spanish not it English, since first email when I was hassling for Argentina visa in Kenya I mention that I gave bike box and it measurement and last day I repeat it but can’t believe what is such unprofessional. Clear they didn’t pay attention to the detail now they just look surprise like me but the worst they are telling me that the refund is done at the bus ticket office in terminal. At the bus office the news is your ticket is expired but we can give you 30% discount and you will have to pay $50 for bike transport in the truck. I tried to explain the situation but non seem to be interested to understand.
Arrived in Mendoza after overnight bus, I rush to the internet to check if there is any news regarding the visa just like the dream there was short message from in charge say ‘ Dear Munis, your visa have been authorized for 10 day. Best wishes’
It good news but what is the hell with 10 days. I answer and ask for more explanation, call but the phone ring and no one peak in some occasion it said occupied. Any ways for me calling here it work very well if your ordering pizza or taxi. I rush to Mendoza consul, deal with cue and waiting, I meet the consul assistance very open and welcome though professional. He said there is no info about my visa ‘ring BA ask them to inform as’. After long explanation and begging he close the conversation by saying ‘ My daughter is very sick, I’m going to the hospital, forward me the email and come back 16hrs’. I learned that isn’t me only had difficult time even this boss has. Back at 16hrs two fantastic gentleman take their time in my case, if I don’t get it to day it will be till Wednesday so waiting for weekend and two days of some kind of holiday here. After 2 hours I was asked to pay $50 not event in the bank and I got 90 days. I celebrate with these gentlemen who speak fluent English guess the good one I hear since I arrived here out of few tourists I met. I guess they had fun speaking it and make some cleave jokes. I try to dig info why my visa take such long but also they dint have any idea, they said it was suppose to take 10 days.
Now passing weekend in this small town compare to BA waiting for package to cross Anders, as soon as it arrive I’ll start cycling here since it more difficult to get bike in the box to Santiago and package is on the way towards me. Already assemble bike and take it for a test yesterday seem like I attract lot of attention my host think is only black dude they ever seem wonder in their town on bike. Working on logistic how to take the road across the Andes, the long climbing, high pass of about 2400m.a.s.l. it 280km from here to ‘Ruta 5’ in Chile which will take me north.