D-day: 10th of January 2019

Time goes by faster than you think and here we are in October. Only 3 more months until D-day (Departure-day) and though we have done a lot, more still needs to be done.

As far as visas go, we have obtained Bhutan and India. Failed horribly at Schengen and prepared the applications for Pakistan and Iran. It does not sound like much, but it was exhausting non the less, specially because we have to drive 700 Km to Bangkok (and an other 700 Km back home) every time.

We are “on schedule” with our vaccinations. In fact, we are walking bio-hazards and probably glow in the dark due to all the viruses and other plagues that were injected into our bloodstream. (Except for Cholera, we had to drink that… twice.)
Mid November we have to get our last Hepatitis A shot and a so called TDAP shot (A cocktail of Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) and then we are done and basically indestructible when it comes to micro-organisms.

Just as important, the Little Boat is also “up to date” with the last modifications (A tire pressure management system and fresh window-wipers) in the pipeline.
6 new tires were fitted a few weeks ago and all modifications from our “test drive list” have been modificated (OK, modified, but I liked the sound of it).

Our navigation system (an 10” android tablet with OsmAnd+ and some other useful gadgets running on it) is fully updated with all points of interest we could find on (near) our route, classified as “Must see”, “Might see” and “We’ve got nothing better to see”. It promises to be a very educational journey.

We had to change our planned route a bit as well. We can not visit Nepal because the wise and almighty people of VFS-Global, the company that collects the Indian visa applications, decided that it was within their authorization to change my application before sending it to the Indian consular services. As a result I received a visa with “double” entries, and not “multiple”, as I requested. This means I can enter India only two times and since we can not reach Bhutan and Nepal without first entering India, one of them had to go. Since we already have our (extremely difficult to get) Bhutan visa… Nepal got the short straw.
We also had to ad Armenia and Georgia to our route to apply for Tip’s Schengen-visa. It turns out the Dutch Foreign Afairs Ministry does not know how Schengen works and told us to “come to Bangkok and we’’ll sort it out”. Well, after a 700 Km drive we were told “sorry, can’t do it now, to early, have a safe drive back home’ cheerio bye bye”

So we need to apply in Georgia.

When it comes to “paperwork” we still have some obstacles to overcome. As it turns out, the Thai driving-license (which allows me to drive the Little Boat) does not convert smoothly to a IDP (International Driving Permit), mainly because the Thai government signed, but never ratified the 1968 convention of International road traffic. The 1949 version only has categories A,B,C,D and E… and the Thai license sits somewhere in between B and C (Now called C1). It is not yet clear how this is going to be solved.

And how are we? Tip and Maarten?… Well, if it were up to us we would leave tomorrow. We are ready, more than ready, we are itching to go. Januari 10, here we come.

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