Where are we? Shouldn't we be in Libya at this time?
hummm... it seems not. Let me briefly explain you the story :
End November 09, a BMW dealer in France did the best he could do for me : he sold me a second hand KTM 990 Adventure for this trip
Beginning December, I go to the town hall to get my registration document.
5 weeks later I receive it, but they made a mistake with one letter in my name, so I request a correction. The town hall official send a correction request.
3 weeks letter I receive a letter telling that my request is rejected. The town hall official give a call and she discover that she has to send half of the registration document to get the new one. Let's go.
3 weeks letter I receive a letter telling that I should have sent the other half of the document. Let's send it again...
Finally, beginning February I have the motorcycle registration completed.
In February, aurel goes on a bike trip to India, so he cannot make the request for the needed visas because he needs his passport. In addition, there are not enough free pages, so we will need to make a request for new passports.
Few months before we took all the documents needed for the passports (including birth certificate, proof of address, etc...), and when aurel came back from India we gave this to get the passports.
"oh! your birth certificate is not valid anymore because it's more than 1 month old". We had to make a request to get it again.
We discovered later that there is no validity date for such document, contrary to what they told us. 1 additional week lost.
Now, since April, it seems that this document is not requested anymore to get the passport. Anyway, with delays ... we succeed to finally get these f*#$ing passports. The start date is endangered.
Let's get the visas! We need to get visas before leaving only for Libya and Sudan.
For Sudan, in order to save time, and because we need the passports urgently to get the "carnet de passage en douane", we cancel our requests. We will manage the visas requests from Cairo (Egypt), even if Sudan Embassy in Egypt does not answer to our phone calls... we will see!
For Libya, we want only a "transit visa", to avoid having to pay for a guide that would follow us during our stay in the country. Aurel already did it less than 2 years ago, so we have to send the passport to Paris for the mandatory Arabic translation then we will be ready to apply for the visas at the Libyan embassy in Marseilles (France).
Then Hanibal Kadhafi (the son of the boss) got arrested in Switzerland... so Kadhafi (father) decide to close the border and will not deliver any visas. Damned!
OK, if we cannot reach Egypt by Libya, we will reach it by the other side (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkia, Syria and Jordan). At least 5000 additional kilometers. Not a short way at all!
So we have to apply for Syria visas. We know it will take 4 weeks. At this time we have to postpone the adventure start.
Finally the Libya re-open the borders! So we cancel the Syria visas request and send a request to Libya embassy.
10 days later, we call them to have a status and push them if we can. The answer is that they received nothing from us because all mails are blocked by a strike in post office. Again a 1 week additional delay.
As they only need for the moment a copy of the passports, we send again the request by fax.
Today I call them to check the status and get told that "the fax arrives at the ambassador office, but he is out of office so nobody is taking into account the fax received. He will be back on Monday only. In any case, we still don't have answers from Libya for the visas requests we processed more than 1 month ago. We don't know why. So your request would take probably at least a month"! We are lost!
So we have to start a new request to get the visa to Syria. But it takes 4 weeks.
Finally a young mechanic from our KTM dealer tell us that he knows someone that knows a Kadhafi nephew that could help us to get the visa!
At this time, we are in contact with him and first feedback is very positive. Let's see!
To cross some countries in Africa, we need a "carnet de passage en douane". This is a document that receive a stamp when we enter and when we leave the country, and the goal is to fight against illegal vehicules importation. This document is very expensive, but the price is very different depending on the country where you apply for it. German Automobile Club can give it to us for a reasonable price, so we go this way. After sending all the papers needed, we got the answer that from now, they don't anymore do this for french registered bikes (even if they say they can on their website)! So we have to go to the french Automobile Club. It takes 2 weeks, but we have to give a 7000 EUR deposit by motorcycle (100% of the motorcycle value) as a guarantee, and they should give us back the money when we will bring the bikes back in France. Finally, the "Carnet de passage en douane" received is valid for all countries ... except Iran and Egypt! If we want to go to Egypt (and we want!), we have to send a deposit equal to 250% of the value of the bikes!. We found no other alternative, so we did it today and have to send again a new request. At least 1 additional week delay.
Today, we have the passports, but no visa, and no valid "carnet de passage en douane". But we get a contact by a KTM mechanic with a Kadhafi nephew! On Friday, without positive or promising info from Libya, we will send a visa request to Syria and we will have to wait 4 weeks. In this time we will start to travel and wait for the passports visa from Greece, because as you can imagine, we cannot stay at home now! In any case the real start is delayed by the end of this month probably.