episode 1: visa hell

March 31, 2016

Read next: Episode 2

Three weeks ago, I could not have told you the difference between Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Now I can tell you that between 6 passports and 3 people, we get to spend a lot of money juggling passports at border checkpoints to get through these tricky countries. I can also tell you that the Pamir Highway requires a GBAO permit, the Door to Hell is in Turkmenistan so we can’t miss it, and the ferry across the Caspian Sea runs on no set schedule so hopefully it leaves when or if we reach Baku. 

Forms were printed, terrible photos were taken, things were signed, dates of an unplannable journey were “estimated”, cover letters were written, cancellable hotel bookings were made and everything was sent to London, England in hopes that when our little passports return, we will have been granted entry to some of the countries we need to pass through.

Azerbaijan and Russia are the next on our list since The Visa Machine in the UK cannot do a Russian visa for us and they wildly overcharge for the Azerbaijan e-visa.

In other news, Eric and Shane search desperately for a car that meets The Adventurists’ ridiculous engine limits of 1L. How we’re going to get this car up and over the Himalayas on dirt roads is something I don’t want to think about right now.

What I do want to think about is that the websites are up. The donations are open. And when we get these passports back with the visas so neatly stamped into them, there will be a few adult beverages consumed. 

Cheers from Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Read next: Episode 2

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