It’s mid-February and we’ve been on the road for just under 6 months. I’ve now caught up much of my writing and I’ll include links in the letter for you to read the stories.
2017 didn’t end too well with my US visa saga in Shanghai airport
- Read here to find out how to get an ETSA visa in less than 2 hours
- Or my passing out at a Christmas Eve dinner (no it wasn’t too much to drink!)
2018 didn’t start that well and we were plagued by what was named by what my daughter-in-law christened as the “Roger Effect”.
First he had a real problem getting a new HSBC credit card. The bank had changed cards and sent him a new one. No notification and it went to the address where he isn’t! Another great service from a bank. An institution we’ve all come to dislike but tolerate as they set about their daily tasks working for the government. While earning their salary from us!
A replacement card was then sent to Malaysia … but didn’t arrive. The next one was sent to his son in London and it was forwarded by post to my son in Portland Oregon. But it was over the New Year period and there was some disconnect between the brain of a number of people involved in the process. It didn’t arrive in time. Eventually It was sent by DHL to where we were staying in Monterey.
To get to Monterey we took the overnight Amtrak train from Portland to Salinas.
And the sagas started. I managed to drop Carol’s passport on the train as a tugged at my carry on rucksack. This resulted in a frustrating and concerned but finally successful few hours!
Other little mishaps happened all attributed to the “Roger Effect” (click here for more).
For the next 6 weeks we’ve been plagued by hassles and mishaps. Carelessness, complacency, bad luck or the “Roger Effect” they have been a challenge.
The next set of hassles started as we prepared to leave the US for Mexico.
The night before we left I realised that I’d made the accommodation booking in Cancun for the wrong week! So hurriedly made another and arranged an airport transfer.
The flight booking for Roger had his first and surname inverted and despite many attempts to have it changed it was still inverted when we went to the airport.
Check in didn’t go smoothly. As he went off to sort out his name problem we were having problems paying for baggage and after failing I left my credit card in the machine!
So what else could go wrong?
We arrived in Cancun to find a message from the accommodation that the airport transfer had not been confirmed. We negotiated a fee with a taxi driver and went to the address. When we got there the place was in darkness and deserted. Fortunately the taxi driver had stuck around and found us a bed for the night.
An enjoyable event free week followed in Tulum and then it was back to Cancun for our flight to Cuba. We had done a lot of Google searching and thought that you could get a Visa Tourist Card for Cuba at the airport. You can ... if you have a passport from some countries but you can’t with others.
Carol would have to get one from the Cuban embassy. So change of plan Roger off to Havana and us into Cancun get a visa and catch the next flight. A bit stressful and costly!
Arriving in Cuba we didn’t have the correct address (Roger had arranged it), we didn’t have internet access, there was no wifi at the airport … but again we managed to make a plan. Less cost but more challenging!
The fun didn’t end there but more about that in my next update.
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Till next time … there are more enjoyable travel times than sagas!
“Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you”