Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Going to visit a friend on the other side of Africa

How? Why? When ?

My friend, Chael (who is my Auditor)  left for his second business trip to Addis Ababa on Sunday the 14th August.   The previous day, Saturday the 13th August at 16:38 i Googled Airline prices (and found return tickets would cost between R5000 and R8000.
At at 19:38 i checked on Google Maps how far Addis Abab is:   5513 km (see screen shot taken on iPhone on later date)

15th August 2016 Monday

 I wondered how crazy would it be to go visit Chael by car, and then maybe even drive  a bit further north ?
15:00 I visited my father and jokingly said to him, i was thinking of visiting Chael in Addis Ababa and wondered if he would like to come with ( He just had his right leg amputated more than a month ago)
17:06 I called Pieter Holl another fiend of mine saying: "I know this might sound crazy, but I want to go visit Chael in Addis Ababa. Would you like to come with?"
His reply was: "Yes!" Followed by: " By the way where is Addis Ababa?"    then followed by: "How about driving there with Bikes." (Pieter is an off road bike machine)
I mentioned that instead of doing it with any preparation I would like us to decide who's car we can use and leave soon. Without any preparation. No fuel tanks, no supplies, no extra food, no camping stuff, ( I have an immense disliking to camping and preparation - i am probably classified as very lazy).Driving in a car would give us something to sleep in if we needed to sleep, and going with bikes probably needed a bit more preparation, which i did not feel like.

Maybe even not taking a 4x4 vehicle would be quite interesting.We could be like the "BMW z3 Guy" at Afriski ( from a few weeks back - give info here - and discuss the 3 type of people:

1. No preparation
2.  Think for a minute preparation
3. Too much preparation and never do it)

19:00 called Wally and ask if he would like to go - He is always open to leave at short times - and maybe he had access to a non 4x4 

Problem 1 - We Needed a Car - a normal, not new, non 4x4 to do this with

16th August 2016 Tuesday

Maybe we could use the BMW X5 I have - but it would be cheating it is a 4x4
 07:46 I asked Brenda that arranged the car i am driving - if she could arrange a "border letter"I was told I need to get insurance border letter first before asking the bank08:52 emaild stunderwriting@helfin.co.za asking what they require to issue border letter ?Wednesday

17 August 2016 Wednesday 

08:17  received Insurance border letter but Ethiopia where Addis Ababa is excluded from it.
11:51 emailed marco.abdol@absa.co.za asking for Bank border letter13:45 received border letter from Marco.Abdol@absa.co.za But was address that the driver of the vehicle  is the Owner Johan Van Heereden and this needs to be changed
17:13 Johan van Heerden sent email to ABSA letting them know that I may drive the vehicle across border
18:00 Shante' (my wife's cousin's daughter), had an Interview with me School interview about Entrepreneurs  - This interview solidified my thinking 
Tomorrow would be my 9th year anniversary with my wife Shantel ( The last year has been hard for both of us)(I have not told her, the kids or anyone else except Pieter Holl, Wally, Insurance and Bank about this)

18 August 2016 Thursday
07:30 i thought it well to start documenting what was going through my mind
I wanted to this WITHOUT any preparation -- But it has nearly been 3 days..... and it looks like this Border letter thing is going to cause problems/delays and I FEEL that the promise to myself was that this will be done WITHOUT PREPARATION - and looking at above A LOT of PREPARATION has already gone into it - without any progress....Could I leave soon? without preparation?Maybe I should give Nick from VW Hatfield a call ?   I was wondering if the car being bank financed, not mine, being a 4x4 was maybe not the right car.....Could Nick sell me a VW Golf one of those Bluemotions that are very light on fuel (diesel)  in the next day If I had a:

1. car, which is a sedan, which is light on fuel ( to show how cheaply you can get to the other side of Africa in a non 4x4) 

2. which is registered in my name
3. have the RC1 document
4. have insurance on
5. my passport is in my safe
6. and get a fiend to drive with
Then I can leave the next day.
How long does it take to register a car in a person's name and get the RC1 form, and insurance. 
Same day?Passport!?!   
Do I need a Visa for any of those countries?  
Does my passport have enough empty pages - Check 4 pages. is that enough? how long will it take to get another passport? 
Do I need a Visa for any of those countries?
Do I need to get that injection Chael got for yellow fewer? Malaria tablets?
I am loosing it - this is becoming too complicated - and this looks like Lots of Preparation - Not just' "I decide and I leave tomorrow!"
I become unsure.I have work to concentrate on, emails to reply on and meetings to attend - Can I afford to think / dream about this any longer
The BMW x5 I am driving has to go in for service tomorrow morning?

Action List: ACTION:
Get Car
Malaria tabs
How will do month end?
Money and USD?
Worse my friend Chael might be returning sooner - I have no one to go visit?Getting a car registered in your name seems to take longer than 1 day

16:01 I Buy a Car  2010 Golf 1.4 Petrol car fro Greyling Motors in Gezina - they will make sure it will be registered my name tomorrow, and I will have the RC1 registration Paper.

19th August 2016  Friday

Today i took the BMW X5 i drive in for service ( R7000 for a normal service - but that is another story) Link letter to BMW Motorplan

I am unsure if THIS is going to happen - i just calculated 5000 km at 1000km a day is 5 days.......   i was working on 3 days there and 3 days back.....i am worried that this can not be done

Pieter has indicated that he is tied down with his work, Jimmy has to get permission from parole offices
It is just me - and maybe i am drunk in my thinkig

14:01 I ask Schalk if he wants to join....  He first says he loves this crazy idea, but what planning have I done, I replied and said none.  He laughs and replies "You are going to die!" - and keep in mind you might spend some nights in prison. He would rather plan a trip with a small aircraft - I say THAT to me sounds more dangerous, and it sounds like that needs planning... We talk about us Flying to Maun,Botwana before and him leaving me behind somewhere after we could not get liftoff with plane again after precautionary  landing.

We decide that when he plans a trip to the top of Africa with a plane he will phone me the day before he leaves to join him..

15:00 Jimmy tells me that he spoke to his parole office and they cannot allow him to go - they can meet with him Monday  20160822 morning

15:35 Receive Yellow fewer injections, and go buy Malaria Tabs and mouth wash  ( dont want bad breath to ruin the friendship)

16:01 Herman from Greyling motor phones me to inform me that  the 2010 Golf has been registered in my name and he has the RC1 paper for me. I ask him to check that the cigarette lighter adapter works - We need to be able to charge our phones ( that do not have international roaming : )  I tell him i will probably get the car on mondayI have made peace with the fact that if we can not go it won't be the end of the world - and if we have to turn back at any point that is fine too....Chael has sent me a whatsapp that if i arrive by Tuesday we can leave on Saturday - He still thinks I might come visit by plane.....Not sure when to tell him - that I am coming by car - and will be a bit late.....He might not be there to gives me ( and my unplanned friend) accommodation...... MMMhhhhh - am I playing games with myself - what other people hold all this inside?????

22:44 I tell Chael "Ek is Dinsdag oppad. Maar letterlik oppad, Ek mag laat wees, Ek gaan probeer ry"

Translated: "I am on my way Tuesday. But literally on the way, (the Road). I might be late, I' going to try driving"

20th August 2016  Saturday

10:43 Chael asks if I have started driving yet, else he would like to fly back and drive with.
Chael is going to drive with me to go visit him in Addis Ababa ??
I message: " Sad that you will not be there, to drive to. Happy you will drive with!!!"
This is becoming really strange....
Spend day with Jasmine and Shantel at long distance Gauteng Competition 
With Family for Braai
Spend from 23h00 to 4:59 Sunday trying to fix drone display - reminded me why i started to hate electronics....

21st August 2016 Sunday
Lunch with the Dares- they are leaving for New Zealand as soon as their house is sold and paid, and their business.  I''m going to miss them - Shaun got to know me sleeping ON TOP of the bar counter at Crawdaddy's in Sunnyside in 1993. ( 23 years, sjoe)
12:51  Messages from Chael that he has lannded.

22nd August 2016 Monday

Chael arrives at my house to complete some Provisional Tax assessments for me to pay
He advises me that he is going to take Medical travel insurance at R700.00 and if I also want.
We make contact with Jimmy - to find out if he has Parole approval?
He sadly states we can go without him.  The soonest he will not know is tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd August.

Chael gets the Travel insurance for him and me.

And then also advised that we get International Driver's Licences...
I dont like this - I wanted to make it easy, unprepared 
These are all obstacles. Paper work, not REAL World reasons..... or is this the Real World - and paper work is the reason most of us dont climb the highest mountains and do those adventures
We get 2x International Drivers licences at the AA.
While picking up the International Drivers licenses - One start asking questions:
Visas, other Paper work, Signs on cars, Reflective Vests, Triangles, Stickers, Rules, Regulations
No!!!!! I cannot believe this. 
Let's create a list of all the reasons why we CAN NOT DO THIS!!!!

Chael, starts reading the AA site intensively. Also finds out that a Visum is definitely required for Egypt which takes 2 days, and a Visum for Sudan 2 months to got to Egypt will take 2 months....

Ok, I accept this - we are not going to get to Sudan, or Egypt.....
But still Ethiopia - "to go visit Chael" But Chael is driving with....
Chael then reads, there are complications taking a car into Kenya, and Ethiopia.  We need some or other Caveat - or need to pay a lot of money as a vehicle holding deposit when entering......

FUCK!!! you see the more you find out the more you decide this is not going to happen

Jimmy also sends an sms the Vehicle Police Clearance might be required.....


23rd August 2016 Tuesday

7:42 i send a message to Chael and Jimmy: "The more we know the less I want to go..."
Followed by "We will be leaving tomorrow morning at 4am"
Meaning if Jimmy cant come with he cant.
7:48 Jimmy Reminds me of Vehicle Police clearance
I reply, that he i welcome to have that done ;)
8:14 Jimmy sends a message "I have clearance from Parole"  (This is not the Vehicle Police clearance this is from his parole office)

10:50 What do we need?

1. Car: I need to go pick up the Golf I bought on Thursday

2. I need the RC1 Papers for the vehicle
3. Insurance: The car is insured - and I have an Insurance letter
3. I have: Passport, ID, Driver's Licence
4. Money: R4000 in Cash, USD400, ATM Card, Credit Card
5. Medical: Yellow fewer immunization , and immunization Certificate,  Malaria tablets

6. Other we have but so much bad contradictory info on: 

International Driver's licence
Red Triangle
ZA Sticker
Fire extinguisher
Reflective Vests

7. What we might need that we do NOT have
Food supplies
extra tyres
Lots of money
Deposit (Caveat)  to take car in - I still think I am going to wing this one - but lets see
Vehicle Police clearance certificate
2 months for Sudan Visa

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