Here I am, in a city I don’t know and I have looked at Google maps for directions and even saved a few screen caps of what I should do to get where I want to be. And yet, the urge to improvise is strong and I take the bus in the opposite direction. That’s me, I do the opposite of what clear instructions tell me. Good one.
But what am I doing in Brussels? Well, this is part of the pre-trip paperwork and training. I decided to put all together in one trip to save time and lose money. One of the goals was intended, the other one was achieved by simply missing my train this morning and having to buy a new last-minute ticket or otherwise the whole planning would fall apart.
Today is the day I apply for my Kyrgyz visa, the last one before the Chinese visa for which I don’t yet have the necessary papers. So I arrived to Brussels quite early after arriving from Mexico yesterday and sleeping only 2 hours last night, thank you jet lag. Once I had properly fed my improvisation demon, I took the right bus and got to the consulate quite easily. Only to get sent to the bank where I was of course sent back to the consulate without achieving anything else than profuse sweating. No swearing though.
When I got back to the consulate, the Sikh that was on the same bus as me told me that I should pay at the post office but he didn’t know where there was one. Some other guy who was sitting there waiting just paid the guy behind the counter. And so did I.
Now I’m in London writing this post, with no passport and no receipt. I just hope that next Monday they will remember my face and give me back my passport…
Originally, today was the day I would set off: Towel Day 2012. The trend of friends getting married and paperwork getting in my way have delayed me a bit but I still want to mark this day as an important one. After all, my voyage has already started. On foot and plane for the moment but it has.
Ah! Y feliz dia de la Patria!
If there is a destination that has holiday weather all-year round, you should always travel off-season. You will enjoy the same place, in the same conditions but for a much lower price, at a much easier pace and the crowds will not be there to wake the agoraphobic in you.
Another good reason is that you can drop in unannounced at the Lonely Planet’s “our pick” hostel and still find a bed. This is what we did today and it was as easy as arriving home. We are now in Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca, México. A beautiful place. It is still a bit crowded with local tourists despite this not being the season because local tourists come here any weekend if the weather’s good but you can still get around without feeling like it’s too crowded.
That’s where I’ve been these last few days and not only did I accomplish the main goal of the trip, which was spending some time with my good friend Germán who has just moved there but I also managed to finally meet two of the guys that will be traveling with me through China: Neil and Chris. We meet on Brick Lane, had some drinks and dined Indian food. I wouldn’t have London any other way. Good news, they are nice guys. I wasn’t expecting any less since Neil’s the one who’s been working the hardest for the ride through China.
Also, purchases were made. By me. I now have heated over-grips and I will soon have a Scottoiler. Yay! No more oiling the chain! I am not fond at all of repetitive tasks with deadlines in general and oiling the chain is one of them. Hurray for that! Wait! I still have to install it, I hope I’ll be able to do it without breaking anything on the bike this time 🙂
Now I’m in Amsterdam. On my way to a first little trip before the trip. A short trip but with many friends. The complete opposite of the long trip. I’ll write more about this trip later, now I have to board my plane!