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February 20th, 2010 | Africa

I’m stressing, Dudes !!

Isn’t it strange how things start to pile up when you have a deadline looming ?? A week ago, I thought I had everything under control… Then things began going a little “pear-shaped”….

My Garmin Zumo 500, trusty instrument that it has been for the last 30 months, began “acting the goat”, by refusing to respond to my gentle taps on the screen (Okay…some of them weren’t all that gentle towards the end, but I was getting a little frosted !!) After being continuously ignored by my Zumo, I took it in to Pauli at GPS4Africa, to see if he could make sense of the little blighter… Pauli shook his head sadly after fiddling about with it for a while, reloading programs and doing a bit of screen tapping of his own… After getting no more joy than I had, we decided to send it to the agents for a “check-up”…. Having relied extensively on the GPS to get me to all the places I have needed to visit over the last few weeks, I feel lost without it, and have taken many a wrong turn since… This has resulted in much “gnashing of teeth” and the occasional, “Oh my goodness, I seem to be lost” (which usually came out as “where-the-f**k-am-I”!!!  Hopefully I will have it back in one piece by the middle of next week…. Cutting it fine, I know !!

This was not the only piece of equipment to malfunction… My Sony Cyber-Shot T7 camera also developed a gremlin and I had to take this in to have it serviced as well…

“We are very busy, sir,” I was told when I took it in, “It might take as much as three weeks before we can get it back to you…”

“You have three days to fix it !” I replied, “Otherwise I’ll set fire to these premises !”…. He promised to see what he could do, after taking in the wild look on my face and biker gear I was wearing…. The things I might have to do to get a little service….!!!

I rushed around collecting the last of my visas, and having met all the “folk who matter” last week, I was able to charm my way through all the red tape, collecting my Algerian Visa (valid for six months !!) and convincing the Moroccan Embassy to stamp their visa in my passport on the same day that I officially handed the application in !! Then it was off to the Australian High Commission to check if I could apply for a visa from Singapore…. More waiting and queuing, and then finally, I was told that I can apply via the Internet… Did I ever mention how handy it was to hold dual citizenship?  Well…. It is !! With my EU passport, all I need do is transfer AUS$ 20.00, and Bob’s your Auntie !!! Or so I was told… I’ll let you know more about this one when I get to Singapore, shall I??

I have whittled down all the electronic stuff I plan to take, and will post a list of it all once I have actually packed it into one of the numerous receptacles I have attached to the bike… What I did find while going through all my gadgets, is that I have “lost” two very important cables that I need – one for the head-cam (to shoot film while I am riding), and the other, my second Connector cable which allows me to charge various items directly from the bike. I have two separate sockets on the bike for this, and each one has a “splitter” which allows me to charge four different things at the same time…!!!

So, besides looking for replacement cables this week, I still need to get all my important documents scanned and laminated, meet with sponsors, (XKULCHA and Silverton Midas), pack some stuff into the panniers, buy a Dictaphone, unpack the stuff I put into the panniers, collect some spares that I have ordered from BMW Auto Alpina, repack the panniers, sort out my crate that has finally arrived from Ghana, get to a dentist (can’t believe I’m doing THAT!!), get the Blue-tooth sorted out for my Caberg helmet, and then pack the panniers…again….and again…till I get the balance right…

Oh, yes, and prepare myself for an interview with “Woema!” the TV program shown on Kyknet…!!

All in all, a busy few days lie ahead of me….

But it’s all good !!! Only a week to go !!

1 comment to I’m stressing, Dudes !!

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