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November 25th, 2010 | Cyprus

Downtime and Admin…

The Kimon Medical Building... Not on my original list of places I desperately wanted to see...!!

After another round of “needle treatment” on my troublesome elbow, I have been advised to take it easy for the next 48 hours…

The cortisone will hopefully kick in and begin working its magic during this time… A scan showed that it is not the joint that is the problem, but the tendons who are the architects of my pain…!!

Dr. Paraskevoula Charalambous (I kid you not…!!), a rheumatologist at the Kimon Medical Centre in Larnaca, administered the injection while I concentrated fiercely on the large Amethyst stone on her desk…

She was a lot more gentle than the chiropractor I had seen the day before…!! The soft-spoken doctor took the time to explain exactly what she was doing, and why I needed to rest the joint…

This forced break has allowed me to knuckle down and do some of the “admin” that goes with planning a journey such as the one I have embarked upon… And you thought I’d be on my back relaxing…!! No such luck…!!

Look Ma...!! I got a new bracelet...!!

I have mentioned before that it is impossible to arrange every minor detail of your trip before you set out… In recent weeks I have had to contend with a change of direction and with it, find another way of getting past Iran… My plans to ride in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are still in place, but I will no longer be returning to Turkey to enter Iran as originally planned…

Unaware that he is the cause of the majority of my frustration, the Big Fella stands preening on the streets of Larnaca...

I have been in touch with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, and requested their permission to fly the Big Fella into Dubai, so that I can ride Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, as well as in the Emirates themselves…

I have also been in touch with the Pakistan Embassy in Damascus and Amman to inquire about a transit visa… If this is possible, I will fly the bike from Dubai to Lahore, and see how far north I can ride without attracting gunfire…!!

I have exchanged numerous emails with freight agents in Amman, and confirmed that there are daily flights from there throughout the Middle East… The trick will be to get myself and my trusty companion on the same flight…!!

A few postcards and some of the many entrance tickets to the places I have visited... Entry fees for all the sites are a mere €1.70...!! One of the few things that can honestly be regarded as cheap here...!!

I will need to have the Big Fella crated, and am lucky enough to have Arno’s advice to work with, as he has just flown his bike from Amman to Kathmandu in Nepal… We have identical bikes, and with a few minor adjustments,  to take into consideration that I am carrying more than he is, I have been able to request the crate be made up before I get there…

I am still trying to get permission to cross the border into Vietnam with my bike, but am not too confident of being allowed to do this… Willi arrived there today, and had already bought himself a scooter…!! An ugly one…!! There’s just no accounting for peoples taste…!!

Last night I received the disappointing news that due to rebel activity in both the border areas around India and Thailand, the Myanmar government has turned down my application to cut across that country on the route THEY previously suggested… I am now advised to ship the bike to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) and from there they will guide me to the Chinese border at Muse to see me across into Ruili in China…

All these complications have to be considered carefully, and then acted upon… I always knew that getting through the 4th leg of my World Tour would be the most challenging, and the most frustrating… My predictions seem to coming true…

Apart from the to-ing and fro-ing of emails, there are other more mundane chores to carry out… Like doing my washing using the tried and tested method of “stamping in the bath”…!! Sorry, no pics…. I am usually naked at the time, you see…!!

Then there is shopping for food and supplies… (Ok…, so that only took four minutes…! But still, it takes up precious time…!!)

Prices of food here will get your eyes watering...!! A packet of bread, all six slices of it, R14.25... Packet of Ginger Biscuits, R 23.00... Litre of juice, R34.00...!! Check out the Double Chocolate Marie Biscuits...!! Doesn't matter what they cost...!!

I have also spent my time repacking and cleaning my panniers, checking and tightening any bolts and nuts that have worked loose on the Big Fella, getting my riding kit dry-cleaned and my boots scrubbed and dubbin-ed…

The Cypriot Police are still searching for the individual who tossed a bomb into my room...!!

There are hundreds of photos to work through to select and caption for my postings, and video and audio clips to download and label…

I have also been in touch with “Moroccan HQ” where my good friend Khalid is finding maps on the internet that I can download and copy into my MapSource program. This will allow me to have the maps I need when I get to the countries I will soon be riding in… Last night we managed to get the Middle East, Pakistan, Thailand and South East Asia sorted and we are now working on India…

The weather is beginning to change... More and more clouds are rolling into Cyprus from the south and east... This was at sunset last night...!!

It has all made for very late nights, working into the small hours to write posts and research the places I still want to visit…

But it’s all good in the  end, and keeps me out of mischief – something which as we all know, always seems to follow me around…!!

Newsflash…!!!!

I have just a second ago received an email from Arno in Nepal… His bike is still stuck in Jordan, and the shipper is demanding and additional $2000.00 to fly it to him…!! This after having already paid a similar amount to have it shipped before he left Amman… He has refused to pay up, and is now making his way back to Jordan to collect his bike… A sad end to his dream journey…!!

Someone in Jordan is going to get a tongue-lashing when I get there…!!

©GBWT 2010

6 comments to Downtime and Admin…

  • Mark Behr

    A bit of planning and contemplating – good for the mind and the soul. Have a good rest and hope the elbow heals up nicely.

  • Lucia

    LOL!!! Your room looks like it could belong to a teenager!

  • With

    Hi R.

    These oke’s are coming your way ….

    http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.za/Web/InfoLibrary/NewsIndex.aspx?id=342

    I think … 😉

    Cheers
    With

  • Brian

    The upside is you had a nice, pretty (we presume.. no photo)soft spoken lady Doctor with TLC, and not one of those Army appy medics learnig their trade. We thoroughly enjoyed Cyprus-Apollon, now it’s time to get into Asia.
    May the wind fill your sails. Safe ridding.

  • Kim

    Dr. Paraskevoula Charalambous – with a name like that I’m sure she has huge issues, no wonder she’s soft spoken… OK, so where’s the pics of this doc?? We will be checking on your medical requirements over the next couple of days…..
    I personally think that Cyprus should give you their “ambassador’s award”, without tailors and the like…
    Echoing Brian’s wishes – “May the wind fill your sails. Safe riding.”
    BIG kisses
    K

  • Alex

    Hay Cuz,

    Hope your arm feels better soon, Tell me when do you expect to be in Oz by? the reason I ask is if you still in Oz, in December of next year, you are always welcome to pop past and spend some time with us. Anyway cuz take care look after yourself and I’ll check on your progress as you go. By the way if you coming past the Middle east bribery is common here too. LOL

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