Sunday, July 01, 2007

MISSION: Dakar or Bust!!!

Time ticks away and things are in motion!!! A new passport is required as I have used too many pages in my old one... so a few days ago i sent that away.
This trip will see me take in many places indeed, and some extremes in weather. From the cold of Scandinavia and the Baltics to the heat of Africa... it's going to be one hell of an adventure. Visas will be an issue, and i will be sending off for a Russian visa when i get my passport comes back. The visa for Mali will be more of a challenge.
It seems that Mali consulates no longer have the power to issue visas, it must be done through an Embassy. Problem: No embassy here in Australia, only a consulate in Perth. I called the 'Consul' to Mali in Melbourne, and confirmed that the place to go to for visas is Tokyo. JAPAN.

Strike me pink Ailsa!

Well, I was sent an application form and it seems actually to be reasonably straight forward. For a fee they will even post it back. I will need to do this around the start of September. It can't be sent too early either - the visa needs to be used within three months.

So now plans begin in earnest. I want to save more so i can afford myself a few luxuries i didn't have last time in Africa (ie nicer hotels etc). I have 96 days until I fly out. so... woo-hoo. The other news is that my friend Paul from the UK is joining me for the Mali section of the trip. I also have Siggi from Germany coming along for Lithuania... and meeting up with someone special in St Petersburg. This won't be the 'solo' sort of trip i've known in the past it seems. Also will have heaps of friends to catch up with in London.

But the ultimate destination is DAKAR, Senegal. This will be the third trip with it on my itinerary, and I desperately hope it is third time lucky for me. Two failed attempts to make it to this city have made it my determined destination. It's my Timbuctu (incredibly ironic as Timbuctu is in Mali where I'm going... not to Timbuctu to though, just Mali). The 2004 trip was entitled 'Dhaka to Dakar'. I failed to give last year a title more than 'The 2006 Trip' but in 2007 it's definately


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