We have the Shoebarus!

Very exciting news!  The Southampton port authorities and our delightful port agent John successfully exterminated the Virginian spiders (or as Joe likes to say, the Southampton spiders who crawled into the container to escape the British rain)!   We retrieved the Shoebarus on Tuesday and have been staying with teammate Ann and her lovely parents ever since.

Unfortunately, Wednesday brought another radiator failure on the side of a roundabout.  Yes, on the side of a roundabout.  Our port agent John, the only person we know in Southampton, happened to drive by our stranded vehicle.  A coincidence?  Perhaps.  If we end up with engine trouble in Tunisia and he drives by again we’ll know he’s a sneaky saboteur.   Here’s a photo of the double rainbow that appeared as we waited on the side of the roundabout.

Nick Dodd and company (Alex and Steph) towed us in the mighty Dudd Land Rover (able to cross the highest mountain ranges and fjord minor seas and such).  Joe has, once again, switched out the radiator, and all looks quiet.  For now.

We’re camped out at the Lowson residence at the moment.   Tonight, we’ll head to Goodwood and the Launch Party.  Tomorrow we’ll cross the English Channel en route to Munchen and a Internations fundraiser on Sunday night.  Monday is the infamous Czechout party.  A big thank you to the Dodds, the Lowsons, Hannah and Caroline!

Where are the tiny spider passports???

Long story short, teammate Ann’s mom and I went to pick up Joe and Emily from the train station so that we could head off immediately to grab the Shoebarus from the dock. After a bit of driving around we found the place where we needed to fill out the paperwork in order to pick up said vehicles. Except that we weren’t able to. Because there were were spiders. Yes, there is an American spider infestation in the container that we used to ship the cars over, so now we have to wait for the thing to be fumigated before we can grab the cars.

This could take 3, 5, or 10 days. If it takes over a week, we’re kind of screwed, as the launch party is in a week. Stay tuned…

Cars arrived in the UK

Rumor has it our cars arrived in the UK on the 30th….so says the folks at the shipping company.  I guess we will be confirming said rumor on July 5th.    No confirmation on the rumor that the international wire we sent them to cover port charges, devan, import, paperwork, etc. has arrived though.  Perhaps that too will be confirmed on the 5th as well!

Visa Magic

In celebration of the receipt of our Libyan visas, here are a few random DC embassy tips for your next off-the-beaten-path journey:

  • Have a question or concern relating to a visa application? Need to push the entry restrictions? No, they won’t answer the phone. Duh. Go in person.
  • Too bad most consular divisions are only open when traffic is at its worst (9AM-11AM Monday through Wednesday is a popular choice). It’ll take you at LEAST a couple of hours to get to the various embassy clusters: the fortresses up in Van Ness, Glover Park, Embassy Row/Dupont, or Foggy Bottom (why, Tanzania, why are you located there!). Don’t forget to factor in time between embassies and the fact that road construction begins around 10AM. Have fun!
  • Your GPS is your friend . . . unless it has a penchant for directing you through Georgetown. Never go through Georgetown unless you really need a mimosa after a particularly bad embassy experience.
  • The visa checklist on the embassy website doesn’t include a cover letter? Silly, you should know better! Prepare one anyway.
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