The car contained …….

Day 105 –

L: And everything worked, what a pleasure. We slept well with the air-con working, the fan on and the mozzie net around the bed as there are a lot of mosquitos here at the moment as it is so humid. The Insta-hot shower was ok, but not very hot, but the sun is shining already.
Last night I washed the things that we want to take with overseas and they dried overnight in the shower cubicle. Steve was even motivated (with a lot of encouragement from wifey) to shave :-))

S: Breakfast was identifiable and that says a lot. Not bad at all, except the waitress asked why we did not touch the shriveled sausage that the Kenyans seem to love so much, ha ha.

L: We chatted to the manager Engar, he was very interested in our trip, he has not been elsewhere in Africa. He was really kind saying that we can wait out here for a while, using the pool, our room and grounds until we find out if we will still be staying in Mombasa tonight. However, they have a whole group of students here for Wednesday night so if we are here that long, we will have to find another place to stay.

S: I have sent out an e-mail for employment using a contact from South Africa as we hope to arrive in the U.K. in a week or two. We will also apply at the recruitment agencies in the U.K. so will start researching those. L: Just a mere continent away…….

S: Now we wait….. We have sorted out our things and expect a call from Simon.

Yay, Simon has called us to come into town to meet with him as he now needs our original Carnet de Passage papers for the car, oh and the address of someone living in Hamburg where the car needs to end up. Interesting, this is a new regulation. Luckily Lesley’s brother lives there.

L: We paid the bill at Leinmach and told them that we may be back, but are not sure.

He told us to drive in to Moi Road where the huge tusks are (like a bridge over the entire road). Now, in Mombasa, those 9 kms took nearly an hour and every time you see a traffic cop you know that you will be delayed further.

0256Mombasa-Tusks

We parked on the side of the busy street and called Simon. When Steve put the phone down, I said that he didn’t tell him where or what to look for us. S: Yeah, but we stick out like a sore thumb!! L: And there he is, he found us.

S: Ok, now Simon has our original papers and apparently a Loading Order and he said that we should wait for twenty minutes. We parked at a coffee shop next door and went in for fruit salad and ice-cream. It was supposed to have nuts and chocolate sauce, but no matter how hard we looked, we could not find that. We told the waiter that we would pay the bill with a tip, but we needed a free cup of coffee to justify the price. Cool, done.

As we sat for 3 hours, we eventually ordered lunch too. 3 o’clock, another day, gone?

This is like waiting for a child to cut a tooth…… you know it is in there, somewhere, but all the hassle until it shows itself!!

Steve has called Simon again, he is on his way here……(I am a bit worried that he did not say which day).

S: I have researched a few hotels, here in town, in case we hand the car in today L: Ever hopeful. S: They range from $40 to $135 per night, including breakfast so we will have to see which is clean enough at the lowest possible price.

L: The girls have both sent messages to us saying that we should be on the beach enjoying the last of the African sun, yeah, that would be good.

S: We finally saw Simon and his colleague and they have the Loading Document so things could still happen tonight…….In the meantime we can go and settle ourselves somewhere in town.

L: We went to see the New Palm Tree Hotel and let’s just say, there is a lot growing there, but nothing that resembles a palm tree inside or out. KSH 3 100 for the night, but I was fearful of the roof coming down on the bed as it is so damp and mouldy and saggy, no please no, Steve. Funny how men become blind when looking at bathrooms and scruffy rooms.

S: The next one on the list was chalk and cheese, but now they were stuck on the KSH 6 000 for the night, but I must admit it did look a whole lot better. We booked in and took everything from the car that we want to keep with us if we hand the car in tonight. We had 2 porters and the receptionist, Steve and I carry everything in, but we usually carry all that ourselves.

L: There are 2 old armchairs, and a table, TV and comfortable bed with air-con and Wi-Fi. At about 7pm I suggested to Steve that we do not go out even if Simon calls us as it is not safe at night. We went to the dining room and just had a bowl of soup and toast.

Finally Simon called and said that he would call us before 8am tomorrow morning. We were both so hot so I went to shower first and came out and told Steve that it was like using a dropper to feed a baby bird. When he went, he was livid and went straight down to reception. They sent a guy to show us how to work it, oh gee, can’t work out why the water is not running. We finally got the key for next door’s shower – sounds familiar.

The TV was snowy and not even a news broadcast.

As soon as Steve got into bed, I realised that the air-con was off. Seriously, they turn it off at 10pm…….? We were just too tired to go back down to reception so sleeping hot was what it was to be……

I woke up at 2am and I was so hot, I felt like I could not breathe. Even opening the window, did nothing. The humidity in Mombasa is really high.

I went down to the pitch dark reception and eventually found the night watchman who informed me that the air-con switch is the one with the red light next to the front door – seems that got switched off while Steve and the maintenance man were testing the shower, grrrrrrr.
Day 106 – Happy Birthday Leon. Have a super time, :-)). Wishing little Abigail all the best for her 4th birthday. Xxxx

L: It felt like I had only just gone to sleep and Steve was waking me up at 7am as Simon was calling us before 8……. And it was hot. The air-con is set at its lowest temperature 18 degrees, which is still too warm.

S: The shower next door was like a child’s watering can, but a whole lot better than the one in our room. Really, at this price, you expect a bit better.

We packed up and went down to breakfast which was pretty good.

Back up to the room and we are still waiting to hear from Simon. Now at 10am you are expected to be out or pay for another day so we hurriedly carried everything to the car – no porters in sight this time, packed the car and waited in reception.
The manager discussed the shower problem and promised that the next time we visit, it will be soooo much better, right.

S: I phoned Simon, again, as still no word and he hung up on me and then never answered. It starts feeling a bit creepy. Lesley had taken a letterhead from his file yesterday so I called and explained that I was looking for Simon. The phone went dead, but shortly after that, wow, Simon called, saying he would be there in 3 minutes. Half an hour later, we were following him away from the hotel to the shipping yard. We stopped for them to buy lashing straps where they told us to stay in the car so that they were not charged “mazunga” (white man) prices.

Just before the river crossing there was a container lying on its side, the truck had taken the bend too fast. Delayed.

IMG_1070

L: It seemed like forever, but we finally got close to where all the containers are stacked up. Can you believe it, it is finally happening.

How many men does it take to stuff a car into a container, I counted 8. Simon had driven off without a word while we had to take everything that we wanted to keep out and put it on the dusty floor. I asked if they had blocks to use as a ramp for Steve to drive the car up the 4 inches to the container floor, but no. It was quite scary directing him as the car slid badly on metal floor once inside and nearly clipped the door. The guys were directing Steve to stay in the middle of the container, but I wondered how he would get out. He battled to squeeze out of the car and wearing a white t-shirt had been a mistake.

IMG_1076

S: Now we wait, once more, for Simon to return. He had gone to fetch the customs official. Noon and it was sweltering with no shade in the yard and nowhere to sit. I had to disconnect the two car batteries and tie them up so as not to cause a short.

Ok, now we are ready with Simon and the customs guy confirming the Vin number corresponds to the Carnet De Passage certificate. They sealed up the container. L: I felt really sad as our little car had brought us over 16 000 kms and now we were leaving it to continue without it. It is really hard not to have all our clobber with us too. We had messaged the girls to say that things were moving.

20140820_120357

We piled all of our luggage into Simon’s car and he stopped at a garage and left us at the little cafe as we were not allowed in the port nor our luggage in his boot, which we wouldn’t have wanted to leave with anyone.

L: I got brave and bought pre-made hamburgers for us and a coldrink. I was very amused when Steve’s coldrink spilled all over his pants because of a gust of wind. Luckily, he could change as he had all his clothes with him. Steve saw our container (with the car) drive by.

Another hour later and Simon fetched us and then confusion reigned as he thought that we wanted to visit his office and we thought he was taking us to the bank to make the payment for the car. In the end he only wanted to be reimbursed for the money he had used from his account for port charges etc. we paid him in dollars.

Ok, now Simon agreed to drop us at the airport. We were stopped by police and they thought we would have them search the car. I did my usual helloooooo how are you and they let us through.

We arrived at the airport at 3pm and the strain of the last few days made me feel exhausted. I had been so carefree and cheerful as Steve had been stressed, but now here, I wanted to sit in a heap.

We compared all three airway fares and chose to Fly Five Forty airways.

S: we have not travelled by air for a few years, but now we are not allowed to take water with us, what??

L: They let me sneak a bottle in and when Steve said that he was diabetic they said that we could take another bottle with us.

It must have looked really strange when we had a muffin and an ice-cream, but after all the stress your sugar can drop so it is safe.

We let the girls know that we would be flying soon and then heard that we were delayed an hour. Oh well, we are so used to African time……..

And another hour later, now we can board.

What a small little plane Five Forty has, only 50 seats, two on each side and really narrow seats and no leg room. The flight was a mere 45 minutes at KSH15000. (R1 875 for the two of us).

We landed and the driver organised by Wildebeest Campsite called to say that he was waiting for us, such service.

It is a long drive and there was a lot of traffic on the way from the airport. Simon called to say that the car has been scanned and will be ready to be loaded tonight or tomorrow.

Steve is sorting out everything in the reception while I am warm on the deck with a cup of tea and writing the blog. We had pre-ordered soup and a sandwich too. It is cold here and such a change from Mombasa.

Wildebeest is so full that we checked in to one of the dormitories. Male and female share the dorm tents with 2 double bunks and 2 single beds. It was an interesting experience. Someone came in while we were sleeping and the receptionist put on both overhead lights, I’m awake!!
At 4.30 am one of the girls had to get up, get ready and leave to catch a plane and then we were awake at 6am again with everything starting at camp. Other than that, it was comfortable, but a bit chilly.

Day 107 –

S: I woke Lesley again and we went off to breakfast, a very familiar routine here at Wildebeest after spending so much time here. We greeted all the faces that we knew too, but no sign of the owners or Ryan today yet.

Charlie, the taxi driver came to drive us to the U.K. Visa application centre and it was long and rather hair-raising, but we got there. It was a major issue, security-wise to get in, but eventually we were both in.

L: While I stood in the queue, I noticed that to apply for the EEA permit would take up to 15 working days, but Priority applications only 2 to 5 working days, oh and Monday 25th August is a bank holiday.

We waiting in the line, and were called to hand in all our forms. I asked if we could have the application speeded up and the man at the desk said that it would cost £100 (R1 800), but that the Priority option does not apply for a permit. I asked if he could try to make that happen and after several minutes, he came back to say that we would have to go back out and add that to our online application. Ok, done and now we are back in the queue. Eventually after doing the biometrics (finger prints, photograph and signing), we were done. That took 2 hours and now we wait for an e-mail with the answer. We really hope and pray that we will not be held up here too long as this is not where we are wanting to spend our hard earned money……

Charlie was still waiting, happily snoring in the shade and we asked him to take us back to the shopping centre near the campsite. Done, but first, he stopped to check on the car that he was buying, while we waited for him, only in Africa……..

We had Chinese for lunch and then went to draw cash to deposit some of the money owed for the shipping costs. Simon says that the ship is not in yet and so the container is on the dockside.

After we were done, we decided to take a walk back to the campside, so we enjoyed the fresh air for the 3 km hike.

We have now been given a little dome tent set up with mattresses and bedding for the few nights while we wait. We saw Lynita and chatted to her and then met Ryan in the lounge to chat about our trip to Mombasa and back.

We are now catching up with our admin, blog and the news for all the current events.

We will have the buffet for supper tonight again and relax on the deck as our wait starts again.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “The car contained …….

  1. Nicole Whitehorn

    Am I the only one who thinks this Simon character sounds dodge? Lol 🙂
    Glad all sorted now!

  2. Laurence/Shirley Crichton

    Hi guys, we have been enjoying your blog and our thoughts and prayers accompany you on your journey through Africa. Just a quick question. Are you both looking for work, and do you intend to stay in the UK permanently? We may have missed something, as sometimes we only have trouble to skim through your lovely blog. Hugs….Us. XX

    • Laurence/Shirley Crichton

      Sorry, time, not trouble. Don’t know where that came from.

    • Hi Laurence and Shirley
      Thanks so much. Yes, it certainly has been an amazing trip through Africa.
      Steve has an Irish passport so I am waiting for my EEA Permit to enter with him.
      Yes, we would love to be able to work in the U.K. so if you know anyone needing house-sitters for a few months, we will be there in a flash ;-))
      Keep well and lots of love to all.
      Les and Steve XX

  3. Cheryl and Bart.

    Sjoe…you guys are going through so much. Stay strong and try to see the humour in this situation. You will laugh when you look back at these days. Mwah.

  4. Ha ha Cheryl and Bart
    Yes, we have sure covered a lot of ground in Africa and done a lot of waiting too.
    Thanks so much for all the love and support.
    God bless
    Love from
    Steve and Les XX

  5. Heather Whitehorn

    Enjoy your last bit of the African sun, even if it is just while you play the waiting game 🙂 You guys better start dusting off your “working world” outfits and get ready for civilization again!

    We are missing you guys loads and don’t get any big “bear-hugs” anymore… have fun and make the most of it!!

    love you lots xxx

    • Aaaah, Baby Girl, you are making me cry. Here is a HUGE bear hug for you!!!!!
      You should have seen Dad’s work clothes that came out of his ammo box in the back of the bakkie………..DUST for Africa.
      Yes, we are loving the sun and Wildebeest Campsite is still the best in Africa.
      Lots of love to you and Sissie.
      XXXX from Mom and Dad XXXX

  6. Hallo guys.
    So this is the end of your Africa experience. Lucas and Estelle is also heading to Wildebeest. Say hallo to them if you see them.

    Enjoy Europe.
    Kind regards,
    Elize

  7. Hi, You can take charter flights by Condor from Mbsa, Kilman or Sansibar for about euro 350,- a head to Frankfurt Germany. Sometimes 3 times a week. Same flights also serve Nairobi but will be much more expensive.

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