Exactly a week to go before leaving for the big Central Asia adventure/research trip. Getting the visas for five post-Soviet countries has been a steeplechase, and we have fallen at the last fence – Azerbaijan. An ordinary tourist visa takes six working days to issue, so we calculated on the basis that it would take – six working days. Ah, but that doesn’t include the day you take your passport in or the day you pick it up again, so that actually makes eight working days. Our passports wouldn’t be ready to collect until October 3rd, by which time we will already be in Kazakhstan. Our brilliant operator, Wild Frontiers, think it’s possible to apply for an Azerbaijani e-visa which can be processed while we’re travelling and which we can then download somewhere or other en route. Fingers crossed this works – or in a month’s time we’ll be stuck in the port of Turkmenbashi, wistfully gazing across the Caspian Sea to Baku.
In the meantime I’ve been working on the copy-edit of The Company of Strangers. This is still the title as of today, although my agent, my publicists and I are going to meet up with the editor and the marketing team on Tuesday, when the final decisions on this and the cover will be made. I have my preferences, but the author is only one cog in this machine. The meticulous copy-editor has pointed out some inconsistencies in the book’s timescale, luckily not too difficult to put right. Inexplicably there are also a couple of chunks of text missing altogether. But it will all be off my desk tomorrow and the next time I see it, it will be a book!
Rosie, I think I am almost as excited as you must be over your trip! I hope your visas come through as it would be a shame to be so close and yet so far away. 😦 The only possible ‘upside’ to the failure of them to arrive could be that you would have to go again – yes? 🙂 I do hope that you will have Internet access now and again so that we can travel with you too.
I also hope that all goes well on Tuesday, with all the loose ends firmly coming together, and allow the newest ‘child’ to take flight into the unknown. Roll on March! 🙂
Take care of yourself and have a wonderful trip!
Hi Rosemary, and thank you for all your support. It is much appreciated, truly. More news once I get on the road….
Can’t a wait to read the book that will come out of this adventure. Be safe and good luck!
Thank you! Take a look at the blog from time to time if you have a moment to spare.
Hi Jane, I found that it was often easier and very much faster to get a visa from a country that bordered the country you needed to visit. Several times when in remote places, I received unexpected changes to my orders or itinary and I found it necessary to visit the local embassy. provided one had a legitimate reason for visiting the local consul would simply interview you and give you a visa there and then. My despatchers in London were actually amazed when I did this and entered a country unexpectedly quickly to complete a survey or whatever. I did this from Kuwait into Iraq, Afghanistan into the People’s republic of China, Turkey into Iran and Phillipines into Indonesia, not to mention Finland into the old Soviet Union. It’s always worth a shot because in the smaller embassies or consular offices, in those far-away places, a British Passport flashes up like a beacon and as often as not the consul or passport officer was just curious to meet the passport holder. It’s worth a try girl. Bevan.
You do get about, Bevan. Thanks for the heads-up. I’m sure it will all be fine, whether e-visa or as you suggest applying for it once in Ashgabat.