Monday, 21 May 2012

Mount Elbrus - Part One

The Final Arrangements Begin

So having spent what seemed like an eternity completing the online visa application I wasn’t expecting to have to re-complete the forms due to mistakes. I hasten to add not caused by either BJ or myself but because the Russian visa application forms are written in translated English which bears no resemblance to 20th/21st century English.

Because I wasn’t prepared with my login details, or BJ’s for that matter. I had to go through the whole process again, twice! If it hadn’t been for the crazy login password system where symbol one, upper case I and lower case L are all the same (???) I wouldn’t have had to start my 3rd application for having got the date wrong. So 2hrs20mins and £141 each later the visa applications are in, just hope they’re processed.

Wednesday arrives and so do the passports, complete with visa’s – WE’RE OFF TO RUSSIA!!!

Having bought another powermonkey to ensure enough power for the duration of the expedition I decide to minimise the wash kit and there is the missing monkey, bollocks! Oh well I’ve now got three of the little buggers so that should keep us going.

Manic calls between BJ & I to check and recheck the kit list and how to cut down on weight. Convinced that we’ve got the optimum balance between necessary and desirable we agree that enough is enough and will meet on Friday at the airport hotel for the final meal.

PKG the faithful girlfriend and calming influence takes me to Heathrow. All along the way she soothes my worries and woes as only she can. I’m so lucky to be blessed with her, but I couldn’t leave for one of my trips without her ritual delivery of me and my kit (quite often several hours early).

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