Every day things get more real – we’ve just passed the “two months to go” mark, and are starting to think about really boring practical things – like how much can you fit in a rucksack, where to get travel insurance (we tried lots of different places, but the cheapest by miles was Insure and Go who offered a really good deal with the insurance for the girls included for free – so 12 months worldwide insurance, with luggage cover, has cost us just under £500. Lots and lots of other insurance didn’t believe that backpackers could be over 35, or charged quite a bit for the girls, or offered pretty poor cover.
We’ve also just picked up our Australian visa’s – because we are going to stay there for longer than 3 months we couldn’t get the ETA (a kind of electronic visa) sorted, so had to get them the old-fashioned way (it involved a queue at Australia House before opening hours, to be at the front of the queue) – it brings back memories of our last round the world trip, when we queued up for visa’s to Jordan (small embassy in Holland Park, for a very expensive pretty stamp), India (long, long queue, with quite a bit of chaos and lots of administration – very similar to India itself) and Australia (same process, same brightly coloured sticker in the passport).
Facing the man at the window, behind thick ‘bank counter’ glass made me a bit nervous. It was a bit like walking through customs – although you know you’ve done nothing wrong, the walk makes you feel as if you have. Well, the visa window was the same – although I knew there would be no problem, I still felt nervous knowing that the assistant could NOT issue a visa – and bang would go the roaming-campervan experience! But of course, nothing of the sort happened, we got lovely visas issued quickly, and we’re one step closer to travel.