Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Well we are now successfully immunised. The first time we tried we took so long that the hospital pharmacy closed up shop on us - what a pain. Turns out that medical advice for 60+ countries is a big and time expensive task! So we got it all sorted with the doc, but had to return at a later date to actually get the injections put in us. Typhoid and Hep A for everyone, plus Hep B for me.

We also got a whole bunch of meds for diarrhoea, puking, constipation and other such afflictions. For malaria we weighed up all the options and decided to go with the antibiotic Doxycycline, which we have to take every day during our time in the malarial area, aswell as for two days before and two weeks after. It's by far the cheapest option - which is obviously why we chose it - but on the downside, there is a pretty high chance that our bowels will be somewhat disturbed and we may be forced to spend a considerable amount of time on or around a toilet (if we can find one). We've decided to only medicate ourselves for our time in India, as this is the biggest red bit on the malaria map. We're also hoping that anywhere in Southern Asia, we'll be relatively close to medical assistance, whereas this seems less likely to be the case towards Central Asia.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Less than a month until departure

As our departure date draws ever nearer, we continue to organise and plan everything that we can possibly think of. Tomorrow our passports and carefully filled out Chinese Visa Application forms will be handed to the Chinese Consulate for processing and hopefully visa approval within a few days. It certainly wasn't an easy form to fill in, taking a lot of patience and concentration, not to mention great eye sight and a steady hand, to get all the details correct and fit all the answers into the tiny spaces. As if it wasn't enough of a nightmare already, it was only after Tunkles and Denner had filled in the first half of the thing that Ben pointed out the part of the very specific instructions stating that everything must be written in capitals - unfortunately we decided that their lovely scrolls probably just wouldn't cut it. So they have to print out the first pages again, and spend another evening filling in all the details. But as long as we did in the end all manage our forms correctly and everything goes according to plan, our Indian visas will be next week's task. The pages on the inside of our passports will start to look very colourful very soon.

The other main mission right now is obtaining a Carnet de Passage for our car (still awaiting naming), which is basically a deposit paid to ensure that our vehicle is for transit purposes ie. we don't need to pay import/export duties. Interestingly, the application form for the Carnet de Passage, which is issued by the Australian Automobile Association, must be accompanied with the registration documents of the car. Victoria doesn't actually issue registration documents normally - something I'd never thought of/noticed up until this point - so we are having something composed especially for us by VicRoads. And here begins what I'm sure will be an endless headache of paperwork bureaucracy.