Garry McGivern’s bike-ride to Australia-and-beyond, Monday, 9th-July-2012. In Gatwick. In the end, I managed to stay awake until eleven o’clock last night. And I was still up bright and early this morning. Hopefully, that means I’m not going to get jet-lagged.
There was a reason for getting up early. I had to get a train into central London as I was off to the Kazakhstan embassy to apply for a visa. I intended to get it in America, but I messed up on what city the embassy was in. Wrongly assuming it was New York, which it wasn’t. It was Washington and had I not had my accident. I would have cycled there, but to be honest, I’m really not feeling that great.
It was a nerve-wracking time getting the train into London. As the train pulled into the station, I suddenly realised that a few people I know commute to London. And I didn’t want to be spotted before I could surprise everybody at home. Thankfully I think I got away with it. Well, I’ve not heard anything from anybody yet.
At The Embassy
When I arrived at the Kazakhstan embassy, there was a bit of a queue. While queuing, I kept checking my application form again and again! Paranoid that I’d written something wrong on there. Eventually, I reached the glass-covered counter and handed over the application, photos and my passport. The girl looked up and down the form. Oh, no, have I made a mistake. Then she said, “dates?” “sorry, dates?” I replied. “Yes, dates, we need the dates you intend to travel”, “they’re there” “no, we need exact dates.”
I got that one wrong I knew it was a thirty-day visa within a ninety-day window. I hadn’t realised I’d have to be exact on the dates. That put me on the spot, and I had to think fast. It was hard to work out, Kazakhstan was a long way off, and I had several thousand miles to cycle before getting there! In the end, I gave it my best shot. Hopefully, I’ve got it right.
After returning from the embassy, I re-built my bike, ready to head home tomorrow. Not too sure how I’ll get on cycling as I’m still in a fair bit of pain. My back and side are still hurting, as is my head, and I keep feeling dizzy!
Don’t forget the main reason behind my ride. I want to raise as much money for cancer research charities as possible. After my wife, Josie, died of breast cancer in 2007, aged only 42. Even the smallest donation helps. You can donate to Cancer Research UK or the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click on either one to donate. Every little bit helps to rid the world of this cruel disease.
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