We returned to the Algerian embassy where they said we would have to wait 7 to 10 days for our visas. It costs us 250 dirhams each for the privilege of waiting for them ‘telephone or telex Algiers’ for the go ahead to issue the visas, according to the official we were speaking to. We filled in a form each and handed over the money plus a couple of photos each.
What a blow. Before we left, two Australian girls came into the building who were part of an overland expedition company. We got talking to them and they said the British people on the expedition with them had been given the same treatment. [So, it seemed like this was deliberate policy to mess the Brits around by the Algerian government. Great].
Outside was their truck, a converted four ton Bedford lorry. What a miserable way to travel down Africa, I thought. I didn’t think I would like that at all, being cooped up in one place all the time. I had spent enough time in the army in lorries like that and they are not comfortable if you are sitting in the back.
We wandered back to the ‘Cockroach Hotel’, the name we had given to the Hotel des Voyageurs, feeling pretty fed up about the seemingly inevitable delay. For the rest of the time in Rabat, we read, wrote, I ate (Dan was still starving himself), went to an English bookshop and went to the British Council buildings to have a look around at what they had.
Rabat is not the nicest of places and we were glad to get going, despite the delay in getting our visas. We had decided to press on and one of us return later by train to pick up the Algerian visas.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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