Friday, May 14, 2010


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After a hectic evening working with Chris in London to secure plane tickets, and then a few hours past midnight organising insurance and making copies of all my documents, I was ready to visit the French consulate in Sydney this morning.

Yesterday afternoon I went to schedule a meeting for next week, hoping I’d have some more information from the moving companies. I saw an 11.40am slot available for the next morning, and then … nothing, nothing, … nothing until June 3. Not wanting to slide my schedule back another three weeks, I cranked through the final requirements, figuring that even if my papers weren’t perfect, the consulate staff could tell me exactly what was missing.

I arrived at the consulate a full 40 minutes early, identified myself and took a seat, resisting the temptation to re-re-re-review all the papers neatly arranged in plastic binders in my bag.

My name was called fifteen minutes early. The guy at the counter was very relaxed, scanning through my pile of papers. All the copies I’d made so carefully last night were returned to me. A further fifteen minutes later I was done, told I had a two week wait for processing. I was out of the consulate ten minutes before my scheduled time. 

I’m very relieved that’s out of the way, as I’ve not slept well for several days as different schedule options run around my brain.

I leave Sydney on July 7, arriving at Heathrow July 8 (a Thursday), and have a ticket booked to Toulouse for July 15.  I’ll arrange for Munson to arrive either day or the day after and get him to a vet – probably the one Bondi used to see in Brentford – to sort out his Pet Passport.

I still have to find a way to transport him to France as foot-passengers can’t take dogs on the Eurostar or on ferries to France – they have to be inside a car. To that end, I’ve emailed some ground transport agencies for quotes. If I can’t accompany Munson then I’ll send him off with one of these agents and meet him there.

There is an option to travel via overnight ferry from Plymouth to Santander in Spain, where Munson can  make use of one of the dog-friendly cabins (again he’s too big for the “large” on-board kennels). [UPDATE: Not available for foot passengers.] It’s then only a 4-5 hr drive to our destination in France, passing through San Sebastian, where Bondi and I lived during November 2005.

Those arrangements will be the major factor in determining my ability to visit friends outside of London that week.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this must suddenly feel "real" now. Good luck with your adventure.