Across Continents

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Tour du Monde

They were a rarity in Central Asia in two senses. Long distance cyclists. And French. We’d met whilst queuing for visas at the Chinese Consulate in Almaty, Kazakhstan. And their situation made my present tussles attempting to enter China appear to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

Their Kazakhstan visas would expire in two days, and, contrary to the advice they’d been given, could not, as they’d now discovered, be extended. And they’d no visa for any of the neighbouring countries. All their hopes lay on securing entry to China, and in just a couple of days.

To be fair, seemed they’d been mis-advised by the Consulate when they’d been given their Kazakhstan visa. I’d not been surprised by this, as I’d found contradictory information about Kazakh immigration and visa rules on official websites. An understandable mistake.

Like most languages, other than English and a smattering of Welsh, my French was never great and hasn’t improved. But found I could make some sense of their website – – appeared they too were on an around-the-world trip, albeit skipping Australia and Africa. Assuming they don’t get detained or deported in Kazakhstan first.


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