Well, not officially. Today was a day of patience with the Chinese bureaucracy. Hurry up and wait. Many of you had asked, where would our cars be when we got to China, Beijing, a port city? We actually didn’t know, but now we do. Those of us who had to get Chinese driver’s licenses and pick up our cars, left the hotel in Beijing at 7:30 for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Tianjin to the police station there to “take the test” to get our license and then on to the port to get the cars. Piece of cake. Well, no.
We did arrive at the police station fairly on time. The traffic is always a problem and timing is an approximate thing we now know. We were ushered into a conference room where we sat-waiting.
Police station in TianjinWe were finally greeted with great friendliness and a lovely young policewoman went over information about driving in China. Mainly, be careful and have a good journey-complete with smiles. As far as we know, that was our test. I guess we paid enough attention and smiled back. Now we actually don't know, because the next step is taking the cars back for inspection and tags and that didn't happen yesterday. Since we were going to have to wait for the paper work to be completed, we heading off to the port to get the cars. OK, they are here. It was a real joy to see them open the containers and find out all were in good shape and running.Ed drives Stewball out of shipping container
Then we waited. This time for the customs inspector. He did come, but finally at 4:30 we learned that the paper work would not be completed today and we were told to put the cars in their warehouse for the night. So, tomorrow we do this all over again. We will leave the hotel at 7:30, this time drive directly to the port, hopefully receive the paperwork for our cars and then drive them to the police station to receive our licenses and tags for the cars. We will see.
in warehouse again!
We are now already a day behind schedule. We’re not sure where we will spend this next night as it will be well after 3:00 before we are done today. Once we do get the cars out, we will have to wait until 1;30 when the police are back from lunch to proceed. It is 1 1/2 hours drive from the port to Tianjin and of course none of this is in the direction of Datong, our supposedly night stop.
Stay tuned for the next part of this exciting adventure. When time permits, I’ll tell you about climbing on the Great Wall. What an experience that was.
We seem to be the only ones that can post on a blog directly.
Others, including the World Race blog are blocked and must email their blogs to the US and get someone to post them. No one knows why. But if you don’t hear from us, don’t worry.
- Waiting and more waiting
Jan and Ed