Very productive day. After sitting around due to all the rain, I was finally able to get some stuff done.
I was a bit scared about picking up my passport from the High Commission of India, as I was afraid my visa had been denied. I was so relieved to find out it was approved!
Then I spent some time browsing the internet at the library, trying to figure out my next steps. I still felt the pull from Raglan, but I figured I should give the Tongariro Crossing another chance on the way back up the north island. I finally booked my bus pass to go to National Park, and then a train ticket to Hamilton a couple of days later.
In addition, I stopped by the Travel Doctor office to have a consultation to decide what I’ll be doing to protect myself from all the tropical diseases in South East Asia.
This is especially difficult for me. More than having all those chemicals in my body, what’s stopping me is that the idea of getting inoculated with vaccines and taking a bunch of pharmaceuticals to prevent malaria makes me question my faith in natural medicine. I decided to go speak to a doctor before making any further decisions.
Unfortunately, the doctor wasn’t in. I made an appointment at the Travel Doctor office in Hamilton for next Tuesday.
Next, I stopped at the internet café for a while to upload my pictures to Facebook, as well as figure out the Vietnam visa situation. I have several options:
1) Apply for a visa via mail while I’m in New Zealand. Processing time is usually 4 days, and I would have to add however long the mail would take to arrive at my destination. The problem with this option is that I am not sure where I’ll be, so it’s hard to give an address for the Embassy to mail the passport to. Not to mention, if the processing takes any longer than expected, I might not have my passport in time for my flight to Kuala Lumpur on October 13th. As if that wasn’t enough, the application asks what dates I will be in Vietnam and I have no idea. The visa is issued for those specific dates, so I would be locking myself into those dates when I don’t know what my friends’ plans are.
2) Get a Letter of Approval from the Vietnam Embassy here in New Zealand. The Letter of Approval is somewhat similar to a pre-screening. When I arrive in Vietnam, I would still have to apply for a visa, except that the immigration officers would have a letter from the Embassy saying that I am approved to enter the country. The issue with this is that I would have to enter Vietnam through one of the airports. And I have no idea if that’s what I’ll be doing or not. I might enter by crossing the border from one of the neighboring countries, so a Letter of Approval would not be much help.
3) Wait until I have a better idea of what I’ll be doing/what dates I’ll be in Vietnam, and get the visa from one of the embassies in South East Asia. This seems to be the most sensible option, as a few of my friends have to apply for the visa as well. We can all go together, and make sure our dates are the same.
After the internet café, I went back to the hostel to get ready to go to the yoga studio. Before leaving for this trip, I was going to yoga five times a week. I was used to the exercise, as well as the grounding effects of my practice.
All that sitting around left me restless.
So I decided to go to a Yin Yoga class at Hot Yoga Wellington. The room was heated to 34 degrees Celsius, so pretty toasty. Even though it was a relaxing yoga class, I still sweat buckets. But it was perfect for a windy day in Wellington, and just what I needed to unwind.
Finally, I went back to the hostel to do laundry. I needed to get all the cat hair off my clothes. Plus, the hot yoga left me with a few stinky garments that I was unwilling to put in my backpack!
I just finished my laundry, and it’s 2 am. Going to bed. I have to wake up at 6:30 am to catch the 8:00 am bus to Tongariro National Park.