Stewball’s Not in China!

June 7

 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

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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6 Responses to Stewball’s Not in China!

  1. TBC says:

    Well, you knew that at least something would go awry. Hopefully, it will all be sorted out on the morrow. We’ll wait with baited breath.

    Take care and enjoy your time until then.

    TBC and Arnie

  2. Carla says:

    Wow, that’s an exercise in patience. Hope it all works out. Guess that’s all part of traveling to China 🙂 Good luck there!

  3. Anne Zartman says:

    Have been meaning to ask “Stewball” from the PP&M song?

  4. Susan Attermeier says:

    Less well-seasoned travelers would be ripping their hair out but… I’m glad to know you are doing your bit to
    improve Sino-American relations! I hope Ed isn’t hurt that he is not tall enough to get the children to have their photo taken with him. Maybe if he dyed his hair red?

  5. Nancy Deutsch says:

    You’ll be sleeping in Stewball???

    Interesting to compare your observations to ours from our 1988 visit. BIG difference in 23 years. Of vcourse the same could be said for Paris or even us!

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