I was fully intending to leave on Thursday (yesterday). Then reason kicked in. The last three days were very tough. The first three full days of proper hills. Why not rest while I’m ahead, let the body adjust to the extra load (I’m carrying an extra 2 litres of water with me now) of the pack and the hills.
So that was Thursday. Emailing, web stuff…now it is Friday, and I was intending to leave today also. But it was raining lightly in the morning, with severe storms forecast for later in the day and for tomorrow (Saturday the 16th).
Then, Rob, who along with his wife Liesl works from home, suggested that I stay and leave Sunday. Why? “I have never been to the Mexican border,” Rob began. “How about I take you down to the border so you can sort out your visa stuff, and then start fresh on Sunday.”
You see, as New Zealand citizen, I am allowed in the US for 90 days on what is called the Visa Waiver System. I arrive in the US and I get a stamp for 90 days in the country. That 90 days is up on the 23rd of February. The original plan was to skate to Del Rio, walk over the border to Mexico, then walk back to the US and have myself a fresh 90 days in the country. Technically, there is no regulation that would prevent me from doing this.
Now since it it going to be terrible weather on Saturday anyway, “you may as well get all that stuff taken care of tomorrow,” Rod reasoned. Better than having to sit in my tent for a day while the thunderstorms rage tomorrow.
Done. So the plan is to head down to a less-traveled border crossing tomorrow and get things sorted.
Please do pray for this process however. It is not a guaranteed thing. I am hoping that the fact that I have a confirmed flight leaving from Los Angeles on the 14th of April, masses of news media following my journey, a clear and chronicled account of my movements here in the US so far, and a decent story will convince the US Immigration officials that I am not trying to dodge the system and work in the US.
So, on that note, please note the following updates on the website: