Friday, September 01, 2006

M - Legally and gainfully employed

The remainder of our time in Sitka passed by in a whirlwind. We did go fishing and caught a very respectable Coho salmon (which reminds me can someone who knows what species of salmon we have in NZ please leave a comment about that?) and even saw a couple more puffins too. We also caught up with Lynne Chassin, another family friend of the Groom's and Josh was going to give her a ride on the back of his bike but before we knew it time was up and we were heading for the ferry terminal.

Unfortunately with all the excitement, we clear forgot that we were supposed to have got proof of funds to show Canadian customs that we have access to NZ $4000 in order to have our working visa's processed...

So another couple of boring days on the ferry and we get off at Prince Rupert, BC and line up to present ourselves at customs, and it was at that moment that I remembered we were supposed to have got the paperwork. There was no other option but to hope that they somehow let us through, so we presented our letters and gave the poor border patrol lady quite a headace. Normally people in our situation would be sent back over the border, but Prince Rupert is a 6 hour ferry ride from that imaginary line in the sea. After phone calls to superiors and various questions about how much money we did have, and what jobs we were intending to get we were issued visitors permits and allowed in, but no working visa. Perhaps we might be able to sort it out at an inland office they suggested.

A three day ride to Calgary was mostly uneventful. Once in town we spent a frustrating day walking all over the place trying to find an ATM which would give us an account balance, and find the Customs and Immigration Office. When we finally did find the office it had closed a half hour earlier - at 3pm! The nice lady at the call centre suggested that if we printed out a statement from our internet banking then that might be sufficient but she couldn't say for sure, but that we would have to present at a port of entry, no inland office could help us.

There is only one thing for it, and we start riding south towards Carway, the border with Montana. We really didn't want to have to do this for a few reasons, my bike has a very worn rear tyre, which wouldn't be so bad but it has worn quite unevenly. Josh's bike has been developing a problem with one of the front brake disks for a while now, which is becomming quite bad. Add to that his fork seals which have leaked on and off throughout the trip have now totally C**ped themselves and the fork oil is leaking all over the front brake assembly. Luckily both problems are on the same side so there is at least one functioning disk on the other side!

Nasty sidewinds and the annoyance at having to make the trip are allayed slightly by the nice campground we discover in Nanton. It has grass (!) and fresh water (!!) and for a loonie you can even get a hot shower (this is just a bonus really) . A loonie is $1, it has a piture of a bird called a loon on it. $2 is called a toonie (ofcourse). Anyway the campground was so nice we stayed there both ways.

Just showing up at the border wasn't enough, we had to go out through USA customs, and then back in again. Josh was holding his breath to see if they honored my visa... but sure enough two fingerprints and $6 later we did a U-ie and rode right back into Canada.


Grrrr. Josh wanted to show it to them anyhow! To top all that off I started my new job today, on time and completly legit.

Our new mission is finding somewhere to live.


Calif motor boys said...

We been watching your blogs, sounds like it's time for you 2 bums to get back to work. You guys are still our heroes. It took guts to do what u did. We have been back to work for weeks and we still dream of our adventure and will for years to come. The best thing of all was meeting all the great people such as yourselves. If you ever get to Bakersfield look us up and we will turn on the spinklers, break out the rain coats and drink Alaskan Amber by a wet fire. Take care, and good luck, your adventure friends
Mike, Shrek and Dustin
Bakersfield, CA

you can email us at

M + J said...

Hey you guys!
Great to hear from you, and ok, it's a deal, sprinklers and all! I hope you are have luck catching all the bad guys...