Knock Knock Knockin’ on China’s Door

After many months, numerous phone calls, help from countless people, a few foreign wire transfers between international bank accounts, and enough red tape to wrap the Great Wall, we have finally been authorized to enter China. That’s right, the powers that be in Beijing have signed and stamped all of our paperwork and our contact "Wayne" has indicated that we need to be at the Laos/China border on August 27th to meet our guide. The next day, August 28th (my birthday) we get our Chinese number plates affixed to the Toyotas and get our photos taken for our Chinese driver’s licenses.

This is great news because as many of you know, we have been waiting for this information for a long time. Without an entry date, we could not begin to plan the rest of the expedition once we leave China… which has to be on September 16th. China does have some interesting facets of life that we will soon become well aware of. In particular, our online life will be altered to a certain degree. Most communications that come in and out of China… e-mails, cell phone calls, land line calls, etc. are screened and filtered by the government. The only way to transfer non-filtered information is via satellite phone, which is why they have prohibited us from having one. We will still try and post blogs about our experiences, but we will have to see when we arrive.  Nonetheless, it is all very exciting and we are looking forward to driving through one of the largest, most populous and without a doubt mysterious countries in the world.