That’s the greeting I got when I re-entered South Africa yesterday morning. Full of excitement and ready for the ultimate ending. I have dreamt about this part of the trip. I have planned booked and paid for all of it. The next 8 weeks were to be the best of all. The piece-de-resitance, cherry on top of my sojourn. But because of a simple error I have been told I must return to my country of origin in 7 days. When I first arrived in Cape Town I was given a tourist visa stamp and not a transit visa for the 4 days I was in South Africa before crossing into Namibia. Those 90 days kept ticking despite my departure from the country. You can apply for an extension but one must be aware of the problem to apply the solution. I had no idea. Should the immigration officer asked more questions, should I have been more informed? You decide. All I know is that the trip of a lifetime has been marred with bitterness and beaurocratic bullshit. Yes, I said it. I am beyond gutted. Many tears have been shed. And getting yelled at by the current immigration officer was less then appreciated.
I have met amazing people along this journey. To all of you, I say, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made it extra special. Even here at Misty Mountain in Louis Trichardt the owners, the chef, have been nothing but amazing. To Mariska and Luan of South Africa 4×4, thank you for all the work and help along the way and for all the help in the past 24 hours as I desperately drove back and forth from the border post to the immigration office etc. I can’t believe it is ending like this. But I have no choice. I will go back, regroup and figure out how to pay for a return to finish this trip. I cannot, will not let it end like this.