Believe it or not we still do not have the parts for our vehicle. We always thought that DHL offered really prompt deliveries - but that is not what we have found this time around. The parts were picked up by DHL on Wednesday from Ford in Jeddah and normally we would have thought they would be delivered to Almaty by Thursday night or Friday morning at the latest. In chasing the delivery we were told that it would take four and a half days!
DHL explained that initially the package would be delivered to their office in Bahrain. This would take place on Thursday. As Friday is their Holy Day in Bahrain the package would sit in their office and go nowhere. Then it would get moving again on Saturday but as Sunday is a holiday in Kazakhstan, once again it would go nowhere, meaning the delivery would not reach Ford Almaty until at least Monday. That is a total of 6 days for a package that would normally be overnight delivery in most other places in the world. Who has ever heard of a package being held up because of holidays and weekends - but that is what has happened. We are now hoping that the package will be delivered on Monday morning to Ford in Almaty and then the mechanic Zhenya will be able to fit the parts and see if they fix the problem.
Hopefully we will know this by Tuesday and then we will head back to Almaty to continue the drive to Mongolia. By the way, we are now in Switzerland staying with Annie and Pete Pigott, having left Almaty when we found it too frustrating waiting, when there was nothing we could do to help the problem.
We flew to London and stayed with our friends Tony and Elaine Salmon before we flew to Rome for a day of sightseeing.
The big problem is that it is now getting close to winter and at any time the roads we need to travel over can be closed by snow falls. We just hope we can get the vehicle going as soon as possible so we can make a definite decision on whether to head off or delay the trip until next year or even cancel it completely.
|Dick and Pip standing in front of the Vatican in Rome|
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