Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Libya Update

by Tara

Thankfully, Tyler felt better this morning, and we headed off to the Libyan Embassy in Tunis for another round of trying to get our visas. The first time we visited, they said to come back in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days. When we returned on day five, they said to come back in two or three. So again, we arrived with guarded excitement, hopeful we would receive them.

Unfortunately the scruffy dude (the one we won over with our charm) wasn't there, and so we dealt with a man who didn't know us from Adam and didn't care about us in the slightest. He looked at our passports, then at us, then scowled. He shook his head, saying "no" over and over. But what did that mean? No our visas weren't ready? No, we weren't approved after all? No, I don't like you so get out of my face?

After much patient prodding from Tyler, the man huffily put me on the phone with a lady who spoke French. She informed us that all is going well, yes we have been approved, but they still haven't received the visa numbers from Tripoli. Again we were told it will be no more than two or three days!

After some further frustrating attempts at communicating with the guy working there, he made it very clear he did not want us in his presence and he did not want to deal with our questions. We finally gave up and left, extremely annoyed. Would it really be two or three more days?

We can't stay here forever, but we also don't want to miss out on a chance to go to Libya and Egypt. We began to understand our friends Ingrid and Yves when they talked about not wanting to go to "difficult" countries—"if they don't want us in their country, then we don't want to go visit them!"

Sitting on the embassy steps (which the mean guy soon kicked us off of), we grumbled about our frustrations and came up with a plan. We'll go back on Friday morning. If our visas are there, we'll begin our route heading south. If they still aren't ready, we will leave on a week-long tour of northern Tunisia, looping back to Tunis at the end. Upon our return, we will check at the Embassy once more. If our visas are still not ready, then we will give up on Libya and Egypt and make other plans.

Either way, we're both eager to get back in the saddle.