In my final post in this series I will discuss the process of how we ultimately obtained the Police Clearance Certificate for Heidi, but it was now 5pm with our flight back to Europe scheduled to depart in four hours and we still did not have the vital document that was the very purpose of our trip.
We had spent five nights in Johannesburg because the document was supposed to be ready for pick-up. Only it was not.
Each day we were told to wait one more day with no clear explanation for the delay. We mentioned that we had planned a couple days in Cape Town and were told not to worry, that we could pick-up the document there.
Truthfully, I was prepared to ditch our flight back if we did not get the document, but we proceeded to Cape Town as planned and waited for the document to arrive. While we were on the boat back from Robben Island, just hours before our flight to London, we received a SMS that it had arrived and were directed to a courier facility near the airport.
With traffic, it was a 40-minute drive to the airport and upon arrival we could not find the place and neither could our navigation system. After circling the airport a couple times, I called the courier office and they tried to direct me to their off-site location.
We still could not find it.
I was passed off to another guy “who could explain it better” and found a narrow side road that we missed earlier and presently pulled up in front of the courier facility.
The door was locked! I rapped on it and a woman came out from a back room and opened it, saying simply, “We’re closed.”
“No, I am that guy trying to pick up the document.”
Her face brightened and then dampened.
“Oh no! Our courier went out looking for you.”
She got a hold of him on his mobile phone and we agreed to meet at the airport entrance….which if you’re familiar with Cape Town Airport is on a busy multi-lane road.
Off we drove again and retraced our steps back to the main road leading to the airport. Suddenly a car appeared behind us with high beams flashing and signaled for us to stop – perhaps our slow speed gave us away. The only problem: we were in the middle of a busy road with no emergency or parking lanes off to the side.
The driver cut in front of us and pulled into a center turn lane and stopped. We pulled up right behind him.
Jumping out of the car carrying a box like a pizza delivery guy, he ran over to our car, opened the box, and pulled out the envelope we had been waiting for. Heidi quickly opened it to verify it was indeed hers and after confirmation, the driver tipped his baseball cap, jumped back into his car, and drove off. No signature.
We had the document. Mission accomplished.
Read More of My Month in Africa Trip Report
Introduction: A Month in Africa
Review: Houston to Lagos in United Airlines 787 Business
Transit in Lagos: Bribing My Way Out
Review: Oasis Lounge Lagos (LOS)
Review: Gabfol Lounge Lagos (LOS)
Lagos to Johannesburg in South African Airways Economy Class
Setting Up Shop in Pretoria
How to Obtain a South African Police Report
A Safari in Kruger National Park
Review: Nkambeni Safari Camp
Driving Through Swaziland
Review: Mountain Inn Mbabane, Swaziland
Review: Johannesburg to Livingstone, Zambia in British Airways Comair Economy Class
Our Humble Abode in Zambia
Victoria Falls from the Zambian Side
From Hate to Great: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Old House Guest Lodge – Kasane, Botswana
A Visit to Impalila Island, Namibia
Kasane, Botswana to Johannesburg on South African Airways (Airlink)
Review: Hyatt Regency Johannesburg (Suite)
Road Trip from Johannesburg to Lesotho
Review: South African Airways Domestic Voyager Lounge – JNB
The Cruel Poverty of Cape Town
The Robben Island Experience