December 6, 2022
I landed in Doha at 04:30 local time after a 7h flight from Bangkok where I slept most of the time. I hope Woland did the same down below in his crate. He was relaxed when I dropped him at the oversized baggage area. His travel wouldn’t have been possible without Christine and Detlef, a German couple who runs a company helping dog owners navigate the insanity of paperwork, permits, certificates, and logistics required to move animals across countries. Thailand, being a high-risk country because of the prevalence of rabies, is a particularly challenging origin. In our case, Woland needed authorizations to travel to both the United States AND Ecuador.
Detlef and his driver came to pick us up, Woland and I (Natalia is in Manila for work), at 22:00 and with the crate, my carry on and handbag drove to Suvarnabhumi airport. We went directly to special check-in and the process was relatively painless. After paying some USD 450 for the extra weight and dropping the crate with Woland inside, I said goodbye to Detlef and thanked him profusely. In no time I went through security and passport control and from there walked to a small bar near the E gates where I was able to enjoy two well deserved G&Ts before boarding the plane – and celebrate the Foundation of Quito Day that took place 488 years ago. .
A few minutes ago, I went to Qatar Airlines customer services to enquire about Woland. I was told he was outside his crate drinking and eating. We have one hour ahead of us before boarding the plane to Washington DC. It is a long flight – some 14 hours – and I know Woland will at some point struggle. I’ m hoping for the best.
I completed the trip around the world (by plane) on November 25th, after 5 weeks on the road. It was good to be back home even if briefly and even if not continuously for the two weekends I had in Thailand Natalia, Woland, and I drove to the beach, first Hua Hin then a small beach town near Pataya. Nothing special about either of the two place but it was good to be near sand and water. I had quite a bit of work before traveling again, but did enjoy the time with Natalia and Woland – and her mother who arrived last Tuesday.
While in Bangkok we also received our order of various forms of Ethanol. It s good to know that when I go back sometime in January our reserves would have ben replenished.
I don’t have big plans for my time in Washington DC, I will simply be dedicated to my daughters. On Friday we have tickets for the ballet; Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. I am sure Woland will also enjoy the city, meeting Virgilio the French Bulldog, and walking in Rock Creek Park.
My plan is to fly to Ecuador with Woland on Saturday or Sunday. Marina will follow on the 15th and Natalia and her mother on the 16th. Because of work related meetings in Quito my trip to Cartagena has been delayed until after new year’s. Most probably, Marina will come with me.
But BEHEMOTH seems to be doing well. She is getting a face-lift at the boat yard and a tattoo with her new name. I have also made progress with her registration in France. I found an extremely efficient agent based in the Netherlands who is helping with that. I was able to send him by DHL all the paperwork needed before leaving Bangkok.
More updates will follow.