I can’t believe it. After all my preparation and planning and stress, I don’t actually need to include a Letter of Invitation in my application for a Pakistan visa. I was finalising a draft letter to pass on to my prospective sponsor when I thought I would do another search of what people typically include in such a letter. I ended up coming across a forum in which someone had only yesterday written that they had spoken to the High Commission for Pakistan in Canberra and been told they didn’t need a LOI. I rang the High Commission for myself but only got an answering machine. I tried and hung up twice. To my surprise they called be back within a few minutes and I was able to verify the information for myself. The great thing about this is that I don’t need to involve anyone else in the fibs I am telling as part of my application. This sent me on a mission to finalise my visa application and have it ready for posting first thing in the morning.

In the morning I picked up my passport from the China Visa Service Centre, complete with a Chinese visa. So happy to have pulled it off! Now for the Pakistan Visa.

I finished printing bank statements, then went for a walk through the city to visit the offices of my two banks where I had the statements verified and stamped, as per visa application requirements. Next, I completed my application form, including the tedious task of recording the dates I entered and left each of the nine foreign countries I have visited in the last two years. I printed a copy of my insurance (but blanked out the section that suggests I will be travelling on a bicycle), and photocopied the first four pages of my passport. Then I set about writing up a fake itinerary. I said I would be travelling by bus and aeroplane within Pakistan, visiting Lahore, Multan, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Gilgit. These are within safe zones, so I don’t expect my itinerary to raise any alarm. The only issue I could face is the fact that I am not providing evidence I have booked flights into and out of the country. Instead I provided my flight booking to India and explained I will be entering and exiting Pakistan through is land border crossing with India at Wagah. I also made a hotel booking (one I can cancel without repercussion) for a hotel in Lahore, the first town I will come to in Pakistan. The wad of paper I had at the end of my work was surprisingly thick. But by the time the day was over, I had everything gathered in a neat little pile.

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Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 17,908km