History about the visa for one day

14 march 2014

Any journey is not a journey until something unexpected happens. If there was such sport then Salva and Sara Luque would probably be the winners.

- When my wife and I left Spain we were very happy – new country, new race. All necessary documents were done and we were ready to conquer unfamiliar lands. But when we came to France we were told: “You know, you don’t have Russian visa. You can’t enter the country.”

- How could it be so that youstayed without visa? You’ve said that you had all documents.

- Yes-yes. Weweresureofit. The thing is that there are two words in Spanish language – “visa” and “visado”. The first one is the word written on credit cards that we use to pay for goods. And when we were asked if we have “visa”, we said yes. And the second one, “visado”, means the entry permit to the other country. That’s how we got these two words wrong and misunderstood it all. The organizers told us that they need scans of our passports for visa and in a few days they sent us the document where everything was in Russian. Then we thought: “Oh, visa, that’s great!”, put it in the passport and started our way to the race.

- And what did you do in France when you understood that you don’t have visa?

- We went to the gas station, started surfing the Internet and called Kristina Voznuyk. We asked her what was the document that the organizers sent us by e-mail and whether it was visa or not? She said: “No, it’s a tourist voucher. In order to get the entry permit you need to go to the Russian embassy, give this voucher and ask for visa.” Then we understood that we are going to have a huge problem.

- And what was your reaction?

- We were frightened. Because, you know, if we don’t get to the race in Russia, itwill turn out that all our work was in vain: our trainings (and we had a lot of them), money spent on the tickets, all the effort. Everything that we worked for could have been wasted. We had two choices – go home or look for the emergency exit from this situation. We chose the second option; decided that it doesn't hurt to try.

- What did you do?

- We went to Finland, to the Russian embassy in Helsinki. Kristina and other organizers helped us a lot – they search through all their contacts and somehow helped us to get an emergency visa in one day. But then our problems didn’t finish! It was Friday, the embassy must have been closed in an hour and we neededinsurance. In Finland the insurance can be given only to their citizens, so we called our friends in Spain that work in this sphere and they made us the insurance. We did all in time but without the help of organizers nothing could have happened. We are really grateful to them! We wouldn’t be here without their help.

This is the kind of stories, interesting and a little crazy, that happen to the participants of our race. Now Salva and Sara Luque recall this situation with laughter, smiles and of course with gratitude.