Monday, 17 September 2012

Day 72: not a rest day in La Paz

Greetings, hola and namaste to all of you.
Not a rest day today I'm afraid. I'm not too sure how much sleep the others got but my last email to Dick was at 1230. Sorry Dick! We spent some time worrying.
We were all up reasonably early and breakfasted because we understood that the immigration office opened at 9am. Actually it opened at 8am but never mind. We gathered our documentation and embarked. We had to take a taxi because the immigration office had recently moved and it was actually some distance away - like a 15 minute taxi ride. Just as well we got a taxi because it was muy calliente. (like tino wero nei.)
We explained our predicament but seemingly nothing could be done. Seemingly we were idiots! We then discussed it with a senior who said he might, just might, be able to make an exemption for us. We explained how at the Tijuana border we had been waved through and that we didn't know we needed this special tourist visa. He said he could not give us the 180 day tourist visa but could make an exemption and issue us with a temporary visa for 30 days which would allow us to get the vehicle permits we needed.
We then filled out forms. goodness me we filled out forms. This included an explanation (in espanol of course) of what we were doing and why we didn't have the proper tourist permits. Dick did great! We were then told to come back at 1 pm to pick up our permits. There was no charge for this.
I went shopping and bought some seasick pills (try asking for those in Spanish and sign language), a replacement bandana and tried to buy an umbrella for a sun shade. I could only find one brolly and when I put it up it fell to bits. So, de nada! Some other day maybe.
At 1pm we went back to immigration to collect our forms. We waited. The taxi driver waited. He waited, she waited, We waited all ... four. Finally the papers arrived and I signed my name 14 times in 14 different places before our 30 day tourists permits (not visas you understand) were issued.
Next we went to customs which was just across the boulevard and up a bit. Sweet. Here is where we would get our permits for the bikes. Yes?
No. The paperwork was ok but, sorry they said, we had to go back to Pichelingue (the ferry terminal) to get the bike permits. It was the only place.
Back in the taxi we went and off to Pichelingue. Sorry she said. To get the permit for your bikes you need the 180 day tourist permit - the 30 day permits is not good enough - and the only place that you can get that is to go to Tijuana. That is 1,480kms away? No problem though ... you can just fly up there (via Mexico City) and then fly back again. Sure it is a little expensive but .... ah ... What can one do?
Here we are at the customs office. Note the strange juxtaposition of the limbs.

Fingers crossed, legs crossed, and let's not go further.
At this point we were stuffed. Stuck in a contest between customs and immigration. Immigration gave us permits for 30 days and said these were sufficient for the vehicle permits because we were not staying for more than 30 days. Customs said sorry, they're wrong, to get the vehicle permit you need the 180 day permit.
At this point we noticeably noticed a notice (as you do) near the counter referring to an agent specialising in helping with immigration and customs issues. Without going into too much detail, we, rang, he agreed to meet us at the hotel at 6pm, issued us with the tourist permits on the spot and all was sweet. He tangata rereke tenei.
This made us relatively happy. Well, me anyway.

So ... tomorrow at 1pm we will check out of this flash pub and go back for the third time to Pichelingue. We will present our new tourist visas to the lady along with our passport photocopies and certificate of registrations. She will then give us our bike permits. Won't she. YES SHE WILL.
We will then get on the ferry and sail to Mazatlan. YES WE WILL.
I'm knackered. Good night all.
Today's run: 0kms
Cumulative: 20,539Kms
Tipovers: 2

Location:La Paz, BCS, Mexico

1 comment:

  1. holy crap what a day - poor you. Fingers now crossed you will get yourselves and your bikes onboard, and can sail off into the sunset. Wondering if swearing a universal language or if you could ease your frustration by abusing them, without them knowing what you were saying?!!