Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Day 101: In Cartagena receiving the bikes

Greetings all.
Wow, what a day. Such a mixture of anxiety, relief and excruciating boredom, followed by more boredom and then relief once again. It went like this:
We were up at 530am and organised to meet at 615 so we could walk down to the wharf to collect Ebony and Mella. And it rained. It didn't rain. It absolutely poured down. This is INSIDE the hotel. The vertical streaks are watery.

It took Dick and I about 20 minutes to walk through the rain to the little jetty where we had been dropped off yesterday. The others slowly gathered there too. Soon the bikes began to arrive.
The process was simple. Tie some ropes around the bike, throw it off the Stahlratte into a zodiac, ride it to the jetty, tie on a new set of ropes and manhandle the bike out of the zodiac and onto the jetty. Like this. This was Phil's V-Strom.

Soon it was Ebony's turn. Here she comes. Look at the rain!

With Floyd riding her in.

At this point I had an attack of the jitters, put the camera away and went to help. It was all good! Dick has a great series of photos on his blog if you want to see the whole process.
We then rode through the rain to customs to complete our temporary importations processes. We were probably all there by 8am but the agent holding our papers and passports didn't arrive till after 9am. And then we waited.

And waited. And waited. Meanwhile Shirl went shopping and taking photos of food and flowers.

A flurry of excitement at about 11 when an official came out to match our bikes to the details on his papers: VIN, plate no and colour. All we needed now was the big boss to sign and stamp the papers. And the time was 1157! And he had gone to lunch. A two-hour lunch. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally at about 230 we got our clearances and were back on the road to the jetty to collect our cases from the Stahlratte.
All was quiet on the Stahlratte. We waved. We whistled. We shouted. And finally Dick phoned. Success. Our cases arrived. Then it was the compulsory insurance. We needed to have to have a copy of the Colombia importation paper plus the page on our passport with the Colombia stamp. And 80,000 pesos. Or maybe 800,000 pesos, I'm not quite sure.
Finally we got away and back to the hotel (not as easy as it sounds) to park our bikes in the patio by the swimming pool. Nice concierge holding the gate.

Steady on the tiles past the pool. Complete with slightly startled onlooker.

I went back to meet Shirl at our hotel for a shower and a nap and then went out to the old town for a meal.msomemof the others joined us too. Chantelle and Jean.

Max, Maggie and Eddie with Girmo (sp?)

Taka with the big smile.

Soon it was goodbyes all over again and we were off, first to the hostel in the hope that our insurance had been delivered and then to our hotel. Shirl spotted this on the way.

And that was about it. An exhausted collapse into bed.
Today's ride: 12kms
Cumulative: 26,119kms
Tipovers: 4

Location:Cartagena, Colombia

1 comment:

  1. Err? slightly dodgy transfer there Kenneth ... wondering how all that electronics would dry out after a dip. Your nerves must be hardening along with your arteries!