Our first day in BA and some good, some not so good. Breakfast was included in our first night's room rate so we dealt to that first and then went off to International Cargo for our meeting with Natalia. She was available as she was dealing to a personal crisis (?) so we met with the Managing Director and Martin. They confirmed to us the bad news.
Apparently Argentine regulations for the export of personal items (like motorbikes) require that the owner is physically present at time at which the property is loaded into the container. This is supposedly to control drug smuggling. Because it is so close to Xmas there is only one chance that we might be able to have this done on Tuesday. (Today is Friday) There is then a chance that we might be able to change our flight to Sydney from Sunday to the Wednesday. And then a chance that I might be able to change my flight from Sydney to Welly. It all sounded pretty chancy to us.
So we either stay in Argentina now until mid-January so the bikes can be cleared and then fly home, or fly home now for Xmas with family and then fly back in January. Not too much doubt I think about which one we will choose.
We then went to meet with Octavio of Hub who is the customs broker. He confirmed all of this information and collected our documents for copying. They had to be signed in front of a notary public. He also advised that because the permit for the temporary import of the bikes runs till August 2013 there is no problem with us coming home for Xmas. We just have to arrange to have the bikes stored and advise the broker of the location. Just in case there is a one in a million chance that Customs may choose to inspect. All of this I think is to ensure that we don't sell the bikes illegally and cheat the government out of their sales tax.
Dick has an old friend here in BA called Eddie who used to own and manage a cereal factory in Tres Arroyos. He had an accident some five years ago and is now in a wheelchair, living in an apartment in BA. He was a great contact! Not only was he very pleased to see us but he also has a neighbour who doesn't use his carpark. An arrangement was made to park the girls there until we can get back to watch them being loaded into a container.
Back at the hotel Dick and I split up to do our own things for a while and then went to the famous Tango Porteno show. It was a hoot. Not only did they serve nice food on a massive scale - getting most people's orders right - serving nice wine, the show itself was great. It had a storyline there somewhere; not far from Eliza Dolittle and My Fair Lady but not quite. Towards the end the storyline got sacrificed I think for more tango varieties. My mum would have absolutely adored it!
So, tomorrow we will take the bikes out to Eddie's apartment, strip mirrors and windscreens, disconnect batteries and leave them. :-( Hopefully we will be able to arrange for them to be picked up by truck in the New .year. Otherwise we will refit the windscreens and mirrors, reconnect the batteries and ride them to the wharf.
More to come. Obviously!
Today's run: 0kms
Location:Buenos Aires, Argentina