T – It’s certainly off to a messy start for South America hey?! Just when I thought we had stuffed up enough things for Colombia to cause me a big enough headache I discovered something else. We never officially cancelled our temporary import permits in Panama.
When we received the all clear to leave Panama with our bikes from the aduana officials we thought it was done and finished. Chantelle and Aaron both made a point of asking the officials in Panama City if there was anything else we needed to do before leaving and the answers had both been ‘No’.
Turns out there was one more item. We needed to cancel the TIP’s in Colon once the bikes were loaded onto the yacht. In theory we shouldn’t have received an exit stamp from immigration in Portobelo before we had a stamp in our passports showing the TIP was cancelled.
Chantelle is staying nice and calm and she keeps reassuring me that it will be fine. We will get the bikes sorted out tomorrow morning and be riding for the Andes in a day or two. Inside I know she is right. But I am still worrying myself silly. The other bikers with us are also in a state of panic and they are worried we will somehow have to return the bikes to Panama to actually officially get them out of Panama. We have no bill of lading from the boat to show how we got them here either. Oh its crazy. My advice to anyone also thinking of doing this, do your research, use a reputable service to get you and your bike around the Darien. Today Chantelle and I both feel we should have just forked out the money to have just flown the bikes. We would have had them already and probably have been riding through the city.
C – I really do not feel there is any reason for concern. We have spoken with another biker who did use the ‘reputable’ service – the Wildcard. It appears his paperwork is really not that different from ours and Aduana in Cartegena did not ask to see his exit documentation from Panama. So I am not stressed about this about this all, but Todd is having a stressful day!
T – We went for a wander into the old part of Cartagena. It is a walled city built way back when. Cartagena used to be plundered by pirates who wanted all the Spanish gold, so the Spaniards built themselves a nice little fort. Its very beautiful with lots of colour and life. I really like it!
We had a tasty lunch at a bar that was dedicated to KGB relics which was quite cool and we both enjoyed just walking around.
Tonight we might head out for some cheap eats or just stay in and watch a movie.
Tomorrow we tackle aduana and should have our bikes legal by the end of the day.