Sunday, November 21, 2010
Cargo an RV from Panama to Colombia. Part Two. November 18th, 2010.
We knew that flexibilty is key both with travelling and shipping. Wednesday we felt pretty good about things. We had successfully dealt with the DIJ and Secretariat General. We made our hotel reservations for the 6 nights in Panama, picked up our rental car from the airport, got our laundry done and RV washed. Wednesday night we went to the Balboa Club to get on line, skype and check emails. After talking with family and friends, I logged onto our email. One from the shipping company. We are shipping with Wallenius Wilhelmsen and have been in contact with Joel, their logistics coordinator for the past few weeks. We are booked on the Galaxy Leader scheduled to leave Tuesday. Not anymore. It appears the Galaxy Leader is stuck in Texas so we need to be at port in Manzanillo, Colon as early as possible on Thursday because they are going to try to get us on a vessel, the Kassel, leaving Friday. Friday! That means we need to leave for Colombia on Sunday instead of Wednesday. Thank God we haven't purchased tickets yet. We send an email to Joel that we will be in Manzanillo as early Thursday as possible. I barely sleep. Thursday, we get up early, pack up the items we will carry with us on the plane, mainly our expensive electronic equipment, install our temporary plywood wall and feed and walk Winston. I also give Winston a tranquillizer pill. We want to sedate him when we fly and his vet had suggested we try the pills out first to see how he responds to them and this seems as good a time as any. When we get to the terminal at port we meet up with Joel and get our final bill of lading. Winston sleeps. We then go to Aduana (Customs) to cancel our temp. import permit and give a copy of the authorization form we had recieved from the DIJ on Tuesday. Winston sleeps. It's then onto the exit office for another stamp and finally to the harbor master where the RV was inspected for shipment by customs both inside and out by both officials and drug sniffing dogs. I couldn't help but wonder..drugs. Didn't they know we were going to Colombia. I mean, if we were so inclined, isn't that like taking sand to the beach! We are given the go ahead and finally hand over the keys of our beloved casa rodante to the harbor master. A sticker is fixed on the windshield, I hope it gets on the right ship! Winston sleeps. We head back to Panama City to our hotel for the next three nights, not six as originally planned. The RV is on it's way to Cartagena, Colombia and now we need to get reservations to meet up with it. We get to the hotel, check in and get our luggage into the room. We have to wake Winston up, he is groggy. Tom walks him a little so he can go to the bathroom and we settle him into the room before going to get a bite to eat. When we return to the room, Winston sleeps..and so do we.