Monday, November 29, 2010

Cartagena Chaos

Well, things did not go as planned on Thanksgiving Thursday. After having made sure that the motorhome was here and docked and unloaded, we set off for the shipping office to pick up the bill of lading. After much discussion, Arlene, our contact told us that we had been given incorrect information. We had been told to have a cashiers cheque, made payable to Wallenius Wilhelmsen (the cargo carrier) for our shipping fees. We are now informed that they do not have that name in Colombia and the cheque should have been made to Naves Shipping. Naves! Tom and I looked at each other. This was the first time we had heard of the name. They were unrelenting. We can give cash or we need to take care of the cheque another way (no options were offered) but until the money issue is resolved we will not be given the release on the vehicle. We are stunned. We now have a cashiers cheque, that we handed over cash for to the tune of $2,600.00 and it is no good, at least not in Colombia. We called Joel, our contact in Manzanillo. He apologized, Arlene apologized, but the end result was we would not get our RV today. We must now, send the cheque back to Manzanillo to Joel and when he recieves the money, then the RV will be released. We leave and assess our options, the first being getting more time at the hotel. We have another problem. It is now after 12pm and the Hilton due to hosting a convention, does not have any rooms available for tonight. They suggest we try across the street from the hotel where there are many condo/apartment buildings but they do not know which accepts pets. Fortunately, most do and we got a 1 bedroom apartment in the El Conquistador. Our next stop was to the Federal Express office to mail the cheque to Wallenius Wilhelmsen in Panama and since we are here to mail the Christmas presents back to the US. We find out there is no overnight service to Panama, only a 2 day service and so the cheque will not arrive until Monday. We get back to the Conquistador and contact Joel in Panama to let him know the cashiers cheque will be there on Monday. Monday is a holiday here, he tells us. Cripes! What more can go wrong. We will now be at the Conquistador until Tuesday at least. After getting back to the condo, we took time to regroup. The whole shipping process has thrown us off and we are reconciling ourselves to being without our RV for another 5 days minimum. We spend Friday grocery shopping. The condo has a small kitchen area so we will be able to cook some of our own meals and be more self sufficient than at an hotel. We are just across the street from the beach so can still walk Winston and enjoy the town. Tuesday finds us checking the Fedex website every couple of hours to track the cheque. Finally at 4pm, Joel signs for it in Panama. I email him and he assures us that all is well and we can get the bill of lading tomorrow (Wednesday) from Naves in Cartagena. I am so relieved I am almost in tears. Thank You God! Tom is as thankful as I am. We really are missing our rolling home and looking forward to picking it up in the morning. It is truly a good Tuesday and hopefully a better Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. yikes too much stress... hopefully the hotel has a hot tub...