Colombia Panama Crossing
Just saw this post on advrider
No more bikes from Colombia to Panama
I may be the very last person to ever take a motorcycle on the sail boats which run between Cartagena and Panama
( via the San Blas Islands).
We booked ourselves and the bike on the Independence two weeks ago. All was good. Three days before our departure we tried to start the custom process for the bike. What a **** around It turned out to be! Apparently the port authorities and customs are in a blame game ever since the Fritz the Cat sank with about 16 passengers on board ( all of who are now safe) and one motorcycle ( which didn't make it unfortunately).
Apparently the motorcycle onboard did not properly clear customs before departing Cartagena and the port authorities say that the vessel carry the bike was no designed to carry cargo, hence may have contributed to the sinking of the vessel.
Long story short, we have spend the past three days trying to get permission to leave on the independence with the bike and until 4.00pm today (Friday) were told that there was no way that this would happen. After a lot of persistence, sop stories, and some bullshit thrown in, we finally got the customs official to stamp the form. However, her last words were that we would be the last people to ever transport a motorcycle via this method and that all future motorcycles would either have to be transported via a shipping container or via air freight.
We were also told that the new transport ferry which was supposed to be up and running in May, won't happen and neither customs not the port authority in Cartagena will approve it.
Its basically a big **** up at the moment!