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I am planning to cross Panama to Quito using airfreight in the first few days of July. Is anyone out there planning to do similar. I thought it may ease the hassles for all involved if there were two travellers to sort out the freighting arrangements. It may also be possible to work out a cheaper deal for two bikes. Give me a mail if you are around or have any suggestions. See ya on the road.
Just to let you know that I had a bad experience with Girag. Nice offices and all smiles there, but they let me down big time by promising a flight for me when there was not one scheduled. I was in a hurry to get the bike and they lied to me to get my business.
I was delayed by 5 days because of this in Quito from PC,
Also, bear in mind that all the cargo companies I approached in Toucaman airport (apart from Copa - they wanted $650) wanted $450 to fly the bike to Quito. All flights stop at Bogota for a couple of days, no getting around that, contrary to what might be published on the net...thats the latest as of 8 weeks ago. Good luck.
Just a counter point, "your mileage may vary". I used Girag from Panama City to Bogota. No problems at all with Girag. Took a little bit of time to find the place to get the proper exit stamp in Panama City, but other than that it went very smoothly. See my report in the shipments by travellers section of HU.
Er,'do not use Girag' is the biggest load of rubbish I've ever heard in my life. (Apart from 'BMW's are reliable') Colesy, you're a know-nothing drama queen who shouldn't be handing out bad advice just because you want to sound in-the-know. Your bike was delayed five days? So what? Small potatoes.
I used Girag, everyone I've met and travelled with down here has used Girag, never with any problems. They're helpful, quick, reliable. Don't believe me? Ask Tam, Richard and Jane, anyone. Just not Colesy.
Sorry, but that kind of unreliable, unthinking response doesn't help anyone.
Mail me of you want details of flights, prices, Quito, etc.
Ta for the advice guys. have just arrived in San Jose and will be headed out on saturday 3rd for panama. hope to be down in panama city monday sometime. will give you a mail dan and hopefully catch up with whoever is about.also if you have time could you send me details about flights and cost involved.
[This message has been edited by Oz (edited 02 July 2004).]
Man, Dan's right. Pay no attention to Colesy on this matter!
I started out intending on going to Venezuela with my bike. One week of going to every shipping company in Panama to finally get it sorted.
No other shipping company will touch your bike directly. You will have to go through a carrier who will put it in a box and hand it over to the shipper.
My plans changed and I needed to go to Quito.
GIRAG - Hi. No problem. Drop the bike off tomorrow. Done.
650 was a small price to pay in comparrison to the day in, day out, 40k, back and forth to shipping, trying to sort the first one out!
GIRAG are the only company in Panama that do this on a regular enough basis to deal with your bike, without hassle.
Everyone else I went to (and there were many!) looked at me like I was trying to ship the space shuttle.
Also. I've been here in Quito for a while and should be when you arrive. I'm always in the turtle's head pub near the marriot. Amazonas y Nina.
Hope to see you soon.
I think Dan23 could lighten up a little, Coyleboy was only relating his experience. I had heard good things about Girag and used them to ship my bike from Panama to Miami last December, my exprience could have been better, could have been worse. I would use them again, but they are not perfect, by a long way. I don't personally know any of the people on this thread, I am just appealling for some civility here. Following is my description of my shipping with Girag from another thread earlier this year:
I shipped my KLR 650 from Panama to Miami in December with Girag, at the international airport in Tocumen, Panama (near Panama City). I arrived at the freight terminal, they weighed the bike, and quoted me a price of ~$530, plus $75 dangerous goods surcharge, plus $100 to crate it. I had them crate the bike, they then measured the crate and said because of its' size they had to charge, I don't remember exactly, but say $900 plus crating , plus dangerous goods. Of course the bike was already partially disassembled and crated, so I just didn't want to walk away. I haggled them down to where the total for everything was $879. Maybe I could have bargained harder, but that's what I paid. The guy I was travelling with paid roughly half that to fly his bike to Quito. Part of that savings is that the FAA requires bikes to be crated to fly to the USA, while Ecuador does not. At least that's the story I got. I was told to disconnect the battery, which I did not do, and let the air out of the tires, which I did lower them by 10 psi or so, leaving enough air that I could ride to a gas station in Miami. The fuel was on reserve, so there was little in the tank, but nobody checked. The bike arrived in Miami 1 day later than I was told in Panama, which didn't surprise me. It then took me 2 days to get it out of US customs in Miami, which did surprise me a little. All told it could have been worse. If I spoke better Spanish I'm sure I could have bargained better on the Panama end. Hope this helps.
This board is only as good as its information. Is only as good as its posters. I've been using it for years now, first across Africa, now across the Americas, and it's always been damn helpful, useful, reliable. Invaluable, even.
Entonces, when people post duff information, it devalues the board. And it gets on my tits. Lighten up? I'm fluffy as a cloud, son, happily plotted up on a Peruvian beach. But Colesy's post, with its insistence that Girag should be avoided, will have needlessly worried other travellers heading for Panama. And that's far from civil.
Again, I maintain he's wrong. And I believe he's over-doing it. Andy, you may have had complications flying north to the US, but we're discussing the Panama-Bogota-Quito service, the service most mc travellers use, and the service most mc travellers have no problems with. Turn up, no need to book, no need to crate, no need to deflate or dismantle, just disconnect the battery, pay $350 with no hidden extras and two or three days later bingo, the bike's in Bogota being released by equally helpful, competent staff.
There are many variables, worries, concerns in overland travel. But flying with Girag from Panama City to Bogota is not one of them. So why pretend it is?
Hi all, we too had no problems with Girag.
Really helpful, very efficient. They fly from Panama to Bogata every day, well midnight, so if you get your bike there by 4pm it gets on the flight that night. If not the next. Bogata to Quito is only twice a week so this is where you could get caught waiting for a few days. We had weekend in Cartegena and bike was waiting in Quito when we arrived. Even had email to tell us it had arrived on the day we had been told. We had really not been looking forward to handing over our precious to anyone but it couldn't have been easier!!
shipped the bike with girag last week. only problem was that they dropped it and broke the side stand off the bike(ratchet straps are strong i guess!)$5 worth of welding and sorted. gave the bike to girag on wed, was in quito sat. then the usual faf to get it out of aduana without the carnet, 2 days later got the bike. thanks for those who posted advice. broken stand aside girag were fast and efficient, use them!
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