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  #1  
Old 3 Nov 2009
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Reports of Bikes Confiscated in Columbia? Anyone Heard More

Hi

I have been in contact with Sylvia from the Hostel Wonderbar

She said that 7 bikes have been confiscated in Columbia in the past week.

Can anyone confirm or can advise what is an alternative if this is going to be an ongoing problem? She is not sure whether bikes will be transported by them anymore.

I am in El Salvador and was planning on the 15th Nov for the crossing.

Any help appreciated

Cheers
TravellingStrom
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  #2  
Old 3 Nov 2009
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Well shoot, I'm a week behind you and was taking aim at about the same period. On the one hand, if they stop transporting bikes it doesn't really matter why. On the other hand, it'd be good to be able to anticipate whether the reasons for any confiscations which might or might not have occurred (this sounds remarkably vague, doesn't it?) could apply to other bikes, brought to Colombia by other means.

Hope more information is forthcoming, but thanks for the alert.

Mark

(Antigua, currently; thinking about climbing a volcano tomorrow.....or maybe just sleeping late instead)
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  #3  
Old 3 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
(Antigua, currently; thinking about climbing a volcano tomorrow.....or maybe just sleeping late instead)
I stayed in Antigua for a week, only left two days ago, I am now in San Miguel and heading to Nicuragua. I have just had a bad report of rip off costs at the ES to HON border.

Climb the volcano, I did, it is hard yakka but worth the effort, have a read here in case you want a preview I did the afternoon hike, 2-9pm.

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TS
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  #4  
Old 4 Nov 2009
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A Right Rip Off

We are in San Juan del Sur at the moment heading into Costa Rica then Panama in a couple of weeks, we would like to sail to Cartagena but will probably end up flying to Columbia so would appreciate any info on the above situation. By the way we foolishly used Helpers at the ES Honduras border and ended up paying $80 in total , yes, we know what your'e gonna say and we've learned our lesson. 4 and a half hours with power cuts and the usual administrative BS seems the norm!

Ride Safe - Stay Upright

Graham and Sue
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  #5  
Old 4 Nov 2009
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Thanks for the info, I am getting all my instructions right now and hopefully will do with out any helpers. It looks like a rip off place though, I think I will ride straight through into Nicaragua

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TS
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  #6  
Old 5 Nov 2009
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Me again, I just got into Honduras. You are totally correct about the wait, but I did it slightly different and it cost me only $62 total.

I paid a helper $12, he did all the work and stood in lines for 4 hours. I sat in the shade and read a book I had brought for the occasion, when it was all done, it then started to rain for an hour, typical

I was happy to pay the $12, no hassle for me, a bit cheaper than you, not much, but it does cost a minimum of at least $50, so I was happy with the outcome.

One note though, make sure you have a warning triangle as the cops 30km down the road will ask for it, if you do not have one, it costs whatever, about $20 probably at least, the triangle costs $6.50

Sorry for hijacking my own thread

Cheers
TravellingStrom
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2009
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Honduras border

I came throught the Honduras border last week, and a biker told me in El Salvador I would have to be prepared for 3h in and 3h out and lots of money: well my experience : 45 min to go in and 5 min to go out. Total cost 35 usd. I used no helpers, chased them away and parked my bike in front of the bank, in the middle of the building. To go out I used the Guasaule crossing. >I am now in Granada-Nicaragua.
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  #8  
Old 23 Nov 2009
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To get back to the original subject of this thread....has anyone got any reliable information, substantial rumors or unmitigated conjecture without any basis in fact about the current status of bike shipments into Colombia?

I met a deaf Romanian biker the other day headed northward into Costa Rica while I transited south into Panama (can´t be too many like him, can there?). He told me that sailing is now impossible....but given the language, speech and auditory barriers--plus the fact that we were both in a hurry in opposite directions) I didn´t gather why or how.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks much.

Mark

(from sultry Panama City)
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  #9  
Old 24 Nov 2009
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OK, as I have just made the crossing I have more info.

I sailed on one of the better boats, the Golden Eagle and it is his last trip afaik this year with bikes. This may change but I doubt it. The original issue was with the import documents and not having paperwork cleared, but it went a bit further than that.

What happened that caused the problem was that the boat docked and the bikes were unloaded, THEN the riders went riding around looking for import stamps and Aduanas and insurance etc, this was frowned upon, so the bikes were impounded until it could be sorted.

Now, this time, a different boat and skipper, and being more professional, has organised an agent in Colombia. The details were supposed to have been sent by Silvia at HW but weren't, this meant we had to try and text all the details during the crossing, very annoying. Anyway, the agent collected our passports on arrival, all the processes were nearly done, he just needed the vehicle documents to get the stamps.

So, today, the bikes will be unloaded but ONLY once we have the stamped paperwork, then we ride direct to the Seguro and buy compulsory insurarance, and we can ride wherever we want. That should clear everything up and puts the thread back on topic.

If you have any more questions just ask, I will be here a day or so and will have more concise info a bit later today.

Cheers
TS
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  #10  
Old 24 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
OK, as I have just made the crossing I have more info.

I sailed on one of the better boats, the Golden Eagle and it is his last trip afaik this year with bikes. This may change but I doubt it. The original issue was with the import documents and not having paperwork cleared, but it went a bit further than that.

What happened that caused the problem was that the boat docked and the bikes were unloaded, THEN the riders went riding around looking for import stamps and Aduanas and insurance etc, this was frowned upon, so the bikes were impounded until it could be sorted.

Now, this time, a different boat and skipper, and being more professional, has organised an agent in Colombia. The details were supposed to have been sent by Silvia at HW but weren't, this meant we had to try and text all the details during the crossing, very annoying. Anyway, the agent collected our passports on arrival, all the processes were nearly done, he just needed the vehicle documents to get the stamps.

So, today, the bikes will be unloaded but ONLY once we have the stamped paperwork, then we ride direct to the Seguro and buy compulsory insurarance, and we can ride wherever we want. That should clear everything up and puts the thread back on topic.

If you have any more questions just ask, I will be here a day or so and will have more concise info a bit later today.

Cheers
TS
There also the option of flying the bike to either Bogota, Cali or Medellin from Panama City. Copa Airlines have just started flying cargo again, so now the prices should be back to normal after Girag's monopoly the last couple of month. Price for bike is around U$600, no need to crate or take out fuel, oil or air.

Do drop by and say hi here in Cali.

Cheers
Mike
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  #11  
Old 24 Nov 2009
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Hi Mike, that seems like a nice option as well, especially at that price.

It was nice to sail on a nice boat through the Islands, it was mostly relaxing and only one wanker on board.

The agent does not appear to be as good as first thought. We had the paperwork given to us as planned at 11am, note, this cost us an additional fee of $30 per bike. For that all we get is this bit of paper.. We were now allowed to unload the boat. He, the agent had to get our passports stamped, he as yet has failed to do so..

With the paperwork we had, all we could achieve was to get the bikes washed(another $5) and get the bikes to the hotel, totally LEGAL, so that was fine.

We cannot visit Aduana nor Seguro, until we have our passports back, so we hope to get them tonight at the bar for drinkies with the skipper and do the stuff tomorrow.

More info as it comes to hand, or changes.

I will write up the full procedure and put it in my blog once it is factual and correct and complete.


Dropping inb to Cali seems like a good plan, always like to meet fellow bikers, can you pm me with some contact details please

Cheers
TS
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  #12  
Old 24 Nov 2009
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PM sent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
Hi Mike, that seems like a nice option as well, especially at that price.

It was nice to sail on a nice boat through the Islands, it was mostly relaxing and only one wanker on board.

The agent does not appear to be as good as first thought. We had the paperwork given to us as planned at 11am, note, this cost us an additional fee of $30 per bike. For that all we get is this bit of paper.. We were now allowed to unload the boat. He, the agent had to get our passports stamped, he as yet has failed to do so..

With the paperwork we had, all we could achieve was to get the bikes washed(another $5) and get the bikes to the hotel, totally LEGAL, so that was fine.

We cannot visit Aduana nor Seguro, until we have our passports back, so we hope to get them tonight at the bar for drinkies with the skipper and do the stuff tomorrow.

More info as it comes to hand, or changes.

I will write up the full procedure and put it in my blog once it is factual and correct and complete.


Dropping inb to Cali seems like a good plan, always like to meet fellow bikers, can you pm me with some contact details please

Cheers
TS
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  #13  
Old 2 Dec 2009
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Partially True

I was on the Stahlratte five weeks ago. As the ship has been doing for years the bikes from Panama were unloaded onto land in the public right of way in Cartegena (small vessel dock). The ship had anchored in the "yacht port" and does not use the commercial port to "import" bikes. We waited a few hours for the ships importation agent to stamp our passports and used this time to transport the bikes off the ship and onto land. A local Colombian charter owner had been harassing other small vessel charter operators and it was suspected that they called the policia. Only after we got our passports did we leave the vessel with the intention to bring our bikes to Aduana for their importation. We were met at the small vessel dock by the policia who escorted all seven bikes and riders to Aduana. At no time other than our escort were any of us riding around Cartegena before our bikes were stamped in. Our bikes were impounded and it took us one day of sitting around the Aduana office until I bothered the receptionist enough to learn to "come back tomorrow" the next day our importation agent was present and the bikes were released after I put a few more some more USA asshole cards on the table. It sucked bad and my only advice is boycott the Colombian charter boats! Aaron Petty www.aaronpetty.com

From www.stahlratte.org: Logbuch

"we had some trouble because of the place where we usually unload the motorbikes here in cartagena because of a denunciation but it was resolved 2 days later and now we have the official permission to unload the motos. we are on maintenance works aand had a big inspection for our safety equippment, so everything is like in new conditions. tuesday heading back to san blas and there is still spots left! ahoi"

w
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
Hi

I have been in contact with Sylvia from the Hostel Wonderbar

She said that 7 bikes have been confiscated in Columbia in the past week.

Can anyone confirm or can advise what is an alternative if this is going to be an ongoing problem? She is not sure whether bikes will be transported by them anymore.

I am in El Salvador and was planning on the 15th Nov for the crossing.

Any help appreciated

Cheers
TravellingStrom
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  #14  
Old 3 Dec 2009
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Location: Wisconsin and Panama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
The agent does not appear to be as good as first thought. We had the paperwork given to us as planned at 11am, note, this cost us an additional fee of $30 per bike. For that all we get is this bit of paper.. We were now allowed to unload the boat. He, the agent had to get our passports stamped, he as yet has failed to do so..

With the paperwork we had, all we could achieve was to get the bikes washed(another $5) and get the bikes to the hotel, totally LEGAL, so that was fine.

We cannot visit Aduana nor Seguro, until we have our passports back, so we hope to get them tonight at the bar for drinkies with the skipper and do the stuff tomorrow.

Cheers
TS
NEVER, EVER let your passport out of sight!!! If an "agent" wants to take your passport somewhere, go with them, and carry your passport yourself. This is true for every border, every temporary import/export.
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  #15  
Old 3 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
NEVER, EVER let your passport out of sight!!! If an "agent" wants to take your passport somewhere, go with them, and carry your passport yourself. This is true for every border, every temporary import/export.
Hi

Not in this case, while at sea and having been stamped out of Panama, the skipper of the boat is in control of the passports while we are in international waters. This is normal, he is alsoin charge of getting the passports stamped by immigration when entering a new country, this is by boat, it may be different by air.

Cheers
TS
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