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Old 9 Nov 2012
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Exclamation warning for transport from Colombia

Last spring I made a great journey in the tire tracks of Che Guevara together with my friend Paul​​. From Buenos Aires we traveled 13,000 kilometers through South America on a Yamaha XT1200Z and a Truimph Tiger 800XC. See our site: Dos Compañeros | go Che
This post is meant to warn travelers taht like us decide to ship their bikes from Colombia [Cartagena] back to Europe. When in Colombia I came in contact with Sander Gielen from Santa Marta. He is a Dutchman that is already for years engaged in the export of (classic) cars to Europe and the U.S. He offered to transport my XT back to Europe in one of his containers at an attractive price, including all customs formalities. I accepted his offer, partly on the advice of other Dutch travelers who had good experiences with Sander. The transport of my bike unfortunately turned into a drama. It took 6 months (!) before she was back and the costs in the end got totally out of hand. Finally I had to pay twice the price of transport arranged through a normal carrier. Not to mention all the stress and time lost to get the bike back.

So you if you travel through South America and get the tip to get in touch with Sander Gielen in Santa Marta Colombia, be warned.
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Old 31 Mar 2013
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shipping from Colombia

Hello Fried Anepool,
How are you? I just saw your post on the HUBB. Not very nice to do, especially when you do not post it under your own proper name. Yes, shipping your bike was a nightmare, I agree. But we have to be completely honest here, don´t we??

Maybe, just maybe, it would be fair to tell all the people that have read your posting and will read it in the future that you gave me a paper from the DIAN (the temporary import paper) with an error on it. And that because of this error I had the most difficult time of getting your bike back home. Why don´t you tell everybody that you asked for a 90 days permit, but you only got a 30 days permit and that you never realised this??

When you handed me the bike I asked you how many days you had gotten when you entered Colombia from Leticia. You said 90 days. Fair is fair, when I got the papers, I did not realise that they had only given you 30 days. This was a stupid mistake on my side, absolutely. Maybe something for other other travellers to keep in mind, allways check the paper they give you from the DIAN. Check all data, also the engine and chasis number, they make mistakes and more often then one would think.

But back to Fried Anepool and his bike. I contacted the DIAN in Leticia, and they did not want to change the error. I thought it to be strange that they did not want to help out. All they had to do was put in writing that they had made a small mistake and that in stead of giving you 90 days, they only gave you a 30 days permit. And now comes something interesting. Maybe they did not want to help out, because the guy that wrote up the paper for you in Leticia remembered you. He remembered that he was very helpful to you and even brought the papers to your hotel (thru the rain). Maybe the 50.000 pesos he was looking for was exagerated, but you agreed to it. If you thought it was exagerated you should have bargained at the time. In stead, you went to your comfortable hotel and got the papers delivered to you. The guy had hoped for a kind thank you and a tip (which you and your friend had agreed to pay), but all he got was a door was a slammed shut when he handed you guys the paper. You had yours so f*ck everyone else, right?

Threating people like shit, the way you and your friend did, will have consequences. And it did. And it should if you ask me. You travel all the world and when I guy offers to make the papers for you and bring it to your hotel maybe you could have spared a few euros. Maybe.

I spend a lot of time trying to get you your bike back and yes, it cost me more than you paid me, but I got the job done. That I had to take the case all the way to the top (the director of the DIAN in Cartagena) was a slow process (were in a developing country), but it worked. I can understand that the whole thing was quite an ordeal and cost you more than you had anticipated, but to put up a nasty post where you do mention my name but not yours, where you do mention my errors but fail to mention yours, where you do someting nasty behind my back (you never told me about this post) but fail to tell people how nasty you treated a guy in Leticia disappoints me a great deal. People like you should maybe not travel.

Something else. I do not ship bikes are cars (from other people) for a living. I ship my own cars world wide and sometime I help out a traveller. If people that have read this post are looking to ship their bike or car or motorhome from Colombia to anywhere in the world, I can highly recommend you talk to Sonia or Luis Ernesto from Enlace Caribe (www.enlacecaribe.com). They are two wonderful people, speak spanish and can help you with all your shipping needs.

Happy trails,

Sander Gielen
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cartagena, colombia, gielen, sander, transport

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