July 14, 2002 GMT
Paper, Paper Everywhere

In the last 2 weeks, we have been busy sorting out all the documents that we need to take with us. I had to get my bike registered in my name instead of Arno’s, not just for this trip; incidentally, the machine has to be in my name when it is shipped to Australia, if we ever get our Permanent Residence Visas.
We got our international drivers licences and international registration documents, the latter giving the chair jockeys a serious headache. I guess most people here don’t take their precious vehicles much further than the EU borders these days.
Next on the list was to decide which shipping company we were going to use. We had a total of 8 quotes, all of which were calculated differently, in different currencies. Decided against the traditional method of closed eyes and a pin, and instead drew up a comparison table.
The important figures for us were; first the cost of the transport of the crates from here in Munich to Hamburg [ranging from €203 to €390], second the port charges at Hamburg [€40 - €205], third the actual cost for 4 cubic metres (to which we added BAF costs)[€228 - €332]. The costs in LA were not always quoted, but didn’t vary as wildly as some of the other costs [average$350]. All costs by the way are for 2 bikes in separate crates.
With all the figures sorted out it was quite easy to choose the shipper and so we booked the shipping of the bikes, leaving Munich around the 8th of August, with an arrival date in LA of 11th of September………………………
A visit to the main customs office in Munich left us with more forms to fill in and get stamped, then to the copy shop to start on the mountain of copies that we need for various purposes. It is now that Arno realises his passport is somewhat devoid of blank pages, already having travelled halfway around the world. Next stop, application for a new passport, could take up to 6 weeks, they tell us, mmmm, lets hope this renowned German efficiency lives up to expectations.


Posted by Sian Mackenzie at July 14, 2002 09:13 AM GMT
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