October 02, 2002 GMT
It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to

Here we are on the correct continent at last. Things are not however, going exactly according to plan…….

The bikes arrived at Los Angeles Harbour as expected on Weds 25th September, were unloaded on the Thursday and were waiting to be transported to a warehouse on Friday. As we were landing at LA airport, that same Friday morning, the port management decided to lock out all the longshoremen (dock workers) over a contract dispute that has been in the air for a couple of months.

Only vaguely aware of this, we enjoyed the weekend seeing the glitzy areas of LA.

By the way, we had no problems with immigration at LAX, we were not asked to show proof of funds or even an onward ticket. For once, we had both. Having heard how awkward US immigration officials can be, we bought a ‘Round the World’ ticket, with free date changes allowed. The return flight out of the US is dated just less than the 90 days they give you, which we have now changed to Sept 03. Not sure if we will use this part of the ticket yet, will have to wait and see……

Anyway, back to our plight.
Come Monday morning, we head off early on a borrowed motorbike to retrieve our bikes. Things go almost too smoothly, the shipping agent gave us all the correct forms, cost $160. At customs, we fill in plenty of forms, answer lots of questions and pay no money. We even manage to get a lift to the warehouse to pick up our bikes, problem is they aren’t there.

They are caught up in the dispute, missing port clearance by one day!! How frustrating is that!!
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The lock out looks set to continue for at least a week, there is talk of George Bush intervening, but it seems he has other things on his mind right now – thanks Saddam.
So we are stranded in LA, luckily with friends and maybe we can get to see some more of the city.


Posted by Sian Mackenzie at October 02, 2002 06:19 AM GMT
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