We met for breakfast at 8am and planned the day. We had time to kill as the clearing agents only wanted to connect with us around 2pm. So we decided to do a few chores. Some of the guys wanted to go shopping whiel Neil and I needed to get a Garmin map for Argentina and Chile. Mike and Neil wanted to run an errand before meeting up with us and so went their own way. A group of five can be a little awkward for travelling as taxi´s won´t allow more than four people per taxi unless its a minivan. So splitting up proved to be easier.
After some hunting we found a shop that sold Garmin maps. Despite the shopkeepers assurance that we were buying genuine Garmin maps ít turned out that we had bought another “no-name” brand. However, they seemd to work fine in our GPS units.
Then it was time for coffee before continuing the shopping for camping gear and riding shirts. While we were enjoying our first South Amercian Starbucks, Neil received a call from the agents who asked that we meet tehm at 12:30pm. We didn´t need a second invitation as any chance of a speedy receipt of the bikes would be welcome. A friend (Rui Nobre – see http://www.capetocairo2010.co.za for his current and much more ambitious trip – please follow his progress) had managed to get his bikes cleared from the airport in just one day.
The agents took copies of our passports and other paperwork and then warned us that only original docuemtation would satisfy the customs officials. Mike and I could have a problem with our certified copies! That done, we headed for lunch only to have the agent come racing up the road behind us to tell us that we had to go to customs at 2:30pm to sign off all of the paperwork. A pleasant local lunch of espanadas and a local beer helped us kill the hour or so remaining. It was over lunch that Mike came up with a great plan for getting the requried paperwork in just 24 hours. It would require the assistance of some friends and a very helpfull wife. Mike had the friends and I had the wife. All sorted!
A runner accompanied us to customs and 45 minutes later we had all of the paperwork needed. Great progress. The plan was to collect the bikes from the warehouse the following morning. We could probably hit the road first thing Saturday morning, thus saving us a day!
It was defintiely time to relax and to celebrate the good progress. So we headed back to teh hotel for a beer and a swim in the hotel pool. (Well it was more of a half full jacuzzi than a pool – and didn´t really look all that clean). So it was just beers then. Bit it did give us some time to catch up and to plan the next few days.
Cheers Mike – great plan. Now for execution.
Time to slow down from the heat of the day. BA had been very hot at around 28degrees celsius most of the day. It was warm and fairly dry with clear skies.
Quilmes – the local brew of choice.