After Ricardo hopped in a taxi I headed straight to the bank where I needed to pay receiving charges to the shipping company. Found the correct bank, met a really nice security guard and it all went surprisingly well. Was happy to get one thing checked off the list in just an afternoon.
The next morning I was at the offices of the shipping company by 930. Would have been there earlier but the taxi driver that assured me he knew where it was of course didn’t. I will cut him a little slack though it was not easy to find. After I got to the shipping company I needed to pay more money and part of that was $45 to print the bill of lading. She said it was made clear to the shipper in Miami about that cost but none of that was relayed to me. She felt bad and agreed it was insane. I didn’t say a word really because what are you going to? She also spoke English well and did a lot of the paperwork for me which saved my butt. After all her help she said that I would NOT be able to do this alone and I should hirer a broker because…. That’s where she stumbled and paused. Before she could finish I said gringo tax? All three ladies in the office laughed. I was determined to give it a shot on my own. Off to the aduana I went, dragging all my stuff with me because I was optimistic I’d get my bike today. Another reason I dragged all my bags around was that the hostel I stayed at was in the centro of Guayaquil with no parking and didn’t want to deal with that.
Took my number at the aduana, like at the deli counter, and waited my turn. My number was called and I stepped up to the window ready and armed with all my papers and a translation app on my phone. My confidence started to deflate as the 4 dudes behind the window all looked at my papers, handed them around and had no clue. Hmmmm now what?
The guy then told me I would have to wait until a certain person got back. They would be there about 2. As I was trying to work though this with him a guy that spoke perfect English interjected. The lady you need is very nice and knows how to handle things she will be back at 2. I asked that guy right on the spot if he wanted a job helping me with the moto! No joke. But he said he couldn’t because he had too much stuff going on already.
Melina was very helpful and did know what needed to be done. Unfortunately that involved yet another taxi ride across Guayaquil to the National Police. I needed a piece of paper that cost $5 dollars(of course the guy couldn’t change a ten) and that piece of paper consisted of a guy looking at my passport stamp and printing a piece of paper. So basically 1.5 days in to the process and from what I understood I had my moto papers! Just no moto, yet. Make no mistake I was totally exhausted mentally from dealing with paperwork in a foreign language, traversing Guayaquil in a taxi several times and trying to talk a foreign language all day. Got back to the same hostel that is up 8 flights of stairs in a very hot climate and carrying to much crap. Got a room and just crashed at 6PM for an hour or two. The day, the heat, the victories and defeats had zapped me.
I arrived at the port about 8:30 and was ready to me the inspector. The port is in a not a nice area of Guayaquil and several people told me it’s a dangerous area. However the port is crazy secure so once inside I had no worries. However getting inside was no easy task. I needed pants (which I had) safety boots, hard hat and reflective vest(none of which I had of course). I asked where I could buy that stuff and they said no where near here. Um ok. Finally a security guy that spoke English called the front security desk and basically asked what the heck are you trying to do? I told my story and they sent an escort so I could get to the safety office and get what I needed. Including steel toe boots!!! Amazing because I was ready to put on my motorcycle helmet. Ironically I had a reflective vest in the moto crate and know I could have used moto boots at works boots, also in the crate.
Oh well I was official with my visitor pass shown at the end of the previous post and safety gear(no pic unfortunately). I am off to see the moto and inspector. The inspection was scheduled for “first thing in the morning”. I found several other inspectors and none of them were Willi Zurita and of course none of them can do the inspection. One guy was nice enough to call Willi on the raido and he said he would be there in 15 min. Really?!?! 15 min!!! I am getting the moto today!
Fertisa is a shipping company at the port that receives a lot of the goods and they had taken in the moto. One of the Fertisa employees was nice enough to open the warehouse and I saw the moto!!! Confirmation that it is actually here!!
I was excited at this point it is all falling into place. The hour waiting for Willi went by fast. Right the 15 min turned into an hour. I know I am on South American time but it was time to follow up at the 1.5 hour mark. A call was made and WIlli said he would be there in an hour. Ok, I will contiune to wait here:
After another 1.5 hours went by and we called again. Willi had gone to lunch and would be there right after lunch. After about 3.5 hours of waiting and just sitting in the container yard of the port guess who showed up! Willi!! At this point I did not really care for the guy but showed no sign of that I needed him. Moto inspection ten minutes as I expected and I am ready for my inspection paperwork and to take the moto. Willi spoke pretty darn good English and was really really interested in the moto trip. My disdain for him was fading. Once I asked for the paperwork he said no no no. You have to go back to the aduana. That comment was a vicious punch to the stomach. He offered to give me a ride and said he would help me. Sweaty overheating, dehydrated and dragging too much crap around with me it was a small ray of light but I knew the aduana could be starting all over. I was still trying to believe I would get the moto today!!