More paperwork and even more frustration!

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!!

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I peeled the plastic off

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.

After getting back to the aduana and sitting around for a while Willi came down and asked a couple of questions and off he went again. No real answers or time I just watched the clock and stressed about time. Melina(from yesterday) popped her head in and said I have your papers follow me. I was pumped! Until I soon realized she was talking about papers from yesterday not the new paperwork I needed. It was a huge win though, because she had accidently kept my original title and I never noticed. I would have been in big trouble without that for my trip! So happy she tracked me down. Shortly after that Willi came down and said you have a big problem!! Oh no here we go the proverbial reset button at the aduana. I didn’t have SOAT (insurance) I pleaded with him to let me slide and said my first stop would be for SOAT. He finally agreed and I was out of the aduna with papers before anyone could change their mind. (Side note is that SOAT doesn’t even exist anymore so there really any insurance in Ecuador from what I can find out from other riders.)

I still had my hard hat and safety stuff on and got my visitor pass again. Straight through security, back to the moto. Found the guys that worked for Fertisa and was ready with a big smile. I am pulling this off in two days with limited Spanish, that is so awesome! Started talking to the guys again and they couldn’t give me my moto without a factura. We had talked about it earlier while waiting for Willi but I didn’t really understand what he meant. Factura is Spanish for invoice. One of the guys was nice enough to walk me to the correct office, which was halfway across this huge port. He told the guy what I needed and I proceeded to wait and wait. This is all happening about 3 PM and I have been told the port closes at 430 or 5. Never really got a straight answer on that.

After about an hour with no real answers I started being more forward and asking a lot more questions and when it was my turn at the window. A nice guy with a little English started to help me but said my factura was very complicated. Of course it is. Not sure why when you are a shipping and receiving company that receives tens of thousands of pounds of goods daily and does thousands of facturas a year. I didn’t ask anymore question because I didn’t want to distract him. Once 430 hit I knew I was finished. Even if the factura was done in the next 5 min I wasn’t sure I could uncrate the bike and organize my stuff in less than 30 min. I had accepted that it would not happen again today.

During all this effort to get the moto out of the port and dealing with all the crap that comes with it I started to think a lot about all that I am doing. It was one of those is it really worth it days. Yesterday consisted of 4 or 5 times back and forth across Guayaquil in taxi and spending the entire day in the aduana or another office, when I wasn’t in a taxi. Nothing bad particularly happen but with limited Spanish, trying to get technical documents done is draining and not smooth. Some very nice people helped and I am sure for a foreigner in the states the process is no better. Who knows if I will get the bike tomorrow or not, though I am still optimistic. I was also told I would need a broker to do all this and I believed I could go it alone. I started to really think on one of my many many taxi rides; really think why do I do this? I stand behind that the hardest part of these trips is leaving home and all the comforts and securities of a “normal” life behind, even harder than these very difficult and frustrating days of getting the moto. But still why do I choose this? I am well aware of what struggles could be ahead. I know that days like today will exist and also I will not let them defeat me. As people were helping me I realized I saw myself as much younger than I am or at least my image of the situation was people were helping someone young and not versed in this kind of situation I was dealing with. After one individual helped me who was about my age; I had a flashing thought that he saw some kid in his 20’s that needed help. I am for sure not in my 20’s and don’t desire to be. The guy was fully aware he wasn’t helping some younger individual. It was how I viewed the situation. Is that why I love these rides and challenges so much? The opportunity to feel younger mentally? Not check out of the adult world but really fully check into life. Have that childlike wonderment and excitement again. Curiosity and enthusiasm of what’s around each corner and what each day will bring. As a child the awe and wonderment of your house and yard fill those needs of providing something new everyday, a new adventure! As one grows so does the world of wonderment, from the yard to the town and then the next city or state. Am I and people who seek similar adventures just feeding the inner child’s curiosity and sense of adventure and expanding our yard, our borders? I think that is a big part of it for me. Its not so much about escaping the monotony that can occur in adult life but wanting to be curious and adventurous like a child again; full of optimism and excitiment. I hope tomorrow I wake up with some renewed optimism because the past few days have been hard, very hard.

Back to Casa de Romero the same hostel I had stayed at the previous nights. Every morning the nice girl at the desk was sad to see me because she knew I didn’t get my bike. She was very sweet. She also gave me the number of her bi-lingual lawyer friend in case I ran into more problems. Off to the port again tomorrow.

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