Welcome to the customs office of Cartegena, Colombia! While the bikes are parked outside, we wait.. and wait… and wait… one by one we give details to the officer for about 3 hours.
Recognize that green t-shirt???? Dan, the shirtless man, was not allowed into the office without shirt and shoes. He asked to borrow one, and Kevin has my newly donated green t-shirt handy. He told Dan he can borrow it, “But I want it back!” He was very clear about that! I’m still surprised how important that shirt is to Kevin.
So I got to thinking. Who knows where that t-shirt has been before I found it on one-tree island Panama, in the sand. Did it have one owner, or many before me. When I needed a shirt, it was amazingly there on a deserted island. I brought it to the country of Colombia. Kevin now owns it. When Dan needed a shirt, it was right there. (all of our other clothes were already in the hostel from the night before). It’s like the magic shirt, always helping a friend in need.
Customs finally came out to us near closing time and said they were sorry, they can not complete the documents until tomorrow.. Serious!!!??? We didn’t mind hanging around Cartegena, so it wasn’t a big deal, but they could have told us earlier rather than having us wait in the office all afternoon. Oh well. It’s all part of the adventure. What’s next!?
We went back to the hostel for a shower and made plans to meet with everyone who traveled on the Independence for one last sunset and drinks together.
We decided to try to track down dinner in the beautiful old town.
We are totally loving Cartegena at night!!!
The next morning we hopefully get our bikes released from customs “detention”. First a bit of brekkie then back to the office.
I’m still in love with our street…
So here is where I find little black girl who was hanging out with us at the dock… 2 days ago, and at least 2 kilometers from here! How can she be on OUR street of all the streets in grande Cartegena!!!!???? Look at that smile…….. she recognizes us!
Little girl hung around while we ate breakfast.
Kevin, Gui and Little girl
I think I talked to her more than the boys. I told her I want to go buy her a bag of dog food. She totally understood, stood up and showed me the way!
Really special dog. If I could keep her, I would have. I got a big bag, and as per my usual, I asked the cafe owner to feed her anytime he sees her. He promised he would. Again, I can only hope.
Now, to the customs office.
Waiting… waiting… and then…. WE’RE FREE!
First thing we are itching to do is wash the salt water off the bikes from the lovely boat journey.
I would rather wash my bike myself.. but they convinced me they do motorcycles all the time that come in from the Panama crossing.
The Colombian boys worked really hard cleaning every bit of each bike. Looking so good and clean…!
Turns out my nervousness by the super-spray was justified. Now, my bike won’t start. It survived getting drenched from salt water during the storm. It started after days on the boat, it started straight away after sitting 2 days in customs, and now it’s dead after a wash.. Damn!!!!
We couldn’t figure it out, but another customer at the wash knew a good motorcycle mechanic. He was kind enough to call them over and they towed my bike to the shop. I like that your company name is in English (even though the owner speaks none). And I hope he means it!~
This is not the owner, but just a man hanging around in the shop watching the world go by. He was so kind and too cute!
We worked out the problem is the battery. It’s a fairly new battery too, purchased just 4 months ago in North America. I was excited to have this battery as it’s the Shorei Lithium battery and supposedly should last forever. I also got it because it is small and lightweight. Now I know! It wasn’t worth it! The Shorei battery died, when everyone else’s older type batteries lived! It’s getting late, the owner wants to try charging the old battery overnight for me and asked me to come back in the morning.
Kevin is now my motorcycle escort… cool! I get to be a passenger..
It’s been forever since I was last a passenger. Years ago I used to ride on the back of my Dad’s Honda Goldwing.. I loved it! But it had arm rests so I never had to hold on. Since then I’ve mostly ridden my own bikes. Now I get to sit on the back and take as many photos as I want. It’s very rare, but I quite like being the girl on the back! (Not sure I could do it full time, but I like it today!)
I’m so ridiculous on how to ride as a passenger, I was holding on to the panniers. It was easy to be a bit nervous when I’m not in control. Kevin reaches back and pulls my hands up so I hold on to him instead.. doh!
I see this everywhere here. It’s the law to wear a helmet here. So yes, they are obeying the law technically. To me, law or not, it would be more comfortable just to wear it properly.
Kevin made a funny comment on his facebook page about this photo. I was aiming and taking photos of anything and everything from the back of the bike, because I can! Didn’t realize I got this until he pointed it out. His comment was about ‘crack’ and that dreadful name of a kitty cat that starts with a ‘P’…..
Back to the hostel, where all the other bikes have congregated since the ‘release’.
The bikes can’t stay out on the street over night, as much as we’d like to have them close. So the boys go and track down a parking yard.
“What’s that, Kev?” Be back soon….
And they were.. Kevin is entertaining us all on the hostel rooftop for sunset drinks. Not a great photo, but there is an awesome huge castle in the background.
Here’s a better view of the castle once it got dark from Kevin’s photo.. “We’ve gotta check that out tomorrow, eh?”
What’s for dinner tonight.. street food!! Yay!!
It’s still a new country for me and I’m not up on the street food here. Dan is explaining what he suggests I order and by the look on my face, I’m not yet convinced. ;-/
I thought I’d finish up Cartegena in this blog post, but there’s more. So for now… Buenos Noches!