Bogota (Colombia), the last point of the trip. So I go back to France.
I thought initially to sell the bike here in America because this bike has over 80.000km is unmarketable, and it would be better to sell it piece by piece or incidental accessories. In fact at the beginning of the journey I imagined that after both Africa and Latin America, the bike would be a ruin. This is very far from the reality.
Finally I decided to bring the bike in France for several reasons:
- The Automobile Club of France did not answer my questions about if I would get back the deposit (€ 17,500!) in case I would sell the bike on the spot
- I promised to participate to the Touratech weekend, early June, with the equipped bike
- For next big trips or to duo rides, the bike is always on top
To send the bike, there are two options: plane (cheap, fast and generally hassle-free) and boat (slow, two times less expensive, and often a source of worry to the ports of departure and arrival). I do not need the bike immediately so logically I should send it by ship in a container. But the idea of finding myself in the train from Paris to home, helmet in hand and bag on the shoulder depresses me. So I'll finish the trip on the bike and I arrive at my parents and Toulouse on a motorcycle. So I send the bike by air.
The procedure is basically the same as for the sending of South Africa to Argentina, described in detail here.
Send requests for quotes to almost all officers of local transport is listed here
I am finally dealing with Samarkandra. They take care of everything, and they send 2 or 3 motorcycles per year as well, but I must be with them, among other steps for fabrication of the box, customs, inspection by the police anti-narcotraffic ... In the end, they are full of goodwill, but not sure how to do and call me every day for information, a photocopy, an appointment ... The person that assists me to build the box around the bike is coinvinced I will pay on the weight and not the volume, so there is no need to to dismantle the bike. In fact, he does not know how to calculate the volume and weight, and I have to explain him how to do it... They do not know the functioning of the "carnet de passage en douanes". But it is a good idea to use it when you have one, because the matter is resolved Customs whereas usually in minutes, with import papers classic, this may take a day and expensive.
How much is he sending his bike on another continent? Everything included, it cost me 1350 EUR. If I would have sent the bike a month earlier, before the pretext of the Libyan civil war to increase fuel prices, it would have cost at least EUR 100 less. This is surely not the best price we could get, but seems to me correct. It is two and a half times more expensive than the ticket for me, but it weighs 4 times heavier.
About this price, there is a fixed part (communication costs, box manufacturing, transportation to the airport, pass customs, etc ...) and a part proportional to the weight / volume. In my case, there were about 1 / 3 of the price related to fixed costs, and 2 / 3 proportional to the weight / volume.
The price therefore depends on the weight and/or volume as follows:
We consider the volume (in m3), and we consider that each m3 weighs 167kg.
This provides a "weight volume".
Compare this with the actual weight, and it is the larger of the two used for the actual cost.
In my case, the final box was 206 x 76 x 127 cm, or almost 2 m3, so a volume weight of 332 kg.
The actual weight was 350 kg it (bike + luggage + weight of the body).
There was no need to make a smaller box.
In the end, Samarkandra is a place to consider for such sending, they also deal with shipments by boat, much more complex administratively. But I do not highly recommend them, among other things due to a lack of profesional, and some items of the bill that increased by 10 or 20 USD at certain stages, or even 150 USD added to the final bill " by mistake ". I did not ask them for a discount with advertisement in the blog, just to keep my freedom. Contact by email with Karen is excellent, in both English and Spanish. Also note in their favor, they have accepted without problem to send the bike before receiving payment, and even without any guarantee that the transfer of money from my bank was launched. This saves time. Thank you to Samarkandra.
I also recommend to contact contact Lyncargo, even if in the end I don t have worked with them. They were initially a bit more expensive, but with all the last-minute additions to Samarkandra, you get the same price. What I like with Lyncargo is that I asked (as others) to offer me the least expensive setup, and Veronica sent me a comparison with estimates for shipments to Paris, Madrid, with 3 or 4 different air cargo companies, the days where there are flights etc. .... in short, a comprehensive analysis that allowed me to decide: will the Moto in Madrid (and me) on a flight Iberia Cargo.
I took my leather motorcycle jacket on my carry on and I sent the bike the day before my personal flight, to be sure to be still there, if there was a concern last minute, and to have if possible the bike available when I arrived in Madrid.
10am: My plane lands in Spain
12am: I'm at the counter Iberia Cargo
2pm : Iberia and custom documents are finished and the box is in front of me
4pm : I ride a motorcycle on the roads of Spain.
It's a great feeling to arrive by plane and depart directly from the airport on his motorbike.
The journey continues...
sorry for the poor automatic translation of this article. If you can, refer to the french version instead...
Above all, do not read the recommendations from the site of Ministries of Foreign Affairs before going to a country, otherwise you end up glued to his TV at home. Goodie, who had hosted us in Kenya , and works at UN for a long time, confirmed to me reports that foreign entities are increasingly alarmist than the actual situation in order to justify their presence on site and budget. And I've been already in Colombia and I just keep a nice souvenir. There was indeed a major risk with drug traffickers, but they are in the forest, in places where tourists have anyway nothing to do. No worries, then.
Yes, but, just before returning to Colombia, I read a person living in Bogota, and urges especially not stop on the 300 km after the border, ie until Popayan. Warriors would have manifested in violent there for a few days. Okay, so I am about to follow the recommendations.
Yes but here, to arrive at the border from Quito, Ecuador, there are already almost 300km. Big day, with no picture.
I am inquiring at the border and I see a yellow fluorescent vest is mandatory for all riders from 6PM. Insurance is also compulsory, but it can not be purchased at the border. A customs officer gives me an address where I could buy in the first city crossing. Goingonce restarted, without life jacket, without insurance, I find the point of sale, but they do not sell insurance for 1 full year. Should I go or the administration of customs and taxes from Colombia to get a waiver to have the assurance that the desired time (1 month). Well, I leave empty-handed. Ecuadorian bikers met at the border told me a mall in the city next to the famous buy insurance. When I finally found the place, it tells me it can not do the document for vehicles registered in Colombia. It smells a rat story. Jump-start to be late, I still have many miles to go, and therefore I take the road, this time with a yellow jacket in my bag in case I come late, but still without insurance. In theory, it would also have the registration number should appear beyond the back of the helmet! So I'm back on the road quite fast, to arrive before dark ... if possible.
Numerous soldiers armed to the teeth monitor the passage of vehicles, almost every 10km. They never stop me, but instead give a thumbs up when he saw me. A priori, this does not have to do with hitchhiking, so I took it as a kind of salvation which I gladly reciprocate.
At a time when even two people make me a sign to stop. They wear a green sweater / khaki with a big logo on it, but that does not seem as military. How to differentiate between the military, paramilitaries, narco-traffic and guerrioros? On the other side of the road two policemen, rifles slung, watching the scene, looking very relaxed. Those who stop me m'expiquent they work with support beyond police (hence their presence right next supposed to reassure me) and they do a collection for children with disabilities because of the mines that litter the local campaign . The discussion lasts only a moment, they do not insist and I'm back on the road. Looking back, I tell myself that I would not stop me ...
That is almost 3 weeks that I am traveling with Francis. Everything happens for the best, but travel at 2, withdraw into our group and we are far from having the wealth of the meetings of a solo journey. That is why from the beginning of organizing this trip (there is more than one year already), I planned and wanted to travel alone after having crossed Africa with Aurel. Briefly, after our first night in Ecuador, I tell Francis that I want to be back on the road alone, even if our routes and our imperatives dates are compatible. Francis has the same spirit as I, and I do not need to look for justifications. Just that traveling alone is another trip, and he knows this just as much as me. Briefly, after a hug at a service station, I go on the road, still farther north, without looking at my guide for places to visit, but decided to enjoy the meetings.
So, for this article, is the portrait gallery of the meeting that the common thread running ...
I asked her her name several times, but I did not understand the answer, so I prefer not to write it rather than skinning.
Entering a village, three small signs offer coffee and a dish that I do not know. Here is a great opportunity to take my breakfast, to taste the corn dough stuffed with cheese, and get to know this smiling saleswoman. She loves her job, anyway. Her mother cooks and she sells on the roadside. The truck drivers are passing by honking, with a wink or an obscene gesture. The only thing that bothers her from all of this is that they rarely stop to buy her products. Me, I'm not staying too long too, but I leave with a belly full.
The Ramirez family is an unexpected step of the day.
All tourists go through Machu Picchu, but to find the right way to go is not so simple. After long discussions with many people, it now has a good idea of the different options that I will describe to you quickly so that it may be useful to other travelers.
Option 1: Classic: Take the train from Cuzco up Agua Caliente. This city is accessible only by train.
Then take the bus, or climb over an hour a steep hill in the dusty bus to the site entrance.
This is the most classic, proposed in Cuzco, and complete loop can be done in a day starting early and returning late. The proposed rates are 150 USD. One can also spend the night in Agua Caliente, which offers full accommodation not necessarily very expensive in low season.
Option 2: Sporty: follow the path of the Incas. It is a multi-day hiking trip through the mountains, passing near Inca sites to visit, with people for carrying food. The very limited number of visitors per day, need to book well in advance and have a large budget. Probably a nice option.
Yes, but we are willing to go as close as possible with the bike.
The village accessible by road nearest to Agua Caliente is Santa Teresa, has more than 200km from Cusco. So we'll do it step to show the locals how to enter the magical site.
The peruvian custom officers expected some money to get a cofee, using as argument my absence of insurance...... So, we spent time at the border... I'm used also as a translator for a german couple on motorcycle too, and then comes a twin Africa, whose driver comes right up to me saying: "Hi, you are Loic, right? I'm Steph from Britany". We had exchanged a few emails in the past week and Steph was just this last month in Bolivia, but we didn t expected to meet like this by chance. In short, a border full of bikes, new friends and no a car. Paradise.
With Francis, we thought to go to Arequipa, but it is the rainy season, so finally we decided to spin directly, in two short days, to Cuzco. Steph hesitates a moment and decides to join us to chart the road together. So here we are at this time for three cross roads in Peru.
On the road, we stop in small villages as and when the festivities as distinguished. It's very local color, and it looks like not a priori wrong with Bolivia.