Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Re-Uniting with my Causita

     After leaving the Causita in the ship of Eukor and saying goodbye of the great help of everyone from MHSA, came more than 20 days of waiting until being reunited with the Causita.

MY NEW STICKER/PRESENTATION CARD
THE WALL
     To get to the city of Bremerhaven, where the port where the Kombi would arrive is located, I decided to fly to Berlin and then hitchhike the rest of the way. This stretch would be one of my last chances of depending exclusively on my thumb; it was harder to get to the port than I had imagined, but I still made it fine. Since the arrival of the ship was delayed from its estimated date of Thursday March 3rd up to ext Friday, and it wasn't unloaded until Saturday, I was told I could pick up the Kombi only on Monday March the 7th.


"THE WALL"

THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN: YOU ASK TO GET A PICTURE TAKEN, AND THEY WANT TO BE A PART OF IT


BREMEN 1
BREMEN 2












FIRST VIEWS OF BREMERHAVEN






       When Monday morning came I had, as usual, a slow start; and only at 11 in the morning did I make it to port. The fact that I went to the old offices of the local agency and not the new ones, also helped me in losing a good hour. The biggest problem came up when I found out that I couldn't pay in US dollars. I knew I had to pay cash, but since all the estimates had been done in U$D I thought I could pay in this currency. I couldn't, and I was forced to go look for a currency exchange house, which wasn't easy. It was already noon and the banks were closed. After lunch, when they reopened, I was told in one that there was a limit of U$D 1000 to how much they could exchange per day, and I needed somewhat more than that. I solved it going to 3 different banks , always changing the maximum limit allowed, which was not the same in each bank.

     Before going back, and before I was able to look for Causita, I had to resolve the insurance issue. I had already been doing some research, and in Germany the only agence with which I could insure foreign cars for tourists (at least in my experience) is with the ADAC (The Car Club of Germany). there is a Dutch agency that insure cars for travelers and tourist, but they never answered my mails. The process of insuring Causita, between being a tourist car with Peruvian papers and it belonging to an Argentinean with Hungarian papers, was complicated required several phone calls, and over one hour. This I clearly did in and office and the calls where made by the guy working there, on the phone I wouldn't have been able to get a price even.

FIRST VIEWS OF THE SHIP
     With the time of exchanging money and insuring the Kombi, I went back to the port around 5 P.M. Which ended up being a problem, because at 5 almost every office in the port closes. I was able to finish the paperwork with the agency and having the papers to pick up the Kombi. The problem was that I had not done the customs papers before, and this made it impossible to get out from port. After a short crisis cursing all the four winds and without knowing what to do, I decided to pick up the Kombi (at l least I could give Causita a kiss) and going alone to th customs agents and see if I coud do the paper work alone. After a long talk searching for their sympathy, I was led to the conclusion that I could not do it by my own means and that I would have to wait until the next morning to do it with the specialized agency.


    The positive thing s tat I came out of the offices with an excellent news: normally to get a vehicle inside Europe it is necessary to pay a deposit of roughly 30% of the value of the vehicle + the value of the shipping (19% taxes and 10% customs). In my case, having a 30 year old vehicle I could inscribe it as an "old timer" and so it was exempt of paying taxes and only had to pay a 7% for Customs; also, since my Kombi is valued in its purchase agreement in some S./2000 (two thousand Peruvian soles, approximately €550) that amount to pay would be low. This is summarized in that in stead of he almost €5000 I could have had to pay if the Kombi was valued at some of the prices found on the internet, I had to make a payment of some €155 to be able to temporary import my Kombi into Europe.

THE FIRST SIGHT OF HER (THE ONE WHO DRIVE HER COMPLAINT IT WAS TO HARD)
     The next morning upon wakening I quickly went to the offices of the customs agents, delivered all the papes and explained my situation, and only an hour and a half later I was able to drive my preious Kombi in German soil.

Summary of the process:

1) with th shipping papers, go to the office of Wallenius Wilhelmsen and pay the remaining amount: cost of the shipping and port expenses = €1150
2) with the release papers, go to the customs agent HOLLCO and make all the paperwork, and pay the expenses = €150
3) with the release paper from Walleniuis, go to the deposit and retrieve the vehicle.
4) drive up to the exit of the port and go finish the paperwork in Customs: deliver the receipts from HOLLCO and pay the deposit (it can be done in cash or cards).
5) smile, be happy, and go discover the world.


THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME TO ACHIEVE THIS!
Do not forget to be Happy.
And lets keep our eyes open, so we see each other around the World!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sending Causita over to Europe

     After lots of dreaming a lots de delirium about the idea of sending mi Kombi to Europe, it has become a reality. (Clarification: in South America we call them "Kombi" to all VW T1 & T2, also called around the world as: VW Bus, Bülli, VW Van or VW Camper Van).


     The idea was born when my cousin M (I am going to start referring to people by their initials) told that she was getting married. I really wanted to go and be with her, but the Kombi could be an inconvenient. So I thought that if I got a sponsor to overcome the costos of shipping her, then I could get a prize ticket... and then with a minimum expense I would be gone to go around Europe on a Kombi.

PERDIENDO EL TIEMPO Y POSANDO PARA LAS FOTOS

THE REQUIRED DISGUISE FOR MV's PORT
     Already in Buenos Aires the idea of going to the wedding strengthen, and I got the sponsorship of F who gifted me the fare of Causita. So, on the last week of January, I started researching costos of the shipping from Argentina. After a short while I started looking for estimates also from Uruguay, to check if Montevideo offered better prices than Zarate (the RoRo port is in Zarate, not BsAs). And at the same timw I was requesting estimate, I added the question if any agency would be willing to sponsor Causita.
     Eventually I got an answer from the Comercial Representative of the Agency Montevideo Harbour South America Ltd. (MHSA for short), located in Montevideo, Uruguay. From the first contact with him, let call him I, I already had a good reaction to the proposal. With time we were able to go deeper into it, I made a formal offer of sponsorship in exchange of promotion, and we got into an agreement.



     The next step was defining a departure date. My original idea was to embark Causita in March, but the ship from EUKOR (the shipping company with which MHSA works with) was not yet confirmed to any port in Europe; thinking about alternatives I asked about a ship an earlier, and I confirmed that the February ship was confirmed for Europe, and arrival date in MVD of Friday February 12th. So it was quickly decided that the embarking of Causita would be that weekend from the Port of Montevideo. Which gave me 10 days to finish the preparations, the furniture and the paperwork to ship her to Europe! The organized trip is a RoRo (Roll In, Roll Off), that is like a mega ferry for long distance where cars go in and out by driving them, with no container involved.

     In Montevideo everything was perfectly smooth. When I arrived I went to MHSA's offices where S was waiting for me (I´s co-worker) with all the information, and we arranged that the best was doing the boarding on Sunday morning. We met that morning in the Port, he delivered the paper for exiting de vehicle in Customs and showed me the way to  the ship. A 15-story high Monster and the capacity for thousand of cars. We have to wait for a missing paper, so I took advantage of the situation to get some goodbye photos. And finally the assigned driver came (because even if it looks like a giant ferry, only authorized personal can drive in and out). He got her up, parked her, it was secured, and I have to say goodbye.
TINY AMONG GIANTS


     It was a super emotional time for me, by what it implied to split for the first time from my house, my home, my next travel partner.
     And today is the day of going to look for her, of reuniting with her.
ALL STRAPPED IN AND READY TO GO
     Y hoy es el día de buscarla, re reunirme con ella. Más tarde les paso novedades!

Greeting around the World, and look for me on te roads!!
Don't forget to be Happy.
Martin
HER MAJESTY: THE SHIP 


ALL WENT VERY WELL TRAVELING WITH EUKOR