I got to the Intl Airport just outside of Panama City. Head around the back side of the airport to the cargo area of the airport. Find Girag without too much trouble. Roll up to the office and they yell to another guy that there is another moto. At this point I am thinking that this is going to be easy. He tells me to sit tight for a bit and that he will get things going with the documents I give him.
A few minutes later he comes back with his laptop and shows me an email, in Spanish. I tell him that I don't understand it and ask if he can put it in google translate. The email says that Girag Bogota is on vacation off and on from Jan 11 to Jan 26. My stomach just sinks. Over the past few weeks I have exhausted every boat option and know that I wouldn't be able to get one until Feb. My head is spinning and I leave there visibly bummed out. As I am standing at my bike staring off into space trying to figure it out the guy comes running out with Tabosa written on a piece of paper. He said go give them a shot and they can probably handle it.
Wooo hooo! There is hope. Girag is about $900 and Tabosa is $1075. Both only take cash and luckily right before I left the hotel I grabbed some extra cash. The shipping cleaned me out but I am going to Colombia!!!!!
And the bike will fly out this afternoon. I had to wait on a guy to get it handle because they had a plane coming in. Had I not had to wait for him I bet the entire process would have been less than an hour.
I go back to the hotel and book a flight for the next day. Even though they said the bike would be there that day I wanted to give it a day just to be sure.
I land in Colombia on a Sat about 8am. Perfect because I know the shipping office is only open until 2. After about an hour and a half of trying to find the place and getting different directions from everyone I ask I finally get there. I walk in and ask the 3 guys in there about my moto and they all look at me like I just asked them to do quantum physics! Oh shit here we go!!
We talk and supposedly the plane had mechanical issues but they promise it will be there tonight. Then I say but you will be closed tonight and tomorrow. They say yes.
2 days in Bogota is not the end of the world but at this point I am not sure I will see my bike. We talk for a bit more and I convince one of the guys to come in tomorrow b/c he told me the aduana was 24/7 so I know I can get this done on a sun. They call my hostel the next morning after I try to call the 2 guys contact information that I have. They let me know the bike is there but they cant get it out today. He blames customs and I say but if the aduana is 24/7 why isnt customs? I was pretty blunt at this point and said I will be at their office in an hour I hope someone is there. I am irritated and so was the guy that came in on Sun. We chat for a bit and get where we are both coming from. About an hour and a half later I am sitting on my whip!!!
Tabosa in Colombia ended up stepping and making it happen. They are a little more expensive than Girag but in they end they are very viable option. I tipped David for his extra effort and all in all it was a good experience.
I had a fun night in Bogota and I am looking forward to ending my trip there and spending some time there.