June 05, 2010
The Great Escape
Finally I am out of Calama, and hopefully so is the bike. I am now in Santiago, after 14 days and 14 nights in the desert, I have reached the promised land. PTL! Woohoo! Santiago is great, especially after Calama, which was nice enough, but hardly one of the world's great places to visit. In an earlier post I compared it to Fort MacMurray, it could also be Flin Flon or Thompson Manitoba. It is a mining town, full of hard working people, who probably look forward as much to putting Calama in their rear view mirrors as I did.
In order to leave Calama I had to get the bike shipped to me in Santiago. The LAN cargo people were unable to figure out how to get the bike shipped to Canada and were going to involve in DHL. I have had experience with DHL in the past, and I would not want to use them to send a post card to someone I did not like, let alone ship my bike. They have an office in Calama, I had already walked in there asked what it would cost, they quoted me $6,000 (!!!!), which is totally ridiculous. One of their tricks is to take your money when you send it and then demand more went it arrives (fake fees), holding your stuff for ransom. I have no idea why these robbers are still in business, you would have to be an idiot to use them for anything.
End of rant, I hate DHL, go ahead and use them, tell me I am wrong :-)
SOOO, as far as I know the bike in three cartons arrived at Calama Friday afternoon same as me. It is now Saturday, LAN cargo is not answering their telefono, so I am taking the weekend off to enjoy Santiago. I have already contacted a freight forwarder who quoted me a price of roughly $1000 to ship el moto to Vancouver by sea. If I use these guys I will have to repack the 3 cartons back into one, which will not be a problem as everything will fit, but it will be a problem in that I will have to move the stuff somewhere, where I can do the repack and then move the single carton to the freighters. Another option is to discover whether LAN cargo in Santiago will ship to Canada assuming the people here are more knowledgable about procedure than their country cousins in Calama.
Meanwhile enjoy Santiago here.