Need Help in Costa Rica - Bike impounded

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by krl, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. krl

    krl semi noob

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    There is always the possibility that customs will take his money and then make him go back to Liberia or wherever to actually get plates and registration for this bike. That, in my mind, would be vindictive but it is a possibility that he must be prepared for. I doubt this will go as expected.
    Keeping my fingers crossed.................if he has paperwork issues in any other countries...........then he hasn't learnt a thing from this episode in CR.
    #41
  2. krl

    krl semi noob

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    Ha! Thanks for pointing out my unintentional irony even if it comes from a guy from Panama:1drink Are the two countries that much different in terms of "safety"?
    #42
  3. pepelopez

    pepelopez Been here awhile

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    they each have their issues, honduras is good for murders, guatemala is nice if you are into kidnappings. salvador everybody has a gun, so don't be on the winning side at a football game. costa rica the national sport is stealing, nicaragua is the safest i've been to for crime. every place is bad these days, there are places i don't go in sacramento calif, is it dangerous? no, but i don't go downtown at 3am looking for crack, so the odds of getting shot are not so bad if you think about what/where and why you are in a place you shouldn't be in. :freaky but generally, the biggest thieves in latin america wear a uniform.:eek1
    #43
  4. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    That is true in much of the world.

    I keep a copy of John Gunther's "Inside Latin America", written about 1940, in which he says Guatemala City is the cleanest and safest city in the world. "There is no crime", the President, who rides a Harley, told me, "someone steals, we simply stand him up against the wall and shoot him."

    Maybe why Nicaragua is safest of those countries today.
    #44
  5. BikeMex

    BikeMex Been here awhile

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    Hey, I hope your son gets his bike back next week. But he should always take care of the very corrupt police in Nicaragua. That's the worst in the whole area. And they are looking for foreigners to rip them of. He has to buy a insurance at the border. They have checkpoints to check the insurance and in the case he has no . . . the show starts again. . . Money Money Money

    good luck

    J├╝rgen
    #45
  6. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    I don't know whether to be impressed....or horrified at the amount you're inputting to your son. Central America's not that bad, really--much easier than certain places, like Africa, while harder than others, like the USA (for residents only, particularly if favored with income and a certain skin color).

    Son's going to have to develop some skills at dealing with these situations if he wants to enjoy his trip. What's been happening surely sucks, but in the context of a life journey it won't amount to much, and it'll provide skills for staying clear of similar stuff down the road. It'll also inform as to the way life works elsewhere in the world, far from home--and right around the corner if not possessed of that favored skin color and ample income.

    The above is worth precisely what you make of it. I'm not pretending I know the real situation or have some special alliance with "Truth." I'm just thinking if it were me in his place I'd be feeling fairly hemmed by all the fatherly input. After all, it's not him who's posting here asking for help. When he solves the current problem and decides where to go next, you really want him to own and be proud of what he's accomplished.

    If that's not helpful or doesn't apply, feel free to ignore. Happy journeys!

    Mark
    #46
  7. krl

    krl semi noob

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    Well, this is an interesting post and quite honestly I was asking myself a similar question today. My sons travelling experience far exceeds my own or anybody that I know. This isn't his first border experience, but it is his most frustrating in that he has got himself into this situation. He attempted to work it out on his own but after 2 or 3 days of roadblocks he asked if I had any suggestions. I attempted to research similar situations but could only find one, and that was resolved quickly, unlike this one. I started this thread hoping to get a few ideas from people that are more familiar with Central America than I am which I could pass along to him. I actually only expected a few people to comment and this thread would be dead within a week. I am surprised by the number of people who have commented and made suggestions and one that has offered personal assistance. This is a testament to the substantive character of the people that participate in ADVrider.
    Does my son feel hemmed in by my involvement............I hope not but that is a possibility. His feeling of accomplishment will come on Monday, if he can talk his way out of CR with his bike.
    Thanks for the perspective and the kind advice.
    #47
  8. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    If this happened to one of my kids, anywhere in the world, I'd join them in a flash. For Costa Rica, shit- I'd be there tomorrow. I'd rent a car, get a decent hotel, and help get things figured out.

    I'm not alone like this. When I was in Buenos Aires something important came up and I had to get home quick. I made a bunch of calls, and the best help came from my mom. I did most of the work to get out of BA, but my mom's help was the best.
    #48
  9. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    +1
    #49
  10. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    So there you go: lots of different perspectives. Who'd've thought Bananaman would stake out the over-protective parental end of the spectrum--both giving and receiving?

    Krl, the fact that you're asking yourself those very questions suggests you're on the right track. Boy child will be fine, and you'll help with non-intrusive support when and how he needs it.

    Looking forward to hearing from him in some manner. He could easily write up his story in a form that would be useful for others.

    best,

    Mark
    #50
  11. krl

    krl semi noob

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    Mark, you have brought up a great topic that I will add to in the hopes that it generates some more conversation. I think we all need to keep in mind that each dilemma varies in the degree of severity, especially in the minds of the parent performing the support, largely based on our understanding of the child's maturity, intellectual capabilities, attitude toward the situation and the situation itself. My son requested suggestions that might help in getting out of his situation and my fatherly intuition suggested that he also needed a "sounding board" for the path that he thought he should take. Did I think of hoping on a plane and heading down to be a physical presence...only briefly. He was not in physical danger and his general demeanor suggested that he was not about to do anything rash that would get him arrested, which, other than being physically harmed, is my worst fear as he travels through CA. There is no habeas corpus, the rules of law do not parallel those of Canada or the US. You are at the mercy of gov't, and that is never a good position to be in, in any country. My own govt will do anything possible to avoid getting involved in those situations as they are generally an evenly divisive problem that generates negative reaction from the electorate. In their minds, they can never win, therefore do everything to avoid the problem. Besides, my son is actually far more controlled than I am when dealing with issues like this. I am old and crotchety, with little tolerance for people that prefer to bury problems in bureaucracy rather than resolve them. I would cause more problems than I would resolve. Therefore, helping from a distance is where I should be. That being said, had he asked me to come, I would have without hesitation. Acting in the best interests of someone so close, requires a balancing act that is easy to get wrong. Thanks again for the dialogue and yes I will be encouraging him to "give back" by posting his version of what not to do for future riders to CR.
    #51
  12. krl

    krl semi noob

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    11:28 AM........"so far just bs, not sure"
    6:53 PM........"no bike, they demand more $$, I come home"

    Not a big surprise.........but was hoping for a more positive end to this.
    Will keep you informed as I hear more.
    #52
  13. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Like if the kid was trying to smuggle a bike into Costa Rica without paying import duties, and he got caught, that would be one thing.

    If he already got his TVIP and there was just a paperwork snafu coming out of Panama, and he's not trying to get away with anything, he just wants to leave Costa Rica,

    and it doesn't cost anything, irrc, to get a Costa Rica TVIP, anyway,

    then the customs guys at the Costa Rica border are just being pricks.

    I love Latin America. I really do love it. And this has nothing to do with my hatred of the government paperwork. Ugh. In real life I'm an ultra-liberal socialist, but in my hatred of government paperwork I'm like a right-wing nutjob. Ugh.
    #53
  14. krl

    krl semi noob

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    "Going into the day I had decided I would be more than happy to pay $3000 - 4000 canadian for the bike. Considering I will have to replace the bike this was the best deal considering that it comes with a great ride home."

    Knowing my son, I am glad I was sitting down when I read that. He is almost the perfect KLR owner.......he is frugal......he is just not that old to complete the stereotype!! Up here that bike is only worth....maybe $4500 - 5000, so I guess he really wanted the ride home.

    "So list of expense to get the bike:

    Taxes = 1244
    Fine = 2488
    Lawyers = 150
    Aduana Agency = 200
    Impound lot = 390
    4472US$$$$ = $5383 loonies - CDN$$$"

    "Yesterday didn't go as plan but it did go as expected. Once again I was mislead. No bike"

    They made his decision easy, although it took a whole day to get to the bottom line.........painful. Will update as I know more.
    #54
  15. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    go back to the Panama border and pay somebody $50 or $500 to forge a document that says that the bike was originally imported legally. Explain that the whole thing was just a big mistake. Take advantage of youthful exuberance. In trying to find out which person at the Nicaragua border needs the next $500 bribe.
    #55
  16. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    I think it is too late to do that.

    There is something very wrong with this picture, it seems to me. Maybe something he is leaving out.

    I would use the Canadian embassy people as much as possible.
    #56
  17. krl

    krl semi noob

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    Yes, the numbers keep changing. The 500 fine is now 2488.....how does that happen. However, they will give him a 50 discount if he pays by friday. The actual tax amount is actually a bit lower than what he was told the last time he was there. This whole affair has a nasty stench to it. These customs people don't seem to have to answer to any of the people that we have involved. It looks like a game of confusion to waste time in the hope he will give up and go away, which most are forced to do.
    #57
  18. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    Your son totally pissed someone off!!! Find out who, and deal with them with respect. There is always someone who knows someone to help. Heading into CA he better have his shit together, only gets better? I could not get into Guatemala, I had another moto registered and was not checked out. At border I met a guy with gold teeth, acne, a pistol in his pants and just plain ugly who would clear me for 24 hours, $200. Told him to fuck off, I worked 3 days to try and enter, finally I went up to him, smiled and paid him $220.
    #58
  19. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    I've been following along but had no assistance to offer.

    I left Canada last fall on my bike and landed in CR where I intentionally imported my bike with Pepelopez's help. In Nica, I was stopped numerous times but my papers were in order so no problem. Once I was guilty as hell for a traffic violation but "no habla espanol" for a few minutes playing dumb got them frustrated enough to tell me something meaning "get lost". :evil I intended to go on to Panama but the bike gets 90 days, then has to leave for 180 before being allowed another 90. So I would have had to suspend my TVIP upon leaving, and re-activate it like your son intended to. The situation doesn't surprise me at all. Laziness, incompetence and totally not giving a crap about any Gringo's problems of the rich.

    Anyway, something to check out....If your son imports the bike and gets a CR plate, he will need "Permission" to take that bike out of the Country. A check is made to insure there are no outstanding fines or violations on him and the bike, then he can get a 90 day pass for something like $20 or 180 days,I was told, for more money. It would suck if he finally left CR and couldn't get into Nica without that document.

    Secondly, the bike will be worth more in CR with a plate on it so it could be sold to recoup some cash. Craigslist is what the Ex-Pats use here.

    What's that bike worth here Pepe? Any idea? Mine will make me money when sold but not more than a case of beer's worth however I rode it down here for free so to speak.

    Best of luck eh.
    #59
  20. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    He might not even know who or how. It happens to me all the time.
    #60