Shipping Across Darien Gap: Discuss

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Charles Seguin, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Lilbloody

    Lilbloody Adventurer

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    Thanks for the encouragement, Lucinda. Now if I can just get my bike around the friggin' gap, this thing will really take off :D

    Heather
    #61
  2. Junyah

    Junyah @ the speed of plaid

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    Hi Heather,

    I have zero experience with Capt. Jack but I just talked with him lastnight and he can set you up with some boats that can haul motorcycles. http://sailcolombiapanama.com/

    He also mentioned that the "Wild Card" and the "Jacqueline" (sp?) will also carry bikes.

    Feliz viaje y buen suerte,

    David



    #62
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I checked out your website Lilbloody. Great stuff. Keep up the good work!

    Of course there will always be the truly frighteningandbeautiful passage on one of the Kuna cargo boats:

    [​IMG]

    If you don't mind taking a canoe ride out to Carti Island to catch one:

    [​IMG]

    Once again the cheapest way to get to Colombia with a bike. Two years ago it was 100 for me, 100 for the bike plus 140 for connecting rides to the nearest road in Colombia. But more to your question, I met several people who took the Independence. It has a decent reputation. It was full as was the Stahlratte when I was there, thus the need to take a cargo boat. The gringo sailboats all charge around 1000 bucks for you and your bike.

    One other option that Hektoglider used was to send his bike on the Stahlratte and fly to Cartagena to meet it. The Stahlratte gave him a ride to the airport. And because he only had a 250 like you do, the Stahlratte charged him 350 instead of 500 to just take the bike across. So with the flight to Cartagena it was a bit cheaper.

    Just some ideas.

    Best luck in your travels.


    johnthomasdowns.blogspot.com
    #63
  4. 1Man2Wheels

    1Man2Wheels Been here awhile

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    I took the Independence a couple of years back, and while the experience was fun, it was nowhere near as slick as their website portrays.

    They cram as many aboard as possible and in the middle of a storm we discovered there were only 8 lifejackets for 24 passengers!

    Maybe they have brought it up to code since the Colombian authorities cracked down on the smaller boats a while back.

    More info on my blog: https://twowheeledtravels.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/voyage-to-colombiapart-one/
    #64
  5. Lilbloody

    Lilbloody Adventurer

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    This is fantastic, thanks David. I will look into these people when I have a better wifi connection in Oaxaca.

    Triple cheers
    Heather


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #65
  6. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    I just received a quote from Lynn Cargo for shipping bikes from Bogota, Colombia to Panama. She was extremely knowledgeable and knows her way around the massive red tape. Pretty high for me. If I had the excess cash to spend I would feel comfortable shipping with her.

    I was told its a flat fee for all bikes..... $1,600.00, but if you want to fly to Miami, FL its $900.00 so go figure. Looking into commercial ships that RoRo but that takes 3-4 days plus the cost of an air flight.

    Girag at various offices have stated they no longer fly bikes into Colombia and for over ten days no one answers their Panama office. One person in Medellin stated that their website has NOT been updated.

    The sailboats scare the crap out of me since I have a bike 1,000 LBS. I have been reading all the threads, but I am wondering if anyone found anything new since the Ferry Express went belly up????
    #66
  7. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Wow! That was my alternative to Ferry Express!
    #67
  8. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Girag never answered their airport phones a couple of years ago either. Same with COPA, who at the time were flying bikes to Bogota for $600. Best wait for a report from someone who's actually on the ground there before getting all worked up about it.

    That's my idea, and worth every bit of the customary $0.02 charge.

    Mark
    #68
  9. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    I have my fingers crossed but I have spoken to various Girag people from various cities in Colombia, Panama dead cause no one answered; and all have said the same.....service discontinued. They all (about 4-5 different folks) stated that they don't offer that service any more.

    Best to say the best advice is to wait to see what the riders post within the next few days regarding transport by air or by sea. If not, then it is what it is.......troll the boat yard looking for a boat of some sort when I get there.

    I fly to Santiago Chile on Friday April 24 and arrive in Chile on the 25th.......lets see if that report comes in before then.........fingers crossed.
    #69
  10. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    So with the shipping situation seemingly in somewhat of disarray I am sure we can give you an exception if you are hung up at the crossing! :lol3
    #70
  11. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    Thank You Q'B for the exception.......I humbly accept it. If no record this year I will learn and make connections for 2017 since I am competing in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge in 2016. I have my wife on the phone calling different shipping companies in Colombia trying to get the best rate. I will post companies as she gets them for others to consider as an option.
    #71
  12. OK Lucinda

    OK Lucinda n00b

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    That's a shame. But air cargo is air cargo.

    So, crate the bike and fill out the paperwork for a piano. For authenticity show up in a tuxedo. The first time anyone bumps the crate, slap them hard. Should be fine from there.
    #72
  13. tsimmons

    tsimmons Long timer

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    i crossed south from Colon Panama last month to Colombia and am now trying to get the bike out of Ecuador in the next couple of weeks. So far I have found a company that can get the bike via sea freight from Guayaguil Ecuador to Miami Fl for about $1200. Can't decide if I want to meet the bike and ride the 10 hours home from there or just have it shipped to my house in Georgia.

    Really shouldn't be this difficult to ship a bike, but it is.

    travis
    #73
  14. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    If you're calling Girag, stop. They've never answered the phone. I know of no rider who has ever had reservations. The deal has always been to show up, pay up, hand over the bike, and then hope that it gets there within a reasonable amount of time.

    If you're hoping to find a way to make a reservation on girag online, like the way you'd buy an airplane ticket, then you're just another fucking moron.

    If you look at all the threads on shipping for the last, oh... ten years, you'll see that the way that Girag works is, you show up, you pay up, you hand over the bike, and then you hope.

    Sometimes Girag breaks things, sometimes things disappear, sometimes things work perfectly, but always, Girag is not to blame. I think you sign something that says that after you pay and hand over the bike, Girag isn't responsible for anything at all. And if the bike arrives at the destination, it's by god's will, or something like that.

    Compared to a sailboat, which says, right up front, that if anything happens to your bike, they're not responsible at all, not for sea spray, sinking, dropping into the ocean, pirates, drunk girls, etc.

    The only way I'll believe that Girag isn't getting bikes to and from Panama and Colombia is if a rider reports that during normal business hours (9 AM to 11 Am, 2 PM to 4 PM, considered normal by Girag) that there's nobody at the Girag office, or that all (ALL) the people at the Girag office say that it's no longer done.

    ps: if you try to double check me and you go to the Girag website and you email them and you call them and you get know answer, then you're a fucking moron and you're beyond hope. You're better off staying home and then later lying about the time you almost rode your motorcycle in Latin America.
    #74
  15. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Mister Banana speaks my mind....except he's marginally less polite about it.

    It's perfectly possible Girag is no longer flying bikes, but concluding that this is true based on who does or does not answer their phones doesn't bode well for a happy trip in Latin America.

    Mark
    #75
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Marginally?
    #76
  17. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Take the Challenge Ignore the Assholes! Supporter

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    My office has spoken to 4-5 individuals at length for about 15 min each call, if not more. Maybe if you read my post from the beginning to end you would not be posting your vitriol. So Girag does answer their phones...............just NOT in Panama!

    In fact, not only did they speak with me...... one woman "WHO ANSWERED THE PHONE" emailed a list of other cargo companies to check with. So when you blindly come onto this post guns blazing please get your facts straight. If I decide to go to Bogota I will stop by for shits & giggles, not for you.

    It was so peaceful until "Mr. I Hate Gabe" came on the scene........

    PS.............I never mentioned I wanted to make reservations.
    #77
  18. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

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    Your fucking office spoke to them? Maybe you could get your office to take the trip for you? Just don't make them do it on a Harley.

    It's obvious you have no idea how things work down there.

    BS



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    #78
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Dear Mr. Boyscout

    I have Gabe on Ignore. Thanks for posting his remarks. I enjoy a good laugh.

    He's surely not read the thread, "Chickens hogs and road hazards." He thinks he's qualified to have opinions about us. I wonder how he'd do with you on the road to Aguas Calientes...

    About ten million times I've advised people that you can't get Girag info until you go there. It's a good test to find out if someone is a moron. I say, "if you call, or look for their website, you'll learn nothing. You have to go there. Then it's easy." The morons usually respond, "I followed your advice. I tried calling but they said they don't fly motorcycles."

    good luck with Gabe. I've already told him to go fuck himself. Now it's your turn to give him advice.

    Love,

    Bananaman

    Edit: this has been a good thread for riders to share info. Hopefully they'll ignore Gabe. Getting across the Darken Gap is part of the Adventure.

    AA Milne starts out The World of Pooh with a story about how some people when they go to the zoo, the go quickly through the door under Way In and as fast as they can to the door marked Way Out. Others, if they're smart, they linger, and they maybe talk to the Zoo Keeper, and they might get to spend some time with the Bear.

    If you go to Yavisa, or anywhere in San Blas, you won't find a Bear, but if you go carefully, if you don't Get Too Drunk, you might have a grand adventure.
    #79
  20. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

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    There is a quote that I can barely remember and certainly can't remember who said it. but it goes something along the lines of "If you wait until you know how every step will go before beginning the journey, you will never leave the house."

    I left without knowing how I would get the bike from Panama to Colombia and vise versa. I met a lot of interesting people trying to figure it out when I got to Panama and ended up finding the Stahlratte and had a blast. Learned and experienced a lot.

    Figured I would try the Girag thing on the way back. Showed up at the airport; I think they might have told me to come back the next day. I eventually spent most of the day there. Got to hang out downstairs waiting for the one person who could deal with me. Just about when I thought I was going to get to see her, it was time for a 45 minute "calisthenic break". I then filled out some paperwork and was told to take it upstairs. Just my luck that it was now time for the "upstairs calisthenic break" :rofl.

    I got the feeling that it is something they could do if you are willing to be patient and wait on their schedule. They probably don't officially advertise the service because if they did they would have a bunch of lawyers trying to "make reservations" six months in advance and complaining if they were "behind schedule" or couldn't do it on that day.

    Reminds me of when a buddy and I wanted to get our steering head bearings replaced in Argentina. He stated that he "had to have it done in 24 hours" because he "had to get on the road". Surprisingly the shop had no bearing press and he left with fresh bearings in his bag and worn out ones on the bike. I showed up a few days later and said I was in no hurry, any chance they had found their bearing press. They did it the next day.

    You can only plan so much before the trip. The best thing you can do is plan to relax, take your time and let things work out.

    BS
    #80