Its been more than 18 months since we decided to to take on this mission of riding our motorcycles in South America and now its nearly time to leave New Zealand and fly to Santiago-Chile. Yeah!. We have had a few hiccups along the way.
Firstly, Joe (cousin) broke a piece of bone off his elbow in a mountain bike accident & wondered if his nerve damage in his hand would improve enough to make the trip.... pleased to say that he has recovered - not 100%, but can ride his motorbike.
Once we knew Joe was able to go, we had 10 days to get our bikes boxed (along with any gear that we wanted shipped in the crate) & transported to Mainfreight in Christchurch. I did some of the Customs declarations myself & got my own valutation which was needed for the insurance - this reduced the cost.
Fortunately, the two bikes were shipped off 10 days before the MV Rena got stuck on the reef off Tauranga. Although I was informed by one of my helpful work mates that a male Maori with a moko was seen riding my bike at a beach in Tauranga a couple of days after the event! The container ship with our bikes has gone to Busan in Korea, then across the Pacific to South America. We were informed the voyage would take 55-60 days, however, last week I was checking on the boats progress & was told that they are not expecting the ship to arrive in Valparaiso till the 2nd December.
We have no option but to fly to Santiago as planned & wait for the bikes to arrive, it was too expensive to change tickets. We will make use of this down time to get some spanish speaking lessons in Valparaiso, get familiar with the Freighting people and do some route planning. Hopefully, Simon (brother who is meeting us from Canada) will meet up with us in that first week.. not certain of his plans as we haven't heard from him recently.
Had a barbeque last night, with family & to say thanks to the people who have helped me get my bike ready to go. Last minute purchase of spare bike parts tomorrow & final pack. Have to be at Nelson Airport 8.30am Wed am. Getting excited!