On Tuesday we took a taxi to the airport. The taxi driver takes a different route than the one we had when we arrived in Quito and so we are irritated a little bit first, but it turns out he takes the easier route: a brand new 3 lane highway from the city to the airport.
There are different cargo areas and it takes a lot of asking and driving back and forth to find the right place to go. It turns out, we first have to go to the shipping company (which was Iberia Airline) and then to the customs where our bikes actually are. The two things are a few kilometers apart from each other. So we are very thankful to have such a great taxi driver.
He was really super kind. After we had our papers signed at Iberia Airline, we drove back the 5km to the customs where they told us we would need a SOAT, an Ecuadorian insurance to get the bikes. Of course we couldn’t get it at the airport, but only in the city. AAARrrrgh. Well, we kept asking and talking and finally we found a young lady who would help us. She told us we wouldn’t need to have it right away but would need it generally and would need to get it ASAP.
There was a lot of waiting going on there on this airport. Our taxi driver got a very good extra money for the great work and support he has done and took off. We waited and waited, and finally got the papers to get the bikes off. Of course there was a mistake, so back and waiting and waiting…
Finally we met the boss of the delivery section. And she was really cool. When she saw our bikes she was all over them. With real tenderness she was moving her hand over the handlebars of the bike, clearly in love with it. She used to have a bike herself, she told us.
With her help everything went a lot smoother and quicker. Until we had to pay 200$ customs. Well, they would not take any kind of card. No, there is no ATM here, only 5km away in the airport. And they would close in 20min. There are two banks here, but you cant withdrawal cash there. I started cursing and rushed to bus stop, got the next bus to the airport, ran to the next ATM, got some cash and back in a taxi.
The boss lady already arranged everything, so all went smooth from that point.
We were allowed to leave the wood of the crates just leaving behind. So we uncrated the bikes and wheeled them out of the shipping area.
There we stood, everybody leaving for his or her families. The sun was slowly descending, in 30 minutes it would be dark.
We connected the batteries, put on the panniers and filled up the bikes with some gas. It was all very much reminding me of the hectic days we had in Munich the last few weeks….
Filling up the bikes with gas was necessary, because we had to ship them without gas. A nice guy from freedom bikes lent us a 20l gas-can so we could make it to the city.
Freedom Bikes is a shop around the corner from our hotel. They rent motorbikes inclduding GPS tracks. They have small 250ccm dirt bikes, but also BMW F800 and similar. They are a great group of guys who helped us in many ways, including tips for the trip and the gas can.
So we filled up the bikes (a little bit hectically, that had some effect later, but that’s a story of its own…) and started them. They started immediately and so we took off to Quito.
The ride was actually nice and the traffic not as bad as I thought. But still for Christy being the first ride outside Germany, at night, we were pretty happy when we arrived safely at the hotel. We wheeled the bikes into the garden and locked them there.
The next day we did some packing and checking and added some electrical equipment to the bikes that we bought in Germany the last day.