The kayaks were due to arrive today – 100% certain this time! The arrival time was first 9 am, then it was 9.30 am, and eventually 11.30 am…but finally the cargo plane with our precious load really landed!
Mark Peloquin from Bluewater Kayak Works was picking us up with his rental car at Cristians home at 7 am already. Our host had to work today, so we were happy to have Mark around to help us to get to Santiago! Thanks Mark!
First station was Mark’s rental car place in Santiago, where we had to swap his small rental car against one which would take a THULE roof rack. This also means, it had to be an upgrade of about double the rental price…With many, many phone calls, we were already yesterday able to figure out what they had available and what would be matching.
Eventually we had a nice white Toyota SUV, and could drive to Cartoys, where they had a THULE shop who promised to outfit us with a sponsored roof rack. Thanks, THULE! It was mounted quite quickly, and we were happily heading to the airport, to finally receive the kayaks.
We already knew we would need a truck first to get the whole monster cargo off the airport and unpack it somewhere with heavy tools. Juan Paulo Ceron from Universal Kayak was so nice to help, and we just had to call him when we would be ready with the paperwork!
The LAN cargo people were quite friendly this time, as they owed us a first class service after the “mistake in the system” on Monday, which made us drive to Santiago once in vain…They allowed us to watch the unloading process almost from the plane, and it made us excited to realize they are really THERE!
But first the paperwork…this means waiting about an hour at the LAN cargo office. We were through with the first paperwork load there at about 1.30 pm, and they sent us to the customs – but they only re-opened their office at 3 pm…another 1,5 hrs of waiting…
The customs officer was surely asking for invoices, and what I paid for the kayaks – well, nothing! Thanks to Point 65! But of course he wanted some proof of my statement, and my promo-card and website convinced him eventually I was telling the truth was really *that* crazy… Then he agreed I’d had to pay NO customs at all, thanks a lot! I had already been so lucky at the Argentine customs on the first leg!
Eventually back to the LAN cargo office, we would be ready NOW to pick up our freight after paying another small handling fee, but Juan Paulo was only available at 5.30 pm with his truck, so we had to suffer another waiting period of 1,5 hrs…all we had do was to adjust all South American timings! No worries…
Juan Paulo called, and with the help of a local truck driver I could describe him where to find us. Finally we were ready to load! The cargo guys did a great “dance” with the monster cargo on the forklift, and slowly but surely it disappeared inside the truck! Yahoo! It didn’t really matter that you couldn’t close the doors, a few straps, and the problem was solved…
It was already dark, when we were arriving at Juan Paulo’s Universal Kayak factory. Right on the truck, we had to cut the metal welded cage just at four spots, plus a few plastic straps and ropes, then we were able to slide both kayaks out of their prison! Fortunately, the forklift didn’t do any damage, and we could unwrap two spotless “Freya” kayaks! Thanks again to Point 65!
We quickly strapped them to our THULE roof rack, hugged Juan Paulo good bye, THANKS AGAIN!!! and soon were on our way back to Vina del Mar.
We could unload the kayaks into the basement community room, ready to work on them tomorrow. Good night at midnight! Yawn…but all successfully done!