Confiscated and held in customs…yup, thirteen pounds. Just not in the way we would have hoped to lose it… To put it bluntly, we we left the United States with too much junk. It only took us about 10 minutes into pushing it on a bicycle in the heat up hill to come to that conclusion. I posted previously about the amount of stuff we were taking and in retrospect: WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?!?! By the time we arrived in Santiago, two days into schlepping the stuff around, we knew we had made a mistake. Jan who you met in a previous post and Kim suggested that when we got into Los Barriles that we see the “gringo at AeroBurro” (his self-given name) who would mail our things back to the good ole USofA for us. PERFECT! We arrived, rented a car to do some sightseeing later in the day, bought a box and culled thirteen pounds of crap. Between the two of us, this included:
- 30 articles of clothing, yes THIRTY (how many shirts does one REALLY need?)
- both of our cycling clip shoes (sooo heavy and uncomfortable, my Van’s work just fine)
- a second small backpack for day trips (we’ll just share one)
- the Mavic drone (yeah, that one was a hard decision to make but it was just too bulky)
- two ridiculously heavy camera bags
- and some souvenirs bought in Los Barriles, since the box was going home anyway!
Rick Steves was right when he said no one ever comes back from vacation thinking “Dang, I should have packed HEAVIER”. You’d think that this story would end fairly reasonably… we go to the postal gringo, hand it over and badda bing badda boom, it’s done. If you think that you have obviously never read our blog. Welcome, newbie. It ain’t THAT easy. NOTHING is ever THAT easy.
The postal gringo tells us that he doesn’t export, far too much paperwork and headache he only imports for the local Americans that are buying from Amazon and such. Alrighty then, where? He tells us to try the post office in Los Barriles but it’s unlikely they will be able to help you. Exporting out of Mexico to the US is a dicey affair and closely regulated. Duh. Go figure. “You are likely going to have to drive back to CABO and send it with DHL or Estafeta (Mexican FedEx).” And he’s right, we find the local post office and the only thing going out of there to the US, the woman behind the desk explains, are letters.
Good thing we have a car, we drive 45 minutes one way BACK TO THE FRIGGIN AIRPORT WE RODE OUR BIKES AWAY FROM, to find the shipping office across the street from the airport. Do they ship? YES! To the US? YES! Is there paperwork? YES, TONS! No problem, let’s do it. We are made to open the box, itemize the contents and the value of everything including each pair of superfluous socks. NO PROBLEM! Done and done. We leave with a tracking number that we forward onto my son in the US, the intended recipient. Everything is going well, Andrew tells us that even though it is in Spanish it appears to be on it’s way. We drive back and have unfortunately wasted our rental-car-sightseeing-day.
Two days later there is a message from Andrew that the box has been seized by customs and needs a phone call to continue the shipment. Uh huh… a phone call… sounds easy enough right? No. No it’s not:
- The numbers we are given don’t work from our US based phones.
- The individuals answering the phones when we are FINALLY able to call don’t speak English and we don’t speak enough Spanish to make ourselves understood.
- THEN THERE IS A THREE DAY MEXICAN HOLIDAY, no calls at all.
When we finally arrive in Concordia, Eduardo the hotel proprietor and his brilliant English skills figures out what we need, makes the call and determines that the office in Cabo didn’t forward the TON of itemized customs declarations forms WITH THE PACKAGE. EEEEEEEXACTLY. Bad Estafeta!
We send all the information again, via email with no proper customs forms and cross our fingers that this will suffice, we are told it will.
But the package has yet to leave the Mail Jail in Tijuana and Eduardo tells us that we never should have trusted “those crooks at Estafeta”!