After 7 nights in Cartagena, Team DeCorso is heading onward. We are up early this morning, 6:45am and Mark has already left to take some bags (Christmas presents!) to the van & camper and await the delivery of the propane. Here in the hotel, kids are showering and charging Nook tablets. When Mark comes back, we are picking up the happy, happy dogs and heading out.
I wanted to say how easy this has all been. For a year, we researched how to get the van & camper here, reading many other travelers accounts of shipping across the Darien gap. People got robbed, vehicles got damaged, folks got fleeced. None of this has happened to us. In fact, the cost of shipping turned out to be $1000 less and faster than we anticipated. All of the details that seemed so stressful when we were planning the trip have simply fallen into place. Everyone has been kind and helpful.
We were worried about so many things. It turns out that we will be traveling with trucks and there are places trucks stop to spend the night – just like in America! It turns out that there are parking lots with big walls around them and you park there and pay a small fee and your stuff is guarded.
Officially clearing customs with your shipped vehicle takes three days and port costs are $350 per vehicle. Our bill was $700+ and the two vehicles arrived Monday morning at 8:15am. Mark, the Awesome Latin Negotiator, somehow got the port fees reduced to just $200 and got the vehicle out in a day and a half.