Cartagena, Colombia (No. IV)

We are still in Cartagena, capital of the Bolívar Department and fifth-largest city in Colombia, aka the “Capital of the Caribbean”. Herbie’s ship has arrived today but we were not able to deliver him from the harbor as we couldn’t comply with all formalities. Therefore we have to wait until Monday in order to proceed. It is a bit hard to know that our companion Herbie is already here but we can’t get to him.

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Not yet, Herbie!

Herbie’s vessel, the “Global Leader”, should arrive in Cartagena of the West Indies by tomorrow, according to its latest prediction. On January 26 we had to say “good-bye” to our lovely Bug. We miss him a lot! Hopefully we’ll get him back very soon.

Today we saw a Volkswagen Beetle here in Colombia for the first time – against one’s expectations in a pretty good shape, if you think of the harsh climate down here.

Regarding to its hood it seems to be a Bug with 1,600 cc and the owner might be a Christian. However the car is definitely registered in Cartagena (see license plates).

Before we’ll be able to welcome Herbie again, we have to go through a lot of bureaucratic procedures. First and foremost we have to obtain the original Bill of Lading (B/L) in order to receive a temporary import permit from the local custom authorities.

Zainab on YouTube

Here you can find Zainab’s YouTube channel “zainsational”. Just click on the picture!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We hope all of you had a happy Valentine’s day.

In Cartagena two guys were giving free hugs and kisses. Their signs were written in English so we guess it was just meant for people who are able to read and understand this language. For us it is just a day like any other – hugs and kisses every day!

Cartagena, Colombia (No. III)

We are still in Cartagena, Colombia, waiting for our Love Bug. On Friday Herbie’s ship should arrive but we don’t think that we’ll get him out of the harbor before the weekend. So we’ll be here probably one more week. After our reunion we’ll be following the great Pan-American Highway through continent number five: South America.

Roll-On / Roll-Off

There are different types of shipping a vehicle. The most common ones are by container, “LoLo” (Lift-On/Lift-Off) and “RoRo” (Roll-On/Roll-Off). This time we’re shipping Herbie via “RoRo” from Veracruz to Cartagena – across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. There are always pros and cons regarding the various types.

We also tried the container option. Herbie and our trailer “QEK Junior” got 44 foot containers from Chennai (India) to Melbourne (Australia) and from Brisbane to Long Beach (USA). From Sharjah (UAE) to Bandar-Abbas (Iran), from Tallinn (Estonia) to Helsinki (Finland), from Dunkirk (France) to Dover (UK) and from there back to Calais we did it via “RoRo”, with the advantage of being on board with our set-up.

Cartagena, Colombia (No. II)

It is our third day in “Cartagena de Indias”, where Herbie is supposed to arrive by ship next week. Here is a lot to see! Many backpackers and other tourists are strolling through town. An interesting historical fact is, that Cartagena and Veracruz were the only cities authorized to trade African slaves within the colonial territories of Spain.

Where the Hell is Herbie?

As we are already in Cartagena, Colombia, Herbie is on his way going to South America by ship. His vessel, the “Global Leader”, is meanwhile rescheduled the fourth time. According to the latest schedule Herbie arrives in Cartagena on February 17.

We’d love to drive all the way around the world but as we posted before there is no other way than shipping to get a car from North or Central to South America, because of the so-called Darién Gap which creates the missing link of the Pan-American Highway.

Cartagena, Colombia (No. I)

Three flights later we safely arrived in Cartagena, Colombia. We took a taxi to Getsemani. This is a district, which is located between the sea port and the very center.

We spent our first night at a different spot than today. We switched the place because we were not satisfied at all with the first one we had.

Now we’re staying at a hotel named “Los Muros”. We got a fan and running water. These are probably the most important things in order to stand heat and humidity.

We are lucky because our room is located in the back of the building. Especially during the nights there are many, many people on the streets making party all night long.

Don’t get surprised if you get to Cartagena one day. It is definitely pretty expensive compared to other cities in Colombia or Latin America.

We feel secure! People in Europe or North America would often say, Colombia is one of those place where they would not recommend to go but it seems to be fine yet.

Our hotel is just across “Casa Viena”, a hostel which is owned by an Austrian and his Colombian wife. “Viena” stands for “Vienna” – the capital of Austria.

Veracruz, Mexico (Final No. VII)

Yesterday it was our last day in Veracruz and with Daniel. He’ll fly back home to Europe in the afternoon today. We already took off to Mexico City waiting for our connection flight via Panama City to Cartagena, Colombia, where Herbie will arrive one week later.