September 1st 2003
Trip to the shipping agent to find out what's happening. Looks like landy is going to be 10 days late and arrive on the 16th. The agent had received the bill of lading from the UK shippers but had not received the copies of the UK registration document or Ed's passport despite them confirming to us that they had sent them to Ecuador. The agent had not been informed that we had personal possessions in the container along with the Land Rover until the bill of lading arrived. He does not think there will be any problems with the car due to the carnet but his only worry is getting the possessions through customs and so we had to provide a complete inventory of the car's contents.
Booked ourselves into the Simon Bolivar Spanish School for a 4 day course. ($7 per hour).
Went to the Turtles Head (Gringo Pub - sad, we know) for dinner and had an excellent beef stew and a few pints of "Llama Negro". The stout was brewed on the premises. Beer and food were excellent but it turned into our most expensive meal at $35. That's about our complete daily budget for food and lodgings in one go.
September 2nd 2003
Started the one-to-one Spanish lessons. Feels very strange being back in school. Ed bunks off school and only manages to get a few hundred yards before vomiting. Unluckily right outside the police station. An hour's rest and a few glasses of water and he is back in school. I never knew he hated lessons so much!
Had a quiet night in as Ed's bug is still restless.
September 3rd 2003
Both feeling fine and enjoying the Spanish lessons. In the afternoon we dropped off some more paperwork with the shipping agent. Good news: the boat is now due to arrive on the 10th and not the 16th. We are a little concerned that we are now getting a slightly different story for the customs' inspection procedure than was first explained to us. Having difficulty in acertaining if the inspection will take place immediately the container is opened or if the wagon will be in the "open" for a few days before it is inspected. It is not clear what security arrangements there will be when/if it cannot clear customs straight away.
September 5th - 7th 2003
Our Spanish lessons are now finished and we are far from fluent. Ed has learnt some really useful phrases for the trip such as "My mother believes the ghosts only come out when there are strangers in the house" and "I travel to Peru to collect mosquitos"! There is still no news from the shipping agent despite promises to contact us on Friday with an update, so we will now have to wait until Monday to contact them. We were planning on visiting the Equator with some friends from the Spanish school on Sunday, but it was Sue's turn to be ill, so we had to give it a miss. A quiet time in to update the website.