This morning saw us arriving into Auckland Airport at the ungodly hour of 04.45. This meant a wait of over 3 and a half hours before our connecting flight to Rotorua. A glorious sunny day awaited us here and it was wonderful to be met by and catch up with Dennis’s younger brother, Ash. Now we have a very overgrown garden to tame, while planning the next part of our journey.
The week in Canada was hectic, to say the least. It was a day flight from London, which I hate as time seems to go more slowly and our sleep patterns were somewhat interrupted, so we crashed at an airport hotel overnight. After hiring a car the next day we set off for Whistler for a 3 day stay with Dennis’s youngest daughter, Sarah, husband, Tim and grandchildren, Charley 7 and Jaxon 5. They are taking a year out to travel in their Mercedes camper truck down through the US, Mexico and Central and South America and are planning set off a bit earlier than us, at the end of February. See their website worldsafari.ca
After our Whistler stay we came south to Crescent Beach and stayed 4 nights with our good friends Bill and Joan. The Land Rover arrived in Vancouver on 22nd and we were advised it could take two to two and a half weeks to clear Customs. I also had some communication with a fellow overland, Robin Grigsby, who shipped his Land Rover from Vladivostok to Vancouver a few weeks ago. He advised he waited almost a month for clearance. So, we had more or less resigned ourselves to changing our air tickets, yet again, and staying on longer. Surprise, surprise on Tuesday we received advice that the soil inspection had been done and Customs were releasing the vehicle to our Shipping Agents’s bonded warehouse on Wednesday morning. So, a mad panic ensued on Tuesday to find storage for the winter for the Land Rover, a mechanic who could do some repairs and servicing, and to do some research on insurance and whether or not we need to register the vehicle in Canada and have Canadian plates.
Having found a suitable place to store the Land Rover our first task on Wednesday was to take the spare parts we sent out from the UK, and which Bill had been looking after, to the storage depot. The Land Rover is to spend the winter in a heated container at Seaboard Self Storage. The owner, Ron, has agreed to remove the boxes from the roof rack as there is a lip to the entrance of the container which will prevent the Land Rover going in without the boxes being removed. After this we headed into the centre of Vancouver to the Customs Office. Once the Land Rover reached the shipping agent’s bonded warehouse, we had to take the paperwork to the Customs for them to stamp it and fax it back to the shipping agent. Only after this procedure could the Land Rover be released from the bonded warehouse. As we do not have time to drive the Land Rover to the storage depot, our shipping agent has arranged for it to be delivered there on a truck.
Well, we managed the most important tasks. getting the Land Rover through customs and into storage, but the mechanical repairs and insurance will have to wait until our return next April.