Day 106, Wednesday 5th April. Lome. Togo

Another day in paradise. The sun is shining and by 10am it’s about 28deg. Time to go for a swim. The tide is out and the rock reef that protects the beach in front of the hotel, is doing it’s job of making the swimming comfortable.

When the tide comes in. Large breakers wash straight onto the beach. While swimming amongst the usual plastic bags, old shoes, bread wrappers etc, a large plastic sack floated past so I grabbed it. We have been picking up plastic on the high tide mark and putting it by our loungers. Anyway, this big sack came in handy for putting the plastic in.

The plastic sack by Jen’s lounger.

Half an hour later, a hotel employee is sweeping up all the debris at and below the high tide mark, into piles. Perhaps we have started something…:)

“Yeah, but what’s happening with your shipping”? I hear you ask.

Visiting the shipping company offices again this afternoon, we were ready to pay the Freight and handling charges.They had requested payment in US$ but then asked if we could pay in their own currency, CFA. (Central African Francs).

That suited us and they created a new invoice in CFA. Only trouble is, when they did the exchange rate calculation, they used the Euro rate of exchange, not the US$ rate. Do you think we could get them to understand!!

it was getting late in the day and most of the offices were empty and we were making no headway. We’ll go back in the morning. Adam has written an explanatory email to our agent representative, Stanley, Here’s hoping he can bring some understanding to the subject.

All this is making me nervous. If we fly out on Thursday and Customs have decided to play hardball, by not turning up to inspect the vehicle before it goes in the container on Tuesday, or have not bought the stamp to stamp the Carnet, we only have the next day, Wednesday to resolve those issues. I can see, the vehicles going into the container then Customs refusing to stamp the Carnet because they didn’t see it going in, and worse, providing us with another bill for contents that we will be unable to pay because we have left the country, and they won’t release the container because of it. OK, so now I’m sounding paranoid but none of this, given our recent experiences, is unreasonable.

Just to understand that statement. I mentioned the other day that the original valuation, which wasn’t a valuation but still had to be paid, CFA49,000. The ‘real valuation’ turned up and the tax was CFA51,000 but not only that, they had duplicated it, to CFA112.000. Jen just tells that it is now CFA115,000. I think we have big signs on our foreheads “SUCKER”. Or as Bridget succinctly put it, ‘they have you by the short & curly’s’ and they are not going to let go. But there’s no corruption here just stupid customers!

Could it all be because it’s a full moon tonight?…:)

We are tracking our container ship the Port Gdynia and it has just left Valencia in Spain, heading for Algeciras. Do we book a flight for Thursday?

Visits: 89

One Comment:

  1. I would not leave until the vehicles are in the container and cleared by customs. Unless of course you are thinking of exchanging the Rover for a D Max. Call me a worry wart, but if past experience is anything to go by, ‘what could possibly go wrong’, probably will. I can do nothing more than wish you all luck.

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