July 17 - 30, 2013…Vancouver, Canada

Today is a very exciting day for us….After 8 weeks of backpacking around Asia we are now heading towards the bikes.  

We left Nai Yang Beach, Phuket at 6 am this morning. Arrived at Bangkok Airport, the one with the golf course in between the runways, go figure!  We arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, bussed to the other airport 1 hour away caught our flight to Hong Kong, made our way through the hamster levels and tunnels of the airport, and are now waiting for our flight to Beijing... 13 hours down... getting closer Vancouver!

We arrived at Beijing Airport with only 20 minutes before they closed the gates on our Canada flight.  Kev and I busted into a full on sprint that I have to say almost killed us, but, way worth it!  Our tenacity and effort got noticed and as we took a wrong turn, Canada Air officials sort us out, and ran with us to the gate.  You rock!..Thanks so much for holding the gate open for us after our delay in Hong Kong. 6 airports, 4 airlines, 1 taxi, 1 bus, and 1 shuttle later we have finally arrived in Vancouver = 32 hours of travel!  Loving the adventure, but tired. Our backpacks didn't make it, but, should be arriving on the next Beijing flight tomorrow. Bonus!!!  We got a glimpse of Alaska out the window of the airplane.  We'll be riding into it shortly and it still looks a little frozen to me? Brrrrr.

We met with the shipping company the day after and found out that our bikes were here but still containered after clearing a soil inspection.  It would take another couple of days before the container was unloaded into the bonded warehouse facility for pick up.  We were instructed to visit the Border and Customs Control office in downtown Vancouver to have our paperwork stamped and cleared, and possibly face another soil inspection. It was Friday so we decided deal with this next week.  We headed towards the US to see our son and his wife in Washington, we would travel back Monday morning to take care of the paperwork.  

Border and Customs Control did require another soil inspection on the bikes and they passed, so we paid the additional $46 and got our paperwork stamped.  We headed over to the bank to transfer $200 payable to the shipping company that paid for the man time to open the container for the first soil inspection. We then headed over to a Uhaul Truck rental company, rented a truck and headed to the bonded warehouse to pick up the bikes.  We paid the warehouse an additional $40 per bike to clear the warehouse.  After lifting one bike into the back of the truck it was clear that another would not fit.  It is going to be a double trip, oh well the warehouse closes in 30 minutes anyway.  We truck on over to the BMW service department and drop off the bike.  We repeated this procedure the following day and then returned the rental truck.  Boy does it feel good to have the bikes back in our hands.  The bikes are scheduled to be serviced ready for our trip to Alaska.  Kev and I decided to make a second trip down to Washington and spend a little more time with our son and his wife before heading out.

Border controls can be a bitch at times….

Boarder Control; Where is home?

Cat & Kev; Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Boarder Control; Where are you traveling from

Cat & Kev; Vancouver

BC; What is the purpose of your visit

C&K; to pick up our motorcycles and ride to Alaska

BC; why are your motorcycles in Vancouver?

C&K; We had them shipped there from Australia

BC; Why were you in Australia

C&K; We motorcycled for a year around Australia and New Zealand

BC; Why didn't you have them shipped to Alaska?

C&K; Because it was cheaper to ship them to Vancouver

BC; When did you arrive in Canada

C&K; a couple of days ago, we are waiting for our bikes to clear a soil inspection

BC; Where did you arrive from?

C&K; Thailand

BC; What were you doing in Thailand?

C&K; Backpacking

BC; Hand me the keys to your car!!

BC; Do you have any narcotics, drugs or medicines?

BC; Are you caring any weapons?

C&K; No, we are not

BC; opens the boot, looks through our back packs, opens the passenger doors and goes through our belongings

BC; Why is she squeezing a stress ball?…Is she stressed?

C&K; No, I'm not stressed, I broke both my arms in the outback of Australia and I am working on building the strength back up

BC; Amazing story…move on through!   

 

Making our way back to the bikes.  Landed in Bangkok. 

Making our way back to the bikes.  Landed in Bangkok. 

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  Looks kind of chilly down there!  Checking out Alaska above the clouds.

 Looks kind of chilly down there!  Checking out Alaska above the clouds.

Loading one bike into the Uhaul truck from the bonded warehouse.

Loading one bike into the Uhaul truck from the bonded warehouse.

Truck'n one bike over to BMW for a service...10-4 OzCat!  

Truck'n one bike over to BMW for a service...10-4 OzCat! 

  Unloading at Pacific BMV, Vancouver, Canada.

 Unloading at Pacific BMV, Vancouver, Canada.

Unloading the second bike.  

Unloading the second bike. 

Finally the bikes are in our hands... ready to be assembled and serviced.

Finally the bikes are in our hands... ready to be assembled and serviced.

Fun times at the Canadian, U.S border :)

Fun times at the Canadian, U.S border :)

Visiting our son Paul and his wife Karolyn in Washington. 

Visiting our son Paul and his wife Karolyn in Washington. 

Paul & Karolyn  

Paul & Karolyn 

    Enjoying a brekky out with Karolyn.

  Enjoying a brekky out with Karolyn.

A big "Cheers" for a wonderful visit!  Thanks for all of the delicious home cooking Karolyn, it was a fabulous treat  !

A big "Cheers" for a wonderful visit!  Thanks for all of the delicious home cooking Karolyn, it was a fabulous treat !