Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leaving Suriname

It was exhilarating to get back on the bike in Paramaribo!  Leaving that city felt almost the same as leaving Denver over a year ago, especially after the hiatus.  Traveling towards places unkown was a sensation that we had become accustomed to during our previous months on the road - making headway becomes a bit of a daily routine (...on some levels, thankfully we're not talking about too much monotony here...).  But starting to roll again brought back some of that tingling anticipation of not knowing what we'll run across next.  That's an indescribably wonderful sensation!

Before leaving Suriname, we took one short trip back to Drepada, the site where Jill spent her original 2 years of Peace Corps service.  It was a good chance to say goodbye to a couple of her friends from there, and to join some of them for a few too many Parbos in Brokopondo.  It was quite the send off.

(that way to Brokopondo)

The following morning we went to Albina to handle the customs forms for export of the motorcycle.  Even though just 5 years ago the road used to be a reasonable stretch of pavement, somehow "working on" the road has caused morse code-like segments of paved sections followed by rough dirt sections (short-short-long-short-short-long-short-long) with not much warning at the transitions.  Ahhh, right back into South American riding!

(on the way to Albina)

Mike was a little bit worried about the customs paperwork for the motorcycle, as we have a hefty deposit (US$800) that we need to get back.  Staying in Suriname for 6 months complicated the motorcycle import, requiring us to fill out more official import documents than the usual 30-day stamp at the border.  It also required us to put that deposit down.  And it also gave Mike the chance to run around Paramaribo for days on end to sort it all out - which was fine, at least it gave him something to do.  Another errand that took a few days to figure out was getting permission to drive from the National Police.  (For those who may pass through Suriname, don´t worry about that, I think it's only required if you stay in country for more than 14 days or something like that.)

But once we got to Albina, we found the ferry dock right away and were able to get all of our forms stamped, signed, and processed in just a few minutes.  It was the fastest border crossing yet, aside from the 2 hour wait for the ferry.  While it seemed like the officer knew exactly what he was doing, the true test will be whether our deposit is released in the next couple of weeks.  Fingers are crossed...

(customs in Albina, Suriname)

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