End of Box-Gate
Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
650Trip End Apr 07, 2012
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Where I stayed
Estancia Mar Dulce
We had booked a taxi to take us to the airport, wait for us and then bring us back. The price was £25, which was only a little more than going via public transport, and as we had literally starved ourselves and just sat by the pool for the past 2 days (we were under budget by £25) we had £3 to play with ... woo hoo – what a pair of high rollers!!!
The customs office was actually not in the airport but in a shack just down the road, after much too-ing and fro-ing we eventually established that the blue shack was the one we wanted, so we set out our stall and got comfy for the 1 ½ wait ... yep we were so desperate for the box we had arrived at 6.30am even though the office didn’t open until 8 ... now that’s dedication/desperation.
But it turned out to be a good idea as by 7am there was quite a substantial line forming. Fortunately the night porter took pity on us and tried to explain what would happen. Unfortunately he didn’t speak a word of English, but we managed to get the general idea. What almost scuppered our plans was the fact that Annabelle, as the signatory had to go in by herself. When we heard this we were both resigned to the fact with Annabelle at the helm ... we would never get the box. But she spent the following 60 minutes flicking through the phrasebook learning a few key words! God help us!
The whole process involved jumping from one office to another not really knowing what was going on but trying to be patient and generally bumbling along. An hour of nervous smiling and Spanglish, and she finally had her hands on the box. The customs officer needed to see everything – so when Annabelle opened it she was chuffed to see lots of Christmas presents ... Joanne had wrapped everything individually which was lovely, but the officers face was a picture. She was not impressed as Annabelle unwrapped; 2 deodorants, No7 Face Serum, L’Oreal anti-wrinkle cream, 2 fleeces, 1 jacket, 3 pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of leggings, 3 electrical adaptors, 2 I-pod adaptors, 2 travelling books, 4 rain poncho’s and 1kg of chocolate. WWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
What a load of faffing about ... but it was definitely worth it. As Annabelle left the office, she had the biggest grin – we were both so relieved and chuffed that the saga was finally over. A quick taxi ride back to Granada ... and there we were sat by the pool eating chocolate.
We haven’t really eaten much chocolate over the past 6 months so we literally inhaled 200g of Galaxy ... it was heaven. But we’ve obviously lost the knack of vast consumption that we had perfected in America as we were both feeling suitably sick ... what amateurs!
The evening was spent re-jigging our bags as we’ve had to lose some clothes to make room for our new winter wardrobe whilst boogying around to the I-pod ... we’re both so relaxed.
The past week has definitely been the hardest for us – with Annabelle’s dad being ill, the stress with the box and our money situation (or lack of), but we finally feel like we’ve turned a corner and we’re back on track!