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The Beast is Here

June 22, 2011
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Wow – today has been hectic but we’ve been reunited with the beast and we’re ready to actually start our trip tomorrow as fully fledged overlanders.

We started off this morning bright and early by driving down to the auto port on Eastern Passage in Halifax in order to make sure we knew where we were going. We got to the right place and there was The Beast behind a chain link fence. So near and yet so far.

Next stop was to go into central Halifax to visit Canada Customs.  We had to clear The Beast into Canada before we could collect it from the shippers. However here we hit our first snag in that the agricultural inspection hadn’t been completed. Apparently the UK is a hot bed of foot and mouth and any dirt on the camper could lead to an epidemic over here. I did mention that the last foot and mouth outbreak in the UK was almost ten years ago. Not important – we come from a disease ridden country !

Ok so we phone our customs agent, Boyd from Colley Motorshippers, and he told us this wasn’t a problem and that he would call us when the inspection had been finished. A bit of patience is called for – not necessarily our strong suit.

Next thing we did was go to Ideal Bikes in the downtown Halifax and pick up 2nd hand bicycles. These will come in useful during the trip I’m sure. They were a relative bargain at CAN$150 each. Although we are just about getting used to everything in Nova Scotia having 15% tax added to the sticker price. Why don’t they just price things up with tax included so you know what you’re paying ?

We drove back to our hostel with the bikes crammed in the back of our tiny hire car and no sooner did we arrive back than Boyd phoned to give us the good news that The Beast was ready for collection. So back in the car and drove back to downtown to revisit customs.

5 minutes later and we had the clearances –  so back to the port. The documentation here took a while – but probably only 30 minutes or so and we put on fluorescent vests to go into the lot to pick up The Beast.

We then drove back to the motel – me driving and Sarah following in the rental. No problem although we did stop along the way to put in CAN$250 of diesel.

Once back at the motel we got stuck into cleaning the inside of the Beast. I don’t know where those customs guys have been but they had tramped in a whole lot of dirt.

Final stop today was to go to Walmart and load up on stuff we need – a BBQ, charcoal, a table, chairs and a whole lot more. Around CAN$750 worth in all. But we are pretty much set now and are heading to a campground tomorrow to settle in for a couple of days before starting some serious mileage. I am really looking forward to my first BBQ and sitting out in the sun eating some meat and drinking a beer !

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One Comment leave one →
  1. supremoguy permalink
    June 23, 2011 8:51 am

    Look, I actually read your blog … okay I visited the site, it’s almost the same thing right? Glad your hairdresser’s lorry has turned up and you can finally start your journey. Thought you of all people would prefer the sales tax thing over there, at least you know how much the government are shafting you for on top of the RRP!!

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