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Hot News - February 2005   (Febr. 5, 2005)

On October 18th, 2004, we celebrated our 20th anniversary "on the road" in
St. Martin/St. Maarten in the Caribbean, after having driven through 150 countries.


Since December 28, 2004, we are back in Guyana, the small country at the Northeast corner of
South America. Our LandCruiser followed from the Netherland Antilles by sea with the
American SeaboardMarine and the Dutch EWL on a free transport on January 17, 2005, exactly
on the day when the big rains arrived and Guyana has seen the worst floods in history. Schools,
businesses, supermarkets and government offices closed its doors. So did the customs. Still
today huge areas remain under water.

Understandably, the priorities of the government were to get relief to the suffering people,
therefore the release of our car had to wait. Suddenly we had a real big problem so that we
were taking already into consideration to forward our container somewhere. But it wasn’t only
the country’s emergency situation, but also its huge bureaucracy started to announce itself. As we
crossed the border two years ago at the small settlement of Lethem entering Guyana from Brazil,
the procedure was completely uncomplicated and smooth. But here in Georgetown - coming by
sea – firstly a bond has to be placed. How much this will be is going to be evaluated only after
the inspection of our car, we were told. As bonds are usually very high and only reimbursable
after the car has left the country again, we never have taken that chance. Who guarantees us that
we were to see the money ever again? Therefore we placed already on January 14 a request to
wave the guaranty, but were able to contact the responsible customs commissioner only on
January 25. Would it be a Yes or a No? We were quite nervous, as his reply would decide about
our immediate future! Luckily it was a Yes - what a huge relief! The next headaches started on
February 1, when the customs authorities said that we will have to pay duty on all our ‘personal
belongings’, i.e. actually the whole content of our car. In the meantime, we write February 5 and
we are still not one step further. We still do not know if and for what we will have to pay duty,
and when we finally will be able to get our LandCruiser released. The current record of four days
of customs’ bureaucracy in the Dominican Republic will definitively be beaten.

After the release, the local Toyota distributor "Beharry Automotive" will fix the rear differential
and the water pump before we will proceed to Boa Vista in Northern Brazil. We are already very
excited to drive through Guyana's virgin Iwokrama rainforest again and hope that this time we
won’t see only the traces of jaguar's around our camp, but to glimpse a real one. And afterwards,
the Rupununi Savannah - the land of the Amerindian people - is awaiting us!

On February 13, we will receive a new laptop from Miami and thus will be able to catch up with
our outstanding emails since the crash on Christmas Eve. Please keep being patient and sorry
again for not getting back to you yet.

Please visit  BBC Caribbean's Website  and read our story of 31.7.04
Are you interested into the LandCruiser History, prepared by Toyota Motor Sales USA?
(after some loading-time please klick "IN LEGEND" and afterwards "HAIR TO MAGELLAN
- and you will see that we already belong to it too!)



"Land of the many Waters"
(Sept. + Dec. 2002-Febr. 2003
+ Jan. - ...... 2005)
this site will soon be finished
- please take a seat


External links in German only to  www.ernstmaissen.ch:

Guyana     (Dec. 2002 - Febr. 2003)

Suriname-French Guiana    (March - May 2003)


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