Today’s goal was to obtain a zarpe. For those who haven’t done this, a Zarpe is the official document that you get when you leave a country by boat. They aren’t strictly necessary, but you can be rejected from entering your next port if you don’t have one. We decided that a 2,800 miles U-turn was enough reason to jump through a few hoops.
So armed with a thousand opinions and rumors, we headed over to the Capitainia de Puerto in Puerto Vallarta. The Capitainia gave us a bit of a hard time but ended up giving us the paperwork we needed. After filling it out and giving them the correct paperwork we were directed to Immigration and Customs at the airport. The customs officer was very polite and very confused. I seems that the fact that our boat was in La Cruz created a bit of a jurisdictional problemo for our new friends. Finally one of the customs officers pointed us in the right direction.
And so it was that we got on our 4th bus of the day to Nuevo Vallarta. We arrived at the Capitania de Puerto for Nuevo Vallarta just minutes before quitting time (2:30pm). The Capitania was expecting me (our customs friends had called ahead) and cut me off a few minutes into my sad story to tell me, “I don’t want to hear what all the other people said, this is what you need to do.” He proceeded to instruct me to return with my boat when I wanted to leave. I am to call ahead (on VHF Channel 16) and they will summon customs and immigration. They will do everything there after which I am expected to leave the country immediately.
I left his office feeling pretty chipper. Sure I hadn’t got what I spent the whole day searching for, but I did get a gem to pass along to my fellow puddle jumpers and I learned something (possibly non-transferable) about Mexican bureaucracy.
On the bus home we transferred at Mescales. Tired and hungry, we took a chance on a taco stand that I had always noticed, but it was just outside our sketch-zone. The tacos were just fantastic and I kept ordering more until I couldn’t possibly eat another, then I ordered some plain tortillas and rolled them up with guacamole inside. It was a really good thing that Sitio (cab/bus thing) pulled right up outside the taquerilla or they might have had to remove me in a wheelbarrow.
So another day “wasted” on Mexican bureaucracy turned out to be another red letter day for the family of Convivia.