Sooooo, by now some of you might be eager to know how the return trip was. Let me cut the chase. We are still in Costa Rica.
Guajapen? – you might ask. Let me just say that of all the worst case scenarios that we had both run on our heads, what happened came out of the blue.
What could have gone wrong
Our biggest fear was that the covid test results would not arrive on time. Yes, Covid tests in plural. We had to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival and an antigen test 4 hours before boarding.
We took the PCR test on saturday morning and, as promised, the results arrived 24 hours later. Weeeeell before the flight.
The second test was the trickiest. We had to take the sample no earlier than 4 hours before boarding…and have the results before boarding the plane. Only that KLM does not indicate WHEN the boarding will start (Small details)….So we took the test 4 hours before departure just to be safe. And crossed our fingers that the results would arrive on time.
We managed to get a taxi that could take us and all the luggage (not finding a taxi and arriving late at the airport was also in our worst case scenarios).
The results of the second test arrived JUST when we were doing the check in! pfff what a relief.
We finally breathed.
What went wrong
And then the KLM guy that was doing the check-in asked if we had the travel documents of the cat.
-“Yes! I said. And gave him the cat passport.
– Do you have the vet certificate? he asked.
– No, we answered. It is not needed for reintroduction, we added.
And then he said he was going to make a consultation.
Frank and I had started preparing for Matilda’s trip in January. We took her to the vet in Monteverde to start the process. Mati was examined and even a blood test was done. The vet asked Frank to help them with a form in Dutch that they needed to fill in. Frank phoned the Agriculture ministry in the Netherlands in charge of imports of pets to find out which papers were needed….and he was informed twice that only the passport of Matilda was needed.
The passport contains info on her rabies vaccination, the rabies blood test and it was legalized by the Dutch authorities before leaving the Netherlands.
So, we were pretty convinced that nothing else was required to reenter the Netherlands with our cat.
But either this was not the case and we were misinformed …OR the information on what is needed to enter The Netherlands nowadays has not reached Costa Rica yet.
No matter what is was, the result was that we could not board the plane. Even if we had tried to run to a vet, get the certificate, run to the official body to get it stamped and signed..we would not have made it before the boarding.
So, we had to rebook our flight and return home.
Some good luck
We had, at least, good luck with a couple of things. To start, the ticket change was going to cost us some money but the payment system went down so we got the change for free.
Second, we had already paid one extra night in our hotel so we could stay the entire afternoon. So we could just return to our place. I had called the owner as soon as I knew that we would not fly so she had not taken away our food and the other things that we left behind.
Plus, we could stay in the same place until Saturday since she had not any bookings. That saved us the hassle of finding another place, moving around our luggage once again, and getting used to yet another house.
So yesterday I started with the medical examination of Matilda and if all goes well we will get the certification tomorrow.
We booked (again) time to make the Covid tests since -of course- the previous tests are not valid for the next flight.
We canceled the taxi, the shopping and the booking of the house where we are supposed to quarantinne for 10 days after arrival. (side note…I wonder why we have to quarantine after having three negative covid tests).
Little by little all has been rearranged. Now it is only waiting for the certificate for Matilda. My worse case scenario machine is roaring…but in the meantime, I am stuffing myself with tropical fruit & sun. Just in case nothing goes wrong this time and we board the plane.