“We have done everything we could possibly – but no company is willing to offer the border insurance for your motorbike. In the past 24 hours we have tried every insurance company right till the top most layers- but this has not been possible” the words of Daniel Ricos from Ducati Spain had a finality to their tone.
My heart sank like a stone. It took us 2 weeks to overcome the customs paperwork- but that was now satisfactorily concluded. Now, just as we thought all excruciating bits of paperwork was behind us, we were hit with this crisis called “Border Insurance Green Card”. This little piece of paper is mandatory if your motorbike is to touch tarmac at Europe. Yet, no insurer- in India or Europe is capable / willing to offer this green card. It seemed like they have finally concluded it is a dead end.
I couldn’t breathe. “Is this it?” my ears were pounding. And almost hearing my thoughts, Daniel said: “We all from Ducati guys discussed intensively about your problem. And we want to make an offer to you: we want to give you one of our brand new Ducati Scramblers- please take it and do your complete ride… at the end, you may return it back to us. Do not worry about any payment- it is our gift… you guys are family to us now. This is beyond business for any of us here- you have come so far… we cannot make you stop now!”
Giving us a brand new motorbike, absorbing the losses, and finally selling it for a pittance… just so Anu and Manas can finish what they started… what can I say? I am not emotional by nature- but never has anyone made me an offer as generous as this. May I say that there was dust in my eyes then!
We heard of Valencian hospitality: and we sampled it in full measure thanks to Dawinder Singh Wahala, Daniel Ricos and Juan Aliaga who literally adopted us since the moment we landed at their city. We were chaperoned around, surrounded by their friends, introduced to the best of Valencian cuisine and offered a string of Ducatis while our motorbike was undergoing the clearance process over the last 15 days. Dawinder, Juan and Daniel – we will forever be in your debt guys… for your ‘Dosti’ and for proving, yet again that Angels do exist! The icing on the cake: your offer of your very own Scrambler were the sweetest, kindest and most generous words I received in a long, long time. You have taught us how Spain treats its “Amigos”.
In conclusion: It took 36 hours of sleepless research, phone calls, and internet discussion boards- but I was finally able to arrange for the “Border Insurance Green Card”… with help from Alice De Mayor who took over as my translator, navigator and negotiator during procurement of the Insurance. I could thus finally manage to ride our very own Scrambler with Indian plate- but the generous offer from Davinder, Juan and Daniel of Ducati Valencia will be among my sweetest memories… what a start to the trip!