I suppose this is the “proper” end of phase one. I’ve paid http://www.eagleexportcargo.com/ to ship the banana to Kuala Lumpur.
Stage one: Wash it. It was dirtier than the hard drive you keep in the back of the secret drawer. The one your girlfriend pretends to not know about, but inspires warm feelings in her for Dave at the office.
After this you get an escort to the cargo terminal of Kathmandu airport, where you need to crate it. The crate is made to the size of your bike by the exporter, in as close a fit as possible. This is because air shipments don’t really work on weight, they work on something called volumetric weight.
What this means, is that air freight parcels for a given size have a standard density applied to them, so for the size of my crate, the standardised weight was 391 KG, even though the actual weight of the bike and luggage was 325 KG. Annoying, because the banana is a tall, moderately wide, yet lightweight trails bike. Oh well.
Getting it into the crate requires a bit of disassembly. In my case this meant:
Then you go mental with a hammer and nails, wait half an hour for an agent to come back with your stamped carnet and you’re done.
Then you go to the pub and start freaking out about everything that can break in transit. Then four beers in you stop giving a shit.