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About Beaglebound

One day not so long ago, we were going through our usual ritual of daydreaming about quitting our jobs in the corporate world, leaving most of it behind and going on a long journey to faraway lands. What was unusual this time was that Natalie asked a brutally simple question: ”WHY NOT?”Shocked its stark simplicity, we searched for the answer using the formidable mass of “tools” learnt through our years of school and work (think SWOT) – but alas, it was all for naught. Soon, the answer dawned upon us: Why not? ”only because we’re scared” and the only thing stopping us was ourselves.And so, we’ve quit our jobs, put our careers on hold, gotten married and geared up to drive Fred, our 2004 Toyota Tacoma, from Houston, Texas to the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of the Americas.We are Natalie and Alex and we are only halfway sure of what we’re doing but we’re doing it anyway.

Trip Start: 2012-08-18 Trip End: 2013-08-15 .

Author Archive | Beaglebound

The Islands of San Blas and Sailing the Southern Caribbean, an Unforgettable Experience!

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(By Alex with a from-the-field report by NattieK)
Even though we went to bed quite late on our last night in Panama City (see our Panama Post) and I was dead tired from the prior days’ production needed to get the car into a container in the Gomorrah of a town that is Colon, the 4:30 am taxi pick up…

Panama

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(by NK – ie; much shorter than the last few posts)
Panama was another place that we knew little about, well exceeded our expectations and we feel we barely scratched the surface of. We stopped only really in 3 places – the beautiful coffee town of Boquete where we met fabulous new friends & Alex got his coffee fix, Panama…

Costa Rica

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(By Alex, with Nattie’s help to wrap it up.  WARNING: LONG READ)
The solidly branded and well-oiled tourism machine that is Costa Rica astounds with its natural beauty, annoys with its good manners and impresses with its fine-tuned business model. The country that has been surveyed as ‘the happiest in the world’ and lauded as “Latin America’s Switzerland” is indeed…

Galapagos: The Veredict

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As promised (and as usually, late), a selection of the 3,000+,(no joke) photos from Galapagos: Click Here.  We’ve omitted the ones with the boatloads (literally) of old folk in goofy hats, white socks and sandals who we managed to beat every time that we went onshore.

NattieK and a few new new friends…

Do you think this was worth losing…

Galapagos: Trap or Treasure?

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Or, an Invitation to Please, Please Save Beaglebound! (by NK and Alex)
After running around Quito for the major portion of three days looking for a “good deal” on an 8d/7n boat ride around some of the Galapagos Islands and paying a minor royal’s ransom for it, we are finally booked to depart tomorrow.  But, alas, not without a good amount of controversy…

Happy New Year!

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Or, A short moment of weakness for a mushy post — and aided by only one single beer (by Alex)
It is 6:34 pm on December 31st 2012 and we are in Otavalo, Ecuador and I just can’t muster the strength to finish my blog post on Costa Rica; it’s taking too long and it’s boring me.  So, I’ve now…

Beaglebound Reaches 10,000 Miles!!!

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In a time and place that couldn’t have been planned, Beaglebound reached 10,000 miles into its journey on Dec 27 in the Huila Region of Colombia at the exact spot where this photo was taken — a military post with an amazing view where we could celebrate the moment with some new friends!

A good omen

“Trip A” in the…

On Christmas Eve, a Letter to My Mother

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Or, “A Reflective Ramble on My Inadequacies” (by Alex)
Hola Mama!  It’s around 4:15 am on Christmas Eve, we are still in Colombia.  The conditions for sleeping in the tent tonight have been perfect: it’s cool outside while it is nice and warm under the wool blanket inside the tent, the cicadas and grasshoppers in the forest chirp in unison…

Nicaragua

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Or, “We dare you to read this without falling asleep halfway through.” By Alex
We went into Nicaragua expecting something very different to what we found.  In spite of its poverty and enormous challenges, Nicaragua is a vibrant country with a population that is diverse not only economically and racially but also politically and culturally.  The still-palpable heartbeat of the…

Guatemala

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We hadn’t planned to do too much in Guatemala due to time constraints and safety concerns on smaller roads with Fred, but it’s definitely somewhere we would love to return to – friendly people, great food, a rich indigenous culture, beautiful landscapes, stunning towns, impressive ruins etc etc… And it didn’t feel any less safe than anywhere else we’ve been…

San Cristobal de las Casas

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We arrived at San Cristobal in the late afternoon after a stopover at Xel-Ha, one of the regional waterfalls and swimming holes for a quick spray.  After our usual runaround sussing out a few different hotel options, we settled on a cool, quirky place with antique furniture everywhere and a fab view of town.  However, after the invisible nightclub that…

The Chiapas Maya

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(Palenque, Yaxchilan & Bonampak by NK)
There’s no easy way to describe the sensation of waking up to the sound of howler monkeys.  Alex best describes it as the sound that the thing in Alien movies made (ie; not Sigourney Weaver), which is probably pretty close as if you’ve never heard them before and you wake up to this guttural/death-vader…

A Dip into Belize

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Belize City, Caye Caulker and San Pedro, by NK
After a very inefficient, yet friendly entry into Belize by Chetumal. Mexico, we headed directly a few hundred km south to Belize City.  The difference in the quality of the roads was the first thing to hit us and the satnav didn’t stand a chance.  Belize City was much more rundown than we…

A Dive into the Yucatan Peninsula (Part 2)

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Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Coba by NK
Yes, we completely avoided Cancun; maybe a good place to visit for a crazy weekend but really not our bag for this trip.  We preferred to go south of it to get our PADI open water diver certifications during our 5 days on the chilled white sand beaches of Playa del Carmen.  Alex…

A Dive into the Yucatan Peninsula (part 1)

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Campeche, Merida and Chichen Itza by NK
It took us three days to make it to the states of Campeche and Yucatan and most of the stopovers en route were pretty uneventful, going via Tuxtla Guiterrez, Ciudad del Carmen (major hub for gulf of Mexico oil and gas), and Isla Aguada (pirate central back in the day and a dusty…

Hammocks, Blue Water and Crocs

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(1 day in Zipolite, 3 days in Mazunte by NK)
When we finally got to the Oaxacan Coast after a very sinuous and somewhat intense but breathtaking drive through the lush Oaxacan sierra, we stayed for one night at the little fishing village of Zipolite.  The only activity we found happening for Independence Day that night was a nightclub which…

One of Mexico’s Throbbing Hearts, Craft Beer and a Mountain-top City-State that Thrived for 13 Centuries

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3 days in Oaxaca (by NK)
The drive from Puebla to Oaxaca was one of the most beautiful drives we’ve done so far, travelling through lush green mountains and fertile farming land. After dropping a few thousand feet, we came into the city of Oaxaca.  This has been another clear favourite for both of us so far.  Oaxaca is a properly happening…

A Church atop a Pyramid, Chapulines and a Cultural Metropolis

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1 day in Cholula & 1 day in Puebla (by NK)
Cholula is the oldest continually-inhabited town in Mesoamerica.   As its Colonial neighbor Puebla has grown, it’s effectively become almost a suburb of it and both are beautiful, surrounded by some impressive volcanoes and flooded with churches.  The main attraction in Cholula is the famous Cholula Pyramid and surrounding temples…

Cantinas, Pyramids, Paella and Family-time

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5 days in Mexico City (by NK)
Mexico City felt like coming home.  We were made to feel so welcome by Alex, Aida, Ricardo 1 & 2, Eric & their dogs.   5 days went by so quickly and we spent most of our time chilling, catching up, reminiscing, drinking & eating some excellent food together.

Paella cooked by Ricardo A…

Stalactites, Stalagmites, Old Empires and the best Damn Quesadillas to date

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Cuernavaca, Xochicalco, Miacatlan and Cacahuamilpa (by NK)
Cuernavaca is a bustling city south of Mexico City which was inhabited by the Xochicalcans and the served as the seat of Cortez’s Marquee of Oaxaca (an area extending from the coast and given to him by the Crown for his services).  The city has not stopped its gradual growth since those days…

Sailboats, Cold Showers and Great Old Friends

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2 days in Valle de Bravo (by NK)

A nice morning at the lake with a view of “Valle”

Valle de Bravo is a popular weekend getaway for many folk from Mexico City.  There are several small towns surrounding the lake (man-made as part of a dam constructed in the 1930’s), secluded areas of grand houses in Avandaro and, on…

Gringos, More Gringos, Schnitzel and ChurchBells

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3 days in San Miguel de Allende (by NK)
San Miguel de Allende is a haven for expats & retirees (mostly American and Canadian but also Europeans), all attracted by its bright blue skies, artsy scene, colourful colonial buildings and relaxed lifestyle.  The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s revival as a cultural / artistic centre began…

Churches, Chiles Rellenos & Festivities in a True Gem

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3 Days Discovering Guanajuato (by NK)
We almost feel like we shouldn’t write anything about this incredible city so that we could keep it a secret from everyone outside of Mexico.  The city is often overlooked by foreign tourists — we could not count more than 4 or 5 visitors who came from abroad during our stay there.  It’s a…

Roadrunners, Javelinas, but no Bears, oh my!….

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5 Days in Big Bend National Park (by NK)
First stop was Big Bend National Park ,Texas, a beautiful massive park in the Chihuahuan desert,  where the Chisos Mountains & the Rio Grande Canyons formed the only border between us and Northern Mexico.

NattieK above the Chisos

We spent 5 days hiking several kilometres, sweating, rafting, eating some damn-good camp…