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About Drive Nacho Drive

At the end of 2011 we quit our jobs and set off in our 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon, "Nacho". Our plan? To circumnavigate the globe, slowly, while discovering culture, food, recreation, and emergency roadside Volkswagen maintenance. We are Brad and Sheena. Just wingin' it.

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Author Archive | Drive Nacho Drive

Eating Horses

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After Nacho’s inspirational climb of the Alpe d’Huez we descended the switchbacks and were deposited in the quaint village of Bourg d’Oisans. We would spend the next few days making our way northwest to Paris, but before doing so we…

The Alpine Reunion

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“I know it’s somewhere!” she cried out in frustration as she flipped through a stack of twenty full size trail maps, each showing a mess of trails that slipped between valleys and up endless snow-capped peaks. They were some of…

The Hemingway Hunter(s)

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With limited time to spend in Europe I was going to have to think of something sneaky and clever to get Sheena to let me have my way. While Sheena wanted to walk around fancy European trinket markets looking at…

On the Banks of the Rio Darro

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The grass along the banks of the Rio Darro hung tall and still under the roasting midday sun. Below the dipping reeds the water flowed crystal clear without hint of turbulence, like air with the viscosity of motor oil. A…

The Camel Chasers

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Off in the distance, just a few hundred feet from Nacho two camels wandered through the desert. They appeared to be wild and definitely uninterested in developing a friendship with Brad despite his desperate attempts to hand feed them a…

Dark Star Safari

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It’s amazing how quickly you can get from Europe to Africa. All it takes is 45 minutes by ferry—a quick jaunt across the Strait of Gibraltar and you’re almost in Morocco. I say almost because the arrival port on the…

Africa Calling

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Having arrived in Europe is both a triumph and a shock to the system. For the past two years we’ve explored the Earth’s faraway wild places with wonder and amazement. Every time we moved we were moving into the unknown,…

Murphy and His Law

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We had arrived in Turkey in the Spring, and as a result the days were generally chilly and the nights cold. Beyond Anatolia we knew it would only get worse; we’d been to Europe in Spring before and knew that…

Cappadocia: Chutes and Ladders

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Sleet had been falling on and off all morning. In the village the men huddled around a tea shop next to a barren mountain in the gray, bleak Turkish countryside. Inside—that is, inside of the mountain—I was precariously wedged midway…

Two Nights in the Orchard

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Almost two years ago when Europe still felt like a world away we were contacted by a fellow Volkswagen owner and mechanical engineer from Turkey, interested in obtaining a copy of the CAD file that Brad made of Nacho’s body,…

Take Me Back to Constantinople

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From the moment we set foot in Istanbul it felt like we had fallen into a love affair of sorts. It didn’t matter that we had unknowingly stationed ourselves for the next month in Balat, or Little Tehran as it’s…

Go Go Goa!

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About a year and a half ago we got an email from someone in Pakistan inviting us to Islamabad when we passed through the Middle East. He was with the VW club of Pakistan, and had been following our trip…

Cowboys and Indians

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At last we arrived in Mumbai, the planned termination of our Indian adventure. Lo and behold, as we wound our way into town, we were pulled over by a cop. Indian cops are nothing more than common criminals, and this…

The Big Fat Indian Wedding

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The Big Fat Indian Wedding As seems to happen to us from time to time, we have fallen grossly behind on our blog. As the days and weeks pass, the interesting things keep piling up and eventually we become as…

Welcome to the Jungle

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We stood at the water’s edge in our shorts and flip flops along with a horde of other Western and Asian tourists. Six massive elephants rested on their sides in the cool river water of the Rapti. Every day the…

Langtang Phooey

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A while ago in the Andes mountains of Argentina we passed through a place called Uspallata, and thereafter began our ill-fated international food smuggling debacle, which saw us retreating to Uspallata. Uspallata, as it turned out, was the home base…

The Maoist Revolt

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You may recall a reference that I made a short time ago regarding Nepal’s turbulent recent history involving the fall of the monarchy, the rise of the Republic, and the persistent problem with those rebellious and violent communists, the Maoists.…

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger

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It was harvest season in Pokhara Valley. During our trek of the Annapurna circuit the rice fields surrounding our camp had changed from neon green to gold. Harvest season was the most time critical event of the year and everyone…

Around Annapurna, Part 3: Little Tibet

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<< Read Part 2 We stood atop the roof on the edge of Muktinath and hung our laundry from the lines, glad to have put the grueling Thorong La behind us. A chilly wind cascaded down the canyon from the…

Around Annapurna, Part 2: Snowbound

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<< Read Part 1 For the second consecutive day in Braga the rain continued to fall. Plan A had been to make a three day diversion to Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world at over 16,000 feet. The…

The Kingdom in the Clouds

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Crossing India had consisted of two thousand kilometers of pancake flat driving on the worst roads in the world. Now the roads were well maintained, and within a few miles of crossing the border we began winding through foothills, and…

Pit Stop Varanasi

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We reached Varanasi terribly late on the fourth day of our drive to Nepal. Varanasi was to be our much needed intermission point; a place to stretch our legs, build back our endurance, and wash off the caked dirt plastered…

Pit Stop Varanasi

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We reached Varanasi terribly late on the fourth day of our drive to Nepal. Varanasi was to be our much needed intermission point; a place to stretch our legs, build back our endurance, and wash off the caked dirt plastered…

Fork Me: A Drive Across India – Part 2

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<< Click to read Part 1 Every morning on our trans-India drive started out the same way; we awoke from fitful sleep by our talking phone alarm clock to the suffocating weight of reality pressing down on our chests. It…

Fork Me: A Drive Across India – Part 1

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The distance from Hampi, India, to the Nepalese border is 2,200 kilometers, approximately the distance from Phoenix to Seattle. The plan was to drive to Nepal for the short trekking season, and then return to India later to explore the…

Hampi Campers

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  Hampi Campers A few weeks back when we went to our friend Santhanam’s house for coffee I brought along my India map, and he offered his advice on the must-see destinations in South India. While we sipped on coffee…

The Onam Food Babies

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  Over the course of a few days we crossed the subcontinent from the Indian Ocean west to the Arabian Sea. We left Pondicherry, first stopping in Madurai to celebrate the birthday of the elephant god Ganesh, and then to…