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Rideshare Round The World

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OK, so you’re driving round the world – just the two of you, your offspring, maybe a dog – usually in a vehicle that might look like it’s from a different planet compared to some of the jalopies sharing the road. And if your rig is big enough to look like it could have a spare seat or two, bigger…

Driving To Kuelap

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Driving to Kuelap takes us three hours from Tingo on the main road. The way up is in a pretty bad state and in a couple of places we had to stop, get out and seriously consider turning round. In the time we were there, though, we saw all manner of vehicles bringing tourists, locals and their supplies – plus…

The Cloud People of Kuelap

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Who were the Cloud People who built Kuelap? No one really knows. Where are the cloud people who run this gaff now? No one knows that either. After three hours climbing the contours from the main road 2000 meters below, through mud and rain and hanging off crumbling tracks, we had arrived at Kuelap. Into a thick, damp cloud and there…

Fake Bluetooth Devices

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I always thought bluetooth headsets were a good cover for crazy guys who talk to themselves. You know, you’re driving down the street downtown and come to a junction. There’s this guy, stripped to the waste, praying to the traffic, talking out to the traffic, shouting, waving his arms, remonstrating with all the city-folk passing by. “Hey, look at him, that guy’s…

The Streets of San Francisco

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It has been a month, now, in San Francisco.
Away from the Bus and that Central American tropical dreamworld we’ve been wondering through for most of the year, the green jungles hiding ancient temples, the volcanoes, the chaotic towns and paradise beaches.
Every day, walking the dog, from the corner of the block you can see the street stretching away,…

Critical Mass

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San Francisco celebrated twenty years of Critical Mass a couple of nights ago. Well, some of the people held up in traffic weren’t exactly celebrating: This one guy lost it, got out of his car, shouting at me over and over to move my bike, oblivious to the several other thousand bikes around me and in front of him. You’d…

GPS Point

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We were heading for the beach; we knew that much after weeks in Panama City. What we didn’t know was exactly where we were going – we’d already bent the back of the bus a few days before trying to find the sea down a rocky track. All along the coast, the easiest places to get too are resort/hotel…

24 hours in no-man’s land

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24 hours in no man’s land – according to the paperwork, anyway. A foreign vehicle has to be out of Costa Rica for 3 months before it is allowed back in. But the foreign vehicle can stay in the neighboring country of Panama for only 90 days. Seeing as there’s nowhere else to go that means you have to live…

Demise of the Red Devil School Bus

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Back in June last year, moments after crossing into the US from Canada, we found ourselves at the Annual Rainbow Gathering, looking for somewhere to park among hundreds of retired school buses.

The license plates spoke of their long journeys from every corner of the country to this tribal meeting high up in the volcanoes of Washington State. Some were…

Los Del Patio, Panama City

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It wasn’t quite our main intention to do an exhibition in Panama City. We were concerned with helping out at a children’s charity for a couple of weeks and then getting the fast boat to Colombia. But when you find a nice place like Los Del Patio… wi-fi, cool place to sit and work, room to store our stuff, friendly…

Central American Borders and Dogs

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 Central American borders can get real funky – Central American borders and dogs even more so. Below you’ll see our limited experience of 2012, a snap-shot of what actually happened rather than what you’re told by a thousand different forums and websites. The wealth of information out there in this regard, of course, is undermined by the fact that anything…

Renew Vehicle Papers in Panama City

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Here’s how to renew your 30-day papers for your vehicle in Panama:
Step One:
Go to Suramericana Insurance Office in BellaVista to buy another month’s insurance, You’ll need the policy you received at the border, driving licence, vehicle registration and passport. It costs $15. (Remember to ask the nice man to make three copies of each  plus your new insurance…

Protect and track a laptop

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 Protect and track a laptop -  last week, in this beautiful city we had a laptop stolen from our truck: not only were we stupid enough to leave the door open and unguarded for, like, 20 seconds – stupid enough to have been lulled into a false sense of security in a parking lot that should have been patrolled by…

Vacation Skies

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Going on vacation generally means two things for us time-poor city-dwellers:  firstly, we’re somewhere where you can actually see the skies away from the usual light pollution and cluttered horizon and, secondly, you have the chance to lay back, drink in hand, relax and stare up at the stars; below are a few ideas for things to watch out…

Working on the Road

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A large number of overlanders fund their travels by working on the road, from country to country. They prove that a very long, overland journey needn’t consume your life savings. Nor is it required to sell your house.  And in fact there are many strategies for financing a two-year trip around the world – at first glance it seems incomprehensible…

Life in Panama City

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No one told us that life in Panama City would be unforgettable. I can’t remember meeting many people who’d ever spent some time in this capital city. Now, I know, we’ve only been here a couple of months ourselves and a lot of that time got spent waiting for the rain to stop and the massive puddles to drain away…

The World in Hot Water: Sauna, Jimjilbang, etc

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If taking a break from Panama City is a good thing to do; driving up to the cool of El Valle, around 200 klicks back west, and immersing yourself in the hot water pools of Anton Valley’s Agua Calientes, ranks as a very good thing to do. Some overlanders told us that some scientist living in the area believes…

How to survive the heat and humidity

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Heat and humidity – how to survive it when you’re traveling around in a truck in the tropics:
Hanging around countries like Panama, it is immediately obvious that there are basically two economic modes available: the rich and the poor. In the cities, for sure, you see a middle class but, for the region as a whole it’s this basic…

Volunteering with the Muskoka Foundation

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Volunteering overlander sounds like a German word for a regiment of mountain fire fighters. Actually it is what we have become for a couple of weeks in Panama City, doing a photography project with some kids from Casa Esperanza; an experience as positive and rewarding as any that we’ve had in two years on the road. How did this…

Earthcircuit exhibition at Los del Patio next week!

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We just confirmed our opening night will be on Thursday 28th June and will run until the 8th July. That gives  us less than a week, right? And let’s see what the state of our panoramic photos is after a few thousand miles of rainy, bumpy tropical zone… Anyway, yes, I know very few of you are in Panama and…

Against Child Labor

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Tired of working? Fed up with having to get out of bed early every morning when there are so many more interesting things to do? Spare a few moments thought and little energy spreading the awareness for the millions of children who might ask themselves those very same questions. While yesterday was the International Day Against Child Labor, today…

Why do some countries drive on the left and some on the right?

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Why do some countries drive on the left and some on the right?
If you’ve been studying our website closely you’ll know that our truck, Jigsaw, is right-hand drive. Which means that this entire Earthcircuit is, for us, happening on the wrong side of the road.  “No!” Americans will say, “It is you Brits who drive on the wrong…

Panama Paved With Gold

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Aluminum can recycling in Panama. With the first step I took in Panama I heard a crunch and felt the collapse of an aluminum can under my foot. With the second step I managed to miss a plastic bag with the remains of a polystyrene fast-food container, plastic forks and soggy napkins half inside. I looked around me –…

Traveler’s Book Swap

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Meandering through a region that isn’t your own, you do find yourself with some time on your hands. Especially if you’re really only there in a touristic capacity, especially if there are glorious beaches with not much to do and especially if you’ve been ordered to relax by the doctors (damaged rib – nothing serious). So, of course, the simple…

Costa Rica – overland, drive through report…

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People had been warning us for weeks about how expensive Costa Rica is – so we’d stocked up with food, smokes and a bottle of Flor de Caña, crossing the border from Nicaragua on the Pan American with the determination of flying through to Panama if it all got a bit too much for the old budget. There were, however,…

Route Unknown: Panama to Colombia?

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It’s really getting interesting now – this new ferry route from Panama to Colombia. The stakes are high; if we can get onto it, and don’t have to send the truck on a normal freight ship, it might save us nearly $3000 and a whole load of headaches like having to board up the bus to protect it…

Driving a right-hand vehicle on the right side of the road

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A few days after leaving Nicaragua, I read a report from some overlanders with a right-hand drive vehicle across the Nicaraguan northern border. They said that they had been refused entry because their steering wheel was on the wrong side. Apparently, Transit Law 431, Art 165 says no RHD vehicle is allowed on Nicaraguan roads even though we had…

Nicaragua

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Our first conversation in Nicaragua, with an actual Nico, went something like this:
“Hi, where are you from?”, “Portugal – my husband [yeah, me] is from England.”, “You need some help with the border?”, “No, we’re good, thanks, we’ve done many borders…”, “OK, you know, you’re very lucky, you come to Nicaragua and all the Nicos want to help…

How to Build a Sensible Shower in Your Camper

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This article is about how to build a shower in a camper-van or converted truck or bus. I believe my plan is the cheapest, most environmental, simplest option for anyone who has some serious space limitations on board their home on wheels, for anyone who doesn’t spend much time at RV parks or hotel parking lots, for anyone who…

Lago de Yojoa

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It’s not often that we write so specifically about what we are doing – I really wouldn’t want to bore you with our day-to-day. And it’s not often that we’ll go on about a particular restaurant, hotel or bar – basically because we don’t go to any of them that much. But as it was my birthday, we thought…