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28 Days Later

Read the original post and follow PanAm Notes's overland adventures on their website: PanAm Notes.


Despair.  Agony.  Devastation.  Mind numbing depression. We boarded the plane in São Paulo expecting the worst.

Returning to life?

We quizzed our veteran overland friends on the homecoming and transition process. The general consensus was bleak.  We just spent 15 months living out our wildest dream and the hangover from that sustained high was sure to be severe.
For the last…

Please Standby

Read the original post and follow PanAm Notes's overland adventures on their website: PanAm Notes.


Initiating reintegration procedures now. This may take a few weeks. Please standby.

Giants vs. Dodgers to get this transition started right

Tacos and margaritas, our kind of homecoming

"You don't like baseball, you like to sit in the sun and drink beer." Fact.

Nothing says home like family

Speakeasy blues band, America

It's 5 o'clock at the Saddle Ranch

Because…

Trout Therapy

Read the original post and follow PanAm Notes's overland adventures on their website: PanAm Notes.


The Seven Lakes Drive would be our last dance with the Beast and we set out to choreograph a graceful exit. Logan geared up with a rod and fishing license. I shuffled through our pile of unread books and picked some favorites, more than ready to forget myself in someone else’s adventures.

Lakin' and bakin'

There would be no more…

The Next Life

Read the original post and follow PanAm Notes's overland adventures on their website: PanAm Notes.


Although we’re currently set up in Bariloche on the edge of the Argentine Lakes District, our minds are elsewhere. The million dollar question: What’s next?  We still have the better part of a month to go on the road but our home life is rumbling toward us like a Bolivian semi barreling down a one-lane.

Sunshine means grillin' in this…

Kicked off the Carretera Austral

Unbeknownst to us, protests were raging and roadblocks were going up in Chile’s Aysen region. We were heading into the capital, Coyhaique, the only reliable place to refuel on the 1,200km Carretera Austral. We rolled into town on a sunny Friday afternoon expecting only to resupply and hit the open road once again.

Photo from Santiago Times

Despite the remarkably…

Health and Medication

Read the original post and follow PanAm Notes's overland adventures on their website: PanAm Notes.


Overland advice series, 10 of 10. Neither of us are medical professionals. What follows are our amateur observations. Consult your doctor before making a decision.
Malaria

The majority of Westerners driving the PanAm do not take prophylactic medicine for Malaria.
We never encountered a local who was taking a prophylactic for Malaria..
We found Doxycycline (Spanish: Doxiciclina) to be the…

A Damn Fine Road

Now on the Pacific slope the first thing we notice is that everything is a brilliant green.  Coming from the Argentine side, where endless golden plains stretch out in all directions, the scenery here is all the more captivating. In Chilean Patagonia luscious foliage hangs over the roads and infiltrates every square inch of unattended land.

Verde

The Carretera Austral…

Wind Break

Continuing north, El Chalten was in our sights. The town was quickly put together in 1985 by the Argentinean government in an effort to beat Chile to the land claim. At a population of 600, it is not much of a town. Gas, groceries, and ATM service is infrequent. Chile’s official maps of this area don’t include the border but…

Castellano

Overland Advice Series, part 9 of 10:
Spend a long weekend in Puerto Vallarta and it’s easy to believe you’ve mastered the Spanish language. The reality is you know how to order a beer and ask for the bathroom. That margarita weekend won’t get you far at the Guatemala border crossing.  The first step is to admit ignorance.

Una mas cerveza por…

Southwest Patagonia

Northbound on RN 40, Argentina’s granite spires and snowcapped peaks grow more prominent emerging from the arid plains stretching endlessly east. These mountains were the destination for Yvon Chouinard’s famous PanAm journey with Doug Tompkins in 1968. Inspired by the area, Yvon would go on to found the Patagonia brand. Similarly, Doug started his own little company called The North…

Corrupt Policia

Overland advice series, 8 of 10:
When planning we had a pretty good sense that bandits wouldn’t kidnap us, the truck frame wouldn’t snap nor would we disappear in the Nicaraguan jungle. But we knew from a bit of previous wandering south of the border that the police in Latin America can be corrupt.
One of the worst was in…

Torres del Paine

We crossed to Punta Arenas, Chile via a rough seas ferry to meet up with our friend Espen. Over a few beers and a fine dinner we grilled him on his experience working in Antarctica for the season. Our interest was piqued but we had to get along before Malin would return from the ice.

Good friends, good beer

We made a…

Victory Lap

Planning, saving, and executing over the last three years meant we had one solitary focus. Now having reached the terminus of the PanAmerican Highway, we suddenly find ourselves without a mission. An eerie yearning pulls at us when we head out each morning. The sun even rises out of the wrong window. For the first time in 13 months we…

Camping in the Bush

Overlander advice, 7 of 10:
Our first bush camp was on the tip of Baja.  We heard from a several experienced boondockers about Playa Tecalote.  This beach had no services, no fees, and no fences or watchmen to keep out those evil-doers.  It was nothing but undisturbed beach.  About the third person to bring it up described it to us…

Searching for an End

The day we left San Francisco we didn’t know there was a Ushuaia. We didn’t know about Route 3, Tierra del Fuego, or what lay at the end of the PanAmerican Highway. We only knew that one day we would get there.

Crossing the Strait of Magellan

Because the reactions to our goal were so contrary, we eventually stopped telling…

Why Overland

In place of this Sunday‘s “How-To” we present “Why“

Camped out on the Southernmost shore, Tierra del Fuego.

Head on over to Lost World Expedition and read about how 9 months turned into 15.…

Truckin’ Down Coastal Route 3

New Year’s Celebration
We struck south from Buenos Aires with two things in mind: sun and surf. We had Necochea circled. The guidebook billed this location as the best surf in Argentina. It was to be our first New Year’s celebration south of the equator and what better way to kick of 2012 than with a dawn patrol surf session.…

Love Drunk

She’s whispering hurried goodbyes in between barely containable sobs. A fresh stream of tears moistens my own cheek as she embraces me with the tender physical emotion only a mother can produce. All day we tried not to think of this teary departure. Gripping my shoulders and with a downright soul shaking desperation in her eyes, she asks me to…

Costs by Country

This is part six of a ten part series we are doing on overlanding advice. Future PanAm overlanders this is for you. They post each Sunday.
We’ve already spelled out our day-to-day budget in our budgeting and costs post, here we have broken costs down by country. Our overall average at the time of posting was $72 per day.
We…

Tasty Treat

When it came time to decide on gifts for our family upon their arrival in Buenos Aires we were firmly decided we wanted to share an experience. For months we had been hatching different ideas about ways to experience a culture together with our family.

Teresita, the woman, the chef, the legend

Enter Teresita. With a teaching background spanning more…

A Home for the Holidays

With overstuffed bags and plenty of anticipation we boarded the commuter train to Buenos Aires. The $0.31 (US), 45 minute trip to the city felt excruciatingly endless, we just couldn’t wait to see the Pribbenos.

Christmas Eve Oysters

Riding up the elevator to our high-rise condo, it was clear, the next ten days were going to be a little different…

Into the Wild

You may have noticed that mountains have a sort of gravitational pull on our camper. Whenever close to towering granite or even uplifted oceanic sedimentary layers, an undeniable force pulls us in. We know we’re not alone in being drawn to upward-bound dirt tracks and deep colored valleys because the demand is on the rise.
The more connected and industrious…

Routing and Planning

After Christmas break and a hard drive failure, we’re back to our overlanding advice series!  This is part five of ten.
Despite living in the Bay Area I have always been one who prided myself on navigation sans technology. I reluctantly purchased our Garmin Nuvi months before our departure. Getting used to a calm computerized voice dictating my every turn…

…Make that 15

We spent a few spectacularly hot days camping in Parque Nacional El Palmar, a protected area housing the world’s oldest palm tree forest on the Argentine side of Rio Uruguay. One morning we woke up and decided to pop over to Uruguay for a spell. At what other point in our lives can we explore a new country on a whim?
AKA…

Meddling in Mendoza

After having spent a week in the small but picuresque wine town of Cafayate our tasting buds were piqued and Mendoza loomed on the horizon. 15,000 miles from home, wine country seemed like the perfect place to spend Thanksgiving. As an added bonus, Sophie finished her finals early and hit the road with us.
The enormity of this region hit…

Mistaken Identity

Argentines are not an easy people to pin down, not at all. – Sophie (AKA “El Jabon”)
Introducing our cousin Sophie

We’re sharing a cerveza with our cousin Sophie on a rooftop bar at an impossibly cool University hangout in Cordoba. While we wait on the pizza, she gives us a crash course on Argentine identity. Nearing the end of…

Best of 2011

One year spent zig-zagging from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean across two continents. Traversing over the varied landscape of Central and South America depending our on appetite: white-sand surf break or a crisp mountain morning? A wild dream turned reality, we still wake up some mornings forgetting our location and laughing with the sunrise at the day’s potential.
Our back…

Propane in Latin America

Editors Note: this is part four of a ten part series we are doing on overlanding advice.  Future PanAm overlanders this is for you.  They post each Sunday.
Propane was a difficult subject to gather good information on (second only to Malaria medication).  Because we had such little information we were never sure if we could get propane at any…

Incognito

Logan: “They have to have it.”
Brianna: “Oh it’s in here, somewhere.”

The Holy Grail, the good stuff from Mexico

Salsa. When we’re not traversing altiplano landscapes, climbing wicked peaks, and grilling divine beef, we’re on a never-ending quest for salsa. Today we are standing, somewhat forlorn, in the midst of an entirely too big grocery store. We once found …

Budgeting and Costs

Editors Note: this is part 3 of a ten part series we are doing on overlanding advice.  Future PanAm overlanders this is for you.  They post each Sunday.
Determining a long term budget for a trip like the PanAm is certainly the crux. Before this, our PanAm trip was still a wavering fantasy. Staring at the carefully crafted numbers was…