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About SEVENTEEN by SIX

We are driving from Mexico to Argentina in our VW Eurovan, which we bought in the US in 2011. We are both journalists from the UK – we’ve been working a little on the road, and we have no plans for what will happen at the end of this trip, in 2014. We’ve been broken, stranded, stuck and lost, and so far had the time of our lives.

Trip Start: Trip End: 2014-12-31 .

Author Archive | SEVENTEEN by SIX

Argentina, we meet at last

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It’s all a bit lovely in northern Argentina. Purmamarca, Jujuy. San Ignacio Guasú, Paraguay [by Paula] The arid deserty landscapes of northern Argentina notwithstanding, the country is proving to be something of an oasis. With a few small exceptions, we’ve…

On a mission

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Salta, Argentina [by Paula] Given how unbelievably sweaty, dusty and thirsty we were, it was hard to imagine how it must have been for the 17th-century Jesuit priests who had to trek here from Paraguay. I mean, I don’t think…

Home from home

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By Jeremy Put a few travellers in a room, add a beer, rum or vino to the equation and talk always turn to it. Could you live here? Everyone has had the feeling at some time or another, be it…

Ramble in the jungle

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We got an incredible view of flying macaws, from a cliff-top above their nesting site. La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] There are so very many bitey stingy things in the jungle, but it was the ants that really messed with…

Road days of our lives

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La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] We often berate ourselves for forgetting to properly record one of the most significant parts of this trip – those days on the road that, periodically, take so much of our time and energy. We’re…

Inca-redible

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Cusco was starting its June festivities when we were there. La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] We’re going to make this a mostly photo-dominated post. And not just because we are lazy and really far behind with the blog – good…

Over the top

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The view as you come over the top of the Punta Union Pass, Cordillera Blanca, Peru, is more than enough reward for the climb. Cusco, Peru [by Paula] There was a time in our lives when we thought we were…

Life’s a beach

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We did a lot of this. Huanchaco, Peru [by Paula] I’d like to say that the month we’ve just spent at the beach in northern Peru was a necessary pit-stop, a chance to get fit by jogging daily, perhaps, or…

A transmission tragedy – abridged

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by Paula You might have wondered how a broken van could possibly take 11 months to repair. We’ve frequently pondered that too. Now that we’re happily on our way again, lazing on a sun-kissed Peruvian beach, let’s have a little…

There’s no place like home

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We did it! Making it to Peru was a massive relief The beach, Peru [by Paula] When we blogged last week, to say that our van was back in the game after 11 months off the road, we mentioned that…

The post you thought we’d never write

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Safe to say that mechanic Juan Carlos and owners Lothar and Lothar Ranft don’t ever want to see us again, nor us them. Quito, Ecuador [by Paula] We’re back on the road again. No, we can’t believe it either! After…

Strictly come dancing

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Cuenca, Ecuador [by Paula] A great many things have happened on this trip that could not have been predicted. In fact, the majority of happenings were not foreseen, but some are more surprising than others. So when I was standing…

The little things in life

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Anyone fancy a wee cerveza? Jupapina, La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] I was a bit of a geek for miniatures when I was younger. While others had cool bedrooms crammed with music posters, Pacman games (yes, it was the 80s)…

Potosí: The saddest place in South America?

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Candelaria mine, Cerro Rico, Potosí, Bolivia. The mines – which have claimed millions of lives – are still being worked today. Jupapina, near La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] We’ve just spent our third Christmas and new year away from home.…

Wrestling with nature

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Shop in La Paz, Bolivia Jupapina, near La Paz, Bolivia [by Paula] I’m not going to get all earth mothery on you, but our recent voluntary work in Bolivia is teaching us a hell of a lot about what it…

Rock ‘n roll nights

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Multi-coloured  Valparaiso. Jupapina, nr Mallasa, Bolivia [by Paula] We spent a day trying to decide where to go for the last portion of my brother’s visit. We could still make it to Peru for some trekking? Maybe pop over to…

UnBoliviable

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Yay, it’s snowing! No wait, hang on, this is salt. Jupapina, nr Mallasa, Bolivia [by Paula] Not for the first time, I was sorely tempted to get down on all fours and lick the ground. Could it really be a…

Overdosing on superlatives

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Er, bit dry here in the desert isn’t it? Pan de Azucar National park, Chile. La Paz, Bolivia by Paula We’ve been over-doing things recently, in the best possible way. What with our marathon journey south to meet my family…

Plan Z

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Backpackers again (for now) Arequipa, Peru [by Jeremy] Travelling South America’s coastal highways and precipitous mountain roads, you experience a series of dizzying twists and sharp turns. Our own journey over the past few weeks has been more a series…

Getting a life

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Weekend park life in Quito is busy and atmospheric. Quito, Ecuador [by Paula] We’ve been getting a life recently. The more and more time we spend in Quito, the more it starts to feel normal to be living here. When…

Chasing robbers

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Quito, Ecuador [by Paula] In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been chasing two types of robbers. The first, Ecuadorian customs, we are trying to outwit using the powers of logic, justice, and tenacity. The second, an actual daylight robber,…

Illegal aliens

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Quito, Ecuador [by Paula] As of midnight tonight we will be – for the first time in our lives – so-called illegal aliens. We should be in Peru by now, but we are still in Ecuador, and have exceeded the…

Not pigs, not from Guinea… but they are tasty

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Making sure the skin doesn’t burst, roasting cuy (guinea pigs) at the market, Gualaceo, Ecuador. Cuenca, Ecuador [by Paula] Just because we’ve been stopped for a while doesn’t mean we don’t keep learning things – oh no. The trajectory of…

Big boys do cry

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Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador Quito, Ecuador [by Jeremy] It’s often said to be an endearing quality in a man to be able to show emotion, to be able to shed a tear. It’s not quite so endearing when the man in…

Forks in the Road – read it and eat

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Our virtual overlanding friends – the trio that make up a website and work-while-you-travel lifestyle called Life Remotely – have done something many of us think we’d like to, but don’t bother to try. They’ve written a beautiful cookbook. We’ve…

This little piggie went to market

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Chugchilan, Ecuador [by Paula] We have become proficient enough at getting ourselves lost without any help from anyone, so we really don’t need someone telling us that when we’re going north we’re actually going sideways. Jeremy reacts to seeing the…

“Your daughter will suffer”: Colombia’s dark side

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Baños, Ecuador [by Jeremy] Like so many other travellers, we have, over the past few months, often waxed lyrical about Colombia’s natural beauty – its stunning landscapes, its warm people, its incredible coastline, its deserts, mountains, not forgetting its delicious…

Hasta luego Colombia

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Campspot with a view, Tatacoa Desert, Colombia Otavalo, Ecuador [by Paula] Hello Ecuador! We’d been in Colombia so long we were in danger of starting to look suspicious to the authorities. The last customs official to renew our car permit…

500 days!

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Today we celebrate 500 days on the road! People often ask, ‘what have been the best bits?’ Impossible to answer. They range from huge awe-inspiring sights – like hiking an active volcano, gazing at Mayan ruins, or looking a snake…

Portrait of a bad day

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Pereira, Colombia [by Paula] Life on the road has so many advantages it’s hard to know how to begin to quantify it. I don’t think we need to explain, any more than we have, how it feels to be free…