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About The Long Way South

Nate and Sarah were born and raised in the small town Saco, Maine, USA. We attended college in Boston, MA where we caught the traveling bug and have been addicted ever since. After our brief stint with the corporate world we decided, never again! The Long Way South is our website for our Pan-American journey, and the porthole for a life full of travel.

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Patagonia in”spire”s

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We bid farewell to our new friends and hopped into the truck, ready for yet another border crossing.  No more than ten minutes after we entered the aduana building, we were leaving Chile, both of us stamped out of the country and the truck’s permit cancelled.  Why couldn’t Central America’s borders be this easy?

Pulling over for a roadside lunch,…

Ruta 7- The Careterra Austral

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After disembarking the ferry, we skirted North up the coastline towards Parque Pumalin, Chile’s largest private park founded by Doug Tompkins, former owner of The North Face.  It didn’t take long for the nicely paved road to turn to bumpy gravel.  With the afternoon clouds hanging over us, we entered the park with a slight sprinkle beginning to fall on…

Chile’s Lake District & Chiloé

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Another border crossing under our belts, we followed along the switchback road to the Pacific yet again.  We bounced South along the coast for a few days before returning inland.  We were ready to gain some headway, so we hopped on Ruta 5- one of the nicest, three lane paved roads we have been on in months!  It came with…

Nuevos Amigos & Mucho Vino

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Since crossing into Chile, we have been loving the frequent “real” grocery stores.  We spent more money on food and cheap wine at the grocery store than we had in weeks in Peru!  However, we were ready to hit the road to Argentina.  Not wanting any of our precious food taken from us at the border, we made a point…

The Ocean Breeze and Birds with Backwards Knees

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After dropping Nate’s mom off at the airport, we decided to get a hotel room in the city for one more night before returning to our mud pit campground at Quinta Lala. We walked around Cusco even more, taking in the beautiful architecture.  While walking around one day, we stumbled upon Norton’s Rat Tavern.  We found our way up the…

My Mom is Tougher Than Yours: Part 2

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After camping in the mud for a night in Cusco and stocking up on snacks for our hike up Machu Picchu, we packed the truck once again and made our way to Ollantaytambo.  There, we planned to take the train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu.

The drive from Cusco to Ollantaytambo was short, but…

My Mom is Tougher Than Yours: Part 1

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When I asked Nate what we should title this blog post, he immediately shot back, “My mom is tougher than yours!”  Offended, I retaliated the most mature way I know how… “Oh yeah?? I’m gonna tell her you said that!” “No, no, no” he replied,  “That’s what you should title it. You know, that’s the standard child’s argument… ‘My dad…

Meandering Northern Peru

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When crossing the border from Ecuador, things immediately feel different.  You are overwhelmed with the sites of poverty, trash and abandoned mud huts.  There are miles of wind blown sand dunes as far as the eye can see and loads of Peruvian police everywhere.  Which, because of horror stories from other travelers, your heart skips a beat every time you…

Where’s Brady??

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At this point in our travels, you are all probably wondering where our rambunctious, playful and loving pup, Brady, is. Here is the DL.
When we decided to go home for the summer and leave our truck in Costa Rica in a long term parking area, we flew Brady home with us. We did everything we had to do. We…

Baños, Beer and Boobies

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Although loving the wintery weather in Cotopaxi, we were ready for the temperate climate of Baños.  Baños is a small tourist town famous for it’s thermal pools.  Although we didn’t visit the pools, we explored much of what Baños has to offer.  Walking around town, you see men in little shops pulling taffy from a wooden hook hanging in the…

Grand Markets and Mountains

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Papers in hand, we were ready for our tenth border crossing.  In a matter of fifteen minutes, all three of us were officially “checked out” of Colombia and on our way to Ecuador.  Just as easily as we left Colombia, we entered Ecuador except for one minor hitch.  After getting our passports stamped, we went to aduana (customs) where we…

Tatacoa to Las Lajas

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After a two day drive from Zipaquira, we ended up in the mysteriously beautiful Desierto Tatacoa.  Stopping for a roadside lunch of strawberries and ham & cheese sandwiches, we enjoyed the dry, warm air and talked about where we would camp for the night. 
We found a perfect little campsite towards the end of the road.  We parked the truck…

Don’t Go “Braking” My Heart

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Leaving Villa de Leyva was a bittersweet feeling.  On one hand, we were leaving such a relaxed town and the beautiful Hostel Renacer but on the other hand, we were in for more adventure.  Browsing the map, we spotted a little town on Laguna Guatavita which would make a good stop for a night or two before heading through Bogota.…

Colombia’s Gem

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We woke up to a beautiful morning in the town of Villa de Leyva, Colombia.  We had just spent about a week driving to get as far away from Cartagena as possible and needed to relax. We put the coffee on, set up our chairs and discussed what we would do for the day. It seemed as though we had…

The Devil Drives a Corolla

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As we drove off the scales I could see it…real roads! I could almost taste that sweet dirty pavement.  Just one last person/police officer to talk to and Truck was a free girl!  Of course the officer wanted to ask a bunch of questions, tell me about what diesel to buy, and all about his Willy’s Jeep.  It’s not that…

The Great Shipping Debacle (part 2)

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After an hour and a half flight, we stepped off the airplane into Rafael Núñez International Airport in Cartagena, Colombia.  This was the first time since we started this trip that we had crossed a border without driving through it.  It felt different.  Easier, actually.  We grabbed our bags from baggage claim and headed for the door.  The door slid…

The Great Shipping Debacle (part 1)

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The biggest hurdle for people who want to drive the Pan American highway is the Darien Gap.  The Darien Gap is a roadless, 100mi section of some of the harshest jungle and swampland on earth separating Panama from Columbia .  Not to mention it is filled with drug running rebels looking for an opportunity to obtain a new truck and…

The Calm Before the Storm

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With shipping the truck heavy on our minds, we booked it to Panama.  The border was about three hours away from where we were staying so we woke up early to get a head start- but not before stopping at Soda Nanyoa in Dominical for a top off of our coffee mugs for the ride.
The ride to the border…

Truck’s Feelings of Abandonment

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Well, I guess it’s time to dust off my fingers and return from my blogging hiatus as Sarah just informed me I have not written one since Mexico.  As most of you know, we have returned from our summer of work and easy living back home.  Upon arrival in San Jose, Sarah and I booked a stay for a few…

Schmugglin’ Schmucks

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We had twenty four hours to pack our bags, weigh them to make sure they didn’t exceed the airline weight limit, drop Brady off at Nate’s parents house to be “doggy sat” for the next two months and wake up at 2am for the drive to Boston to catch our flight back to Costa Rica.  Holy moly.  It seemed impossible….…

Work Hard, Play Hard

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It blows my mind that we have been home for seven weeks!! In looking back at our pictures, we have been busy little bees for the last month and a half.  After our first weekend back, we dove head first into the working scene.  Nate decided to go back to work for a man he worked for a few years…

Our First Weekend Back

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It was an odd feeling pulling back into our hometown.  For the first time in our lives, it felt a little foreign to us.  This was the longest we had ever been away and driving back into town late that night, it felt like everything had changed.  There were new houses and buildings in places that we once roamed around. …

Flying Home

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Our alarm went off at 2:30 am on the dot.  I was awake for a good hour before that because I couldn’t sleep.  My mind was racing, I couldn’t believe we were leaving our paradise and flying home.  We packed up our last minute things and moved our packs and the dog crate out to the parking lot of the…

A Whirlwind of “See you laters”

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A few weeks before our friend Sean came to Costa Rica, we made the decision to go home to visit family and friends and work for a bit. It made the most sense to do this from Costa Rica because you can park your vehicle in government bonded storage and have your vehicle import permit put on hold for a…

No Water for Whitey

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After taking the ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya, we headed South towards Dominical.  Both having been to this coastline before, we were stoked to check out some of the places we had stayed before.  However, when we arrived in Playa Hermosa, we found that the beach was all built up and the place we had stayed at didn’t exist…

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

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Monteverde has lots to do and see, but is mainly known for it’s amazing cloudforests.  If you want to zipline over the cloudforest canopy, this is the place.  There are numerous adventure tours offering to take you zipling, tarzan swinging, bungee jumping, suspension bridge walking, etc.  We shacked up at Hotel Bellbird to treat ourselves to a nice comfy bed…

A Day in the Life of a Rubbertramp

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I learned the term “rubbertramp” in the movie Into the Wild.  Alexander Supertramp is considered a “leathertramp” because he travels by foot, while a couple he met along the way call themselves “rubbertramps” because they travel by car.  Whether traveling by foot, car, boat or plane, tramps find themselves stopping and staying wherever they choose for however long they want. …

Mini Adventures- Arenal

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Finally saying goodbye to our magical waterfalls and vacation spot for the week, and saying ‘see ya later’ to the Tranquilos after traveling with them for over a month, we pointed Truck towards Lake Arenal.  We had mixed feelings about traveling by ourselves again.  We had feelings of excitement and feelings of void.  It always fun to share your experiences…

Rincon de la Vieja

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Semana Santa is one of the most popular holidays for Latin Americans.  It is a full week of celebration, bringing many families to the beaches to camp.  We were warned about this holiday.  Everything from gas stations to grocery stores will close down.  Keeping this in mind, we decided to cross the border before the big rush in hopes of…

Popoyo, Apoyo, and Pet Raccoons

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With our new battery and solar panel installed, we moved along towards Popoyo, a well known surf break that Nate and Jamie had been itching to get to.  After our day filled with running around Managua to get the battery, it was getting late but we pushed on, in hopes to make it to the beach before dark.  When that…