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This road of life

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A few days after we got the van back from Buenos Aires, our family was hit with some very bad news. A cancer that my mother fought ten years ago had metastasized, and she would have to undergo intensive treatment…

The Best Travel Bag in the World

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People planning their own trips always want to know what gear we recommend. Over the next few weeks, as part of our post-trip roundup, we’ll be sharing some of our stories with critical gear–I wouldn’t exactly call them ‘reviews,’ just…

Pony Homecoming

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We got our van back! Tuesday afternoon, as Team USA was losing to Team Belgium, we took Milo in a rental car and drove down to Port Hueneme in Ventura County. We were a bit apprehensive, as the month of…

Statistics

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In contrast with Stephanie’s right-brain retrospectives, I wanted to post some left-brained numbers about the trip: Time on the road: 621 days, or 1 year, 8 months, and 14 days. Miles driven: 32,107 Gallons of gasoline: 1950.6 Average MPG: 16.46…

Retrospective Número Uno

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When I find myself thinking of our trip, it comes back to me in bits and pieces that look something like this. Truckstop lunch. Happiness on the beach. Characters. Stressful moments. Lots of love. More characters. Mexican food. People continue…

Coming home

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My friends here have a specific term we use when talking about the act of returning from a long trip: re-entry. I’m not quite sure who coined it (Sam? Lindsay?), but to me the breathless descent through the atmosphere that…

The final countdown

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We are going home TOMORROW! I’ve thought about home so much as a mental escape that it has become hard to believe it is a real place, far away, where we will be transported overnight through the magic of aviation.…

Violence and security

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After money, the number-two topic that people like to ask us about our trip is safety. I first heard it from my friend’s uncle in Utah. She had told me he had taken a similar road trip through Central America…

Signs

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Here is a little gallery of some of the signs we saw on the road in Patagonia. Useful information or good advice in every one of them.…

One last night camping

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We spent one last night in the van, at Andean Roads, the place our friend and fellow VW fanatic Cris owns north of Buenos Aires. In the morning, we organized the van in order to ship it back to California.…

Punta Alta

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We spent the last several days in my home town, Punta Alta. It makes sense: a short 700Km drive from Buenos Aires, here we have family, friends, showers, internet, and my childhood house to stay in. We spent the time…

The Big Decision

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Over the past few weeks, we made our biggest decision yet: when to go home. It is a decision we have been avoiding for a while—not because our life in San Francisco is so dreadful, but because thinking of home…

Patagonia, the eastern side

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Some of the things we saw on our way north on ruta 3, on the eastern side of patagonia: The Milodon? Fall colors in Tierra del Fuego This is good advice, in general. A wrecked ship. This ship was beached…

North-ward bound

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Up and away from Ushuaia It was tough to pull ourselves away from Ushuaia. Not only did we enjoy some spectacular weather and the great company and hospitality of some new friends, but it also meant beginning the journey back…

Malvinas

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On our way down to Ushuaia, we spent one night in Rio Grande, on the north part of the island of Tierra del Fuego. It happened to be the first of April, on the eve of the anniversary of Argentina’s…

Love in the land of fire

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Today is Día de la Novia (Girlfriend’s Day) here in Argentina, and the perfect day to deliver some heartening news. Guess what happened here? Bahía Lapataia in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the most romantic place in the world. We…

The end of the road

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We have made it to Ushuaia! It is billed as ‘The Southernmost city in the world,’ although there is a small naval town, Puerto Williams, a bit farther south–across the Beagle Channel in Chile. Milo looks out for dogs over…

March in Pictures

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Just in case it wasn’t totally obvious, yesterday’s post was an April fools. We will make it to Ushuaia today, and we still have a few more months of travel. Plus of course, we’d never let go of Milo. Or…

On our way back

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We were in Punta Arenas yesterday, and we decided that crossing the border twice and driving the extra 600 or so kilometers to Ushuaia doesn’t make sense. We’ve already seen most of Patagonia anyway. Just when we were talking about…

Into the great wide open

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When we reached Punta Arenas, we checked into a hotel as a respite from two things that have become very difficult–staying warm at night, and fast Internet. We’ve seen so much in the past two weeks that it seems like…

Driving south

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In the last few weeks we’ve been driving down Patagonia. A few weeks ago we rode a steam train: And run into the cover Bruce Chatwin used for his book. It is very windy in the plains of Patagonia.One problem…

In Patagonia

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We love Patagonia. The Chilean side had completely different vegetation, almost like a rain forest. After rain finally drove us off Chiloe Island, we camped our last night in this really cool forest preserve in Aracuria, where they had really…

Road knits III

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It’s cold again, which means I finally get to wear the sweater I finished in Buenos Aires! It was so hot at the time that I could hardly bear to even try it on for size. This is only the…

Chile to Chiloe

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A view of Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes Traversing the Andes from Mendoza was spectacular, with clear days, good roads, and tons of happy roadside picnics. As much as we would have liked to have stayed in Argentina…

City Beautiful

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During our not-always-enjoyable month in Buenos Aires, I turned to Juan in Costanera Sur and asked him: Do you think Buenos Aires is a beautiful city? We discussed. The answer, we agreed, was ‘no.’ Buenos Aires may have beautiful parts,…

From East to West

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After leaving Punta Alta, we traversed Argentina from its Pacific Coast to its Western edge, in a matter of days. This meant crossing the low-lying plains of La Pampa. It felt like driving through the Great Plains on any rural…

The Argentine Herculaneum

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Epecuén was a little lakeside resort until 1985. Lago Epecuén is the saltiest of a string of lakes in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires. As such, it was popular with visitors for its alleged properties curing all…

Argentimes

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This has been a very special week, because Milo and I have gotten to meet Juan’s family and friends from his hometown, Punta Alta, in the southernmost reaches of the Buenos Aires province. After living as a transplant among so…

Mar del Plata

As Stephanie will mention on the post she’s writing right now, we spent a couple of days in Mar del Plata. “Mardel”, as people here call it, has been the vacationing place of the Argentine middle class for a hundred…