One More From Peru

We had been in the mountains for our whole Peru experience thus far. Now, we were heading down to the coast. Purposefully aiming more south than west we missed Lima (the nation’s capital) entirely. Cities are huge money-sucking machines that we try to avoid if we don’t have any specific need to visit. We dropped from just over 11,000 ft to sea level in about two hours. We found ourselves high on oxygen and overdressed for the warm weather.

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Still in Peru

Sometimes the navigation apps on my phone send us along some crazy routes. Luckily this time, some nice locals were on hand to A. laugh at our folly and B. direct us to the correct route to our destination. We were muscling up a washed-out switchback that, in hindsight, we had a pretty good chance of making it up. Like a strong 50%. We heard some whistling and caught sight of a group of men on the road above waving at us frantically.

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Northern Peru

I feel like my favorite country of this trip is always the one I am in. Seriously, I get so wowed by the moment that the previous countries start to meld together into a pretty cool memory, but not as great as the place where we are. Well almost, Belize and Panama felt pretty miss-able to me. Right now, Peru is my favorite country. Time will tell how long it can retain that status. Continue reading “Northern Peru”

Ecuador – Back on the Road

            The speed that we saw Ecuador return to normal after the “Paro” was surprising. The only evidence of the protest we saw were the scars on the roads from where tires had burned melting the asphalt and occasional smoldering tree trunks on the side of the road. Most of the tourists who were not bound by having vehicles in the country had fled. Once the roads opened, many of our fellow overlanders headed for the border as well. We had more of Ecuador to see and were betting on peace for the next few weeks. 

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Ecuador- A Road Trip, Interrupted

Crossing into Ecuador was too easy. Like, really. They need to tighten up their ship. Colombia let us go with no fanfare. They stamped us out with a smile and once we handed our temporary import permit for The Joan over to a disinterested official we were free to go to Ecuador. In Ecuador they didn’t ask us any questions nor did they look at our truck. I showed them pictures on my phone of our truck. They took pictures of the pictures and sent us on our way. No questions, no peeking inside. We could have had our camper-shell stuffed full of contraband and we would have been home free. We must have honest faces because I heard from some other travelers that they got thoroughly searched at the border. Not that they didn’t have honest faces. I do live a charmed life. Pretty sure we only smuggled in a wilted cabbage and some less-than-turgid potatoes.

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One More from Colombia

We had been planning to visit Medellin all along. We were excited to hear the double L pronounced as a jjjj instead of a shhhh. We were excited to feel the energy of a town best known for its gangster violence. Medellin was hot on everyone’s Must Visit list. In the end it turned out that it felt very much like a lot of cities we had visited. Culturally interesting but mostly a maelstrom of money sucking. We are happier in nature. La naturaleza. We are more comfortable in tiny towns on the edge of the wilderness. Happier without the sounds of honking horns wearing at our serenity and the pervasive exhaust fumes blackening our boogers. We had grown accustomed to the rural soundtrack of barking dogs and crowing roosters and were very happy to get back to it.

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From Bogotá to Medellin- The Long Way

After having a wonderful time exploring Colombia as a trio with our friend Cadence, we were back to a duo and really excited to camp again. Well, I was excited to camp again. I think Scott was enjoying the luxury of the soft beds that didn’t involve a ladder for midnight potty breaks. After some less than exciting time at the auto shop getting The Joan all of the fresh fluids she could possibly want we headed north (I know we are supposed to be going south).

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Colombia with Cadence!

We got our first (potentially only) visit from a friend! My friend Cadence was on her summer vacation from her job teaching Spanish and came to visit us in Colombia. She flew into Bogotá and then took a wee hop up to Cartagena to meet us. The plan was to travel together for about three weeks and we would end up back in Bogotá in time for her to catch her flight home. Scott and I were fresh from our adventures in truck shipping bureaucracy and ready to have some fun. 

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Panama to Colombia

            For the most part, our time in Panama was about taking care of business. After lollygagging our way through most of Central America we had not left ourselves much time to really dig into Panama. Thankfully, crossing the border was quick and painless. We made it out of Costa Rica with no trouble once we got our order of operations straight.

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