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Archive for December, 2005

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Locked and Loaded?

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

More details to come, but we believe we have successfully put our vehicle on a ship headed to Peru. Can´t be too sure about these things as we did not actually see our ride being put on the ship. We are trying to ship ourselves on a plane to Lima.

Shipping the vehicle is not recommended for those with blood pressure issues. Imagine going to the DMV and not speaking a common language while drooling profusely and uncontrollably. We even paid someone to help us with the whole thing. They are called something like “tramitores” and their job is dealing with the details of paperwork and where to go to get paperwork. After we selected a shipping company we showed up at our facilitators office at 8 am. We were escorted to the police for a vehicle inspection, taken around to visit another office in the police station for some important paper. Next we went to customs for another paper. We paid the shipping company which was surprisingly and excruciatingly difficult and then we were on our way to the port. At the port we given a few false leads until we finally found the right clerk. Long story short, 14 hours later we were back in our hotel, hungry, exhausted and whooped.

Side note: if you ever have the chance to visit Colon, Panama, don´t. This was the town associated with the port. We had to go through there because this was the place to catch the bus back to Panama City. It was by far the closest thing to Hollywood´s idea of a post-apocalyptic city we have ever seen. It was sort of like a very low-tech BladeRunner. The buildings in the dark looked like they were covered with soot, there were piles of garbage between the buildings, and the buildings themselves looked like they were about to crumble without warning. There were people in every nook, some of them just hanging out, others looking like they were waiting for the warden to fall asleep so they could slit his throat. We got on the bus and were grateful even more for the lives we have been fortunate to lead.

Stay tuned and happy new year.

A man, a plan, …

Monday, December 26th, 2005

We made it to that place with the canal. Giselle notes that it is a little known historical fact that before Ronald Reagan implored Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” he asked the French president to “tear down this tower,”as well as asking the Panamanian president to “tear down this jungle” that separates Panama from Colombia. Alas, Reagan’s vision of the world has not been completely fulfilled. The road south does not continue through the Darien Reserve, a jungle reportedly full of narco-traffickers, guerrillas, paramilitary, and other creepy crawly things. Ok, we’ll take a plane.

canal warning

container ship in canal


Monday, December 26th, 2005
Boquete is a mountain town in western Panama with pretty trails and crummy roads.

the rare SUV off the road

bridge traffic is all tied up[Continue reading this entry]


Monday, December 26th, 2005
The road from the Panamerican Highway leads onto the Osa Peninsula, home of Corcovado National Park, one of Costa Rica´s many highly-touted reserves. Costa Rica is rightly famous for its policy of setting aside wilderness areas and doing something ... [Continue reading this entry]

Roughing It

Monday, December 19th, 2005
We are holed up in San Jose, Costa Rica. When I say holed up, that would be in a hotel with not only hot water (whoowee), a tv (hmmm, Law and Order is on down here about 4 times ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tico Time

Sunday, December 18th, 2005
We made it out of Nicaragua, no thanks to the border officials. It's a highly confusing process for which we actually paid a guide. You get the feeling you need the guide here more than in the jungle. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sweet Ride

Thursday, December 15th, 2005
First of all, it is important for me to point out that most of the vehicles plying the roads here are fully functional, new or almost new, completely at home on the streets of any country. However, there are some exceptional ... [Continue reading this entry]

Nicaragua, how are ya?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
We're in Esteli for the night and heading off to Grenada and Lake Nicaragua afterwards. Pictures and stories to follow, if we find a faster internet connection.

boys from Brazil

Our showerhead in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hey, what country was that? Oh, Honduras.

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
We visited Copan, which is just over the border in Honduras. So, the Spanish conquistadors came to the new world, saw these amazing Maya cities full of beautiful sculptures like those in Copan, and thought, "Hey, these folks need ... [Continue reading this entry]

Adios, Guatemala

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Lago Atitlan

Not only is Guatemala a beautiful country, but the people are incredibly friendly and polite. It is even more noticeable after having left the place. Even the police who stopped ... [Continue reading this entry]