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Old 05-13-2017, 02:44 AM  
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Planning to drive from LA to Patagonia next year (looking for copilots)

Link to blog!!! - http://ushuaiaorbust.com/blog/

I better post this before I get banned for welching on my bet and posting in DC. If I'm banned and anyone wants to go for any part of the trip - PM flopnuts or BRC - they know me on twoplustwo.com and can contact me. More eyes and ears are always welcome. I've got one guy who wants to go - but he'd have to quit his job, so obviously nothing is guaranteed.

I just got back from a photo trip in Patagonia, where we drove a lot. I LOVE the region and South America in general. Never been to Central America but I've had some great trips in Mexico.

I have two jobs and I'm sick of both. I don't think the side job will last much longer, and the day job is about done for me. I probably need to stick it out until the end of year to get my bonus and pay off some 401(k) loans. But unless I get plugged into some interesting projects - I'm gone. I figure there has to be some advantage to dying alone with no kids. This would be the adventure of my life. I'd try to live-blog it as much as possible.

Our photo tour guide from the Patagonia trip is planning a 20-day partial boat tour next May that he's calling "an expedition". We'll get into some fjords in Southern Chile that hardly any one's ever been to - much less landscape photographers. So that's my parameter - be in Patagonia by mid-May.

I've done some cursory research, and it seems pretty doable.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35876322/n...nyc-argentina/

http://www.worldlyrambles.com/summar...o-or-not-to-do

You have to ship your car across the Darien Gap - which is a PITA.

Very rough plan is to drive to Cabo, then take the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. Then head South. I'd probably zip across El Salvador and Honduras as fast as possible, enjoy myself in Costa Rica and maybe Nicaragua. I've been to Peru, Columbia, Chile and Argentina and know they're pretty safe. I feel like I'd want to avoid driving in Brazil, Venezuela (govt might seize my car) or the Guyanas. Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia should be fine. I know not to drive at night in sketchy places and find secure parking for my car.

I plan to mostly camp and stay in hostels. I can sleep in my car in a pinch. Maybe splurge on a hotel when I want some extra security for my car. On the way back I may either sell my car or ship to LA or Florida from Colombia.

Prerequisites:
  1. Must learn reasonable conversational Spanish. I know a lot of words but no sentences, etc. I am using this online thing called duolingo. Looking for an an immersion program in LA. There are some Spanish classes by me but they don't start right away.
  2. Lose at least 30 lbs. At 257 - I'm 40-50 lbs over-weight right now. It's just no fun in a lot of ways. I won't enjoy myself unless I get below 230. Plus I hope to get laid a decent amount with my fun story and mad Spanish skillz.
  3. Maximize my social media footprint so hopefully the blog picks up some traction and has a lot of viewers. IE - finish photo website (pretending to sell photos), get active in 500px (2p2 for photographers), start blogging, get active on forum for people doing these driving adventures (forget the name), FJ Cruiser forums, Instagram.
  4. Figure out what modifications if any I want to do to my car. A flat roof rack with a pop-up tent seems really cool. But as I'm going to be jobless maybe I should think about limiting spending. Or maybe some kind of hidden compartment to hide camera gear/computers/etc?
  5. Research, get permits, visas etc. ahead of time.

Big question is whether or not to take my FJ Cruiser or buy an Outback or something for $5k:

Pros:
  1. Great car, nice and high so I can see things developing.
  2. Built like a tank to protect me in a crash.
  3. Can get into fun places like camping on the beach.
  4. I pan to blog the whole thing - so me and my FJ is a fun angle. Me and my Camry lacks the same zing.

Cons:
  1. Everyone says try not to draw attention to yourself. Big ginger beard with CA plates in that car does the exact opposite. (I'm hoping people will think I'm ex-military or something lol)
  2. I am stupidly emotionally attached to my car, and have put some customizations into it. It's got 100k miles so it could easily last me another 10 years. I really would have a hard time selling it at the end, even though supposedly you can get good money in Brazil. Also I know there's a very real probability it doesn't come back from being totaled, or stolen. I have to be ok with that.
  3. 15 miles to the gallon/15 gallon tank (yeah wtf) - but I figure I can carry extra tanks.

Any thoughts or advice is mucho appreciated.

I am fine with the idea that I could have everything stolen and have to limp back with my tail between my legs. You don't have an adventure w/o risking something. If I get killed I had a good life. My biggest fears are getting kidnapped or paralyzed in a car wreck. Both seem fairly low probability.

Last edited by suzzer99; 01-02-2018 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:41 PM   #151
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Finally got some new posts up! We're caught up through Tulum, Belize and Northern Guatemala. http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/04/29/guatemala-norte/

Older posts: http://ushuaiaorbust.com/blog/

Next up is Antigua. I had a blast in El Salvador and Honduras and you're all pussies for not going I'm going to try to get totally caught up in the next week.



I'm currently in Leon Nicaragua - which a week ago was rioting and blood in the streets (some 40 dead across the country in massive protests and govt crackdowns). I was planning not to come, but apparently the country can bounce back to normal in a matter of days. Crazy.

Oh yeah it's about 4000 degrees here and no one has AC. No wonder people are rioting. I spent one night in a non-AC room last night. Never again.

It would have been fine last night if the temperature in my room was anything close to the temperature in the open-air hallway just outside my door. Instead it was at least 10, maybe 15 degrees hotter in the room all night. You'd think the Spanish colonial architecture would try to account for this by putting a hole in the ceiling or something for the heat to escape. Instead the high ceilings just act like a giant heat sink, trapping all the hot air.

I finally opened the door and put my personal fan on a table in front of the open door (the room fan was mounted on the wall and semi-useless). There I slept in my underwear on top of the bed. Funny how privacy goes out the window when extreme heat is the other option. I did get a little self-conscious when the sun came up though, and shut my door - which of course made it hotter again.



One reason I could never totally quit drinking - "new country, new soda" just isn't that fun - even if each country did have a new soda. At least Nicaragua beer seems closer to the 4.9% as claimed on the label. I swear Honduras and El Salvador is 3.2% at best. I literally couldn't get drunk on it, and damn did I try.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:43 PM   #152
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCUnited View Post
Just cruised through the blog and was excited to see the Tlayudas in Oaxaca. I recently found some on a menu here that I'm going to try for the first time next weekend. The original taco pizza.

http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/03/02/its-oaxaca/
So amazing. I need a tlayuda right now.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:45 PM   #153
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Easy 6 View Post
Looks like suzzer has decided to stop sharing his journey with us, several chapters have been added since he last posted one here, and thats a real shame

Cant help but wonder about his motivations for doing so, but if my guess is correct... its pretty damn sad
I would never quit you guys!

I was waiting for "the blonde" to send some more pics - and to be honest I wasn't super excited about the Tulum and Belize Cayes blogs - as it just felt like vacation slides. But Belize Mainland and Guatemala is getting back to more adventure travel. El Salvador and Honduras will be fun, as I imagine Nicaragua.

Also I've been traveling mostly with others for about 2 months now - so it's hard to stay up to date. But now it's just me again, and it's so freaking hot in Nicaragua that all I want to do is find a coffee shop with AC and work on blogs and stuff.

Here's my Instagram if anyone wants to stay more up-to-date: https://www.instagram.com/ushuaia_or_bust/
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:06 PM   #154
stumppy stumppy is offline
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What kind of lies did you have to tell your riding buddy in order to get her to ride along?

Seriously though, nice job on the blog. Been checking it from time to time and enjoy it.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:19 PM   #155
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Heh - she really wanted to come. We worked together for years and both took the layoff at the same time. She lived in Todos Santos, Mexico for a while as a kid so she speaks really good Spanish - which came in handy.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:38 PM   #156
stumppy stumppy is offline
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Suuuuure she did. We'll all be taking a loser look at everyone of those pics to see if she slipped a 'Help me' note in there somewhere.

J/K Looks like you're having a great time. I had intentions of doing something like this several years ago. Damn responsibilities kept me from doing it. One of these years, one of these years.
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:27 PM   #157
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How much a day are you spending on average?
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #158
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Your blog posts tend to be extremely long and involved, with a lot to take in

So by not posting each entry every week or so, you've now put us all behind the 8 ball with a shitload of catching up to do... its extremely inconsiderate of our time and feelings
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:11 PM   #159
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Each post takes me about 10 hours to put together from start to finish. So imagine how behind the 8-ball I feel right now
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:13 PM   #160
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How much a day are you spending on average?
Ideally? $60. Realistically? Probably closer to $80 or $100. Although last night was $14 stay and tonight is a whopping $25 with A/C. And beers are a buck. So that helps with the average.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:05 AM   #161
scho63 scho63 is offline
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Ideally? $60. Realistically? Probably closer to $80 or $100. Although last night was $14 stay and tonight is a whopping $25 with A/C. And beers are a buck. So that helps with the average.


It adds up quick. Looks like 95% fun and 5% aggravation with things like broken ferries and road block shakedowns. That's well worth it!

Stay safe and enjoy the photos/stories. Hopefully by the end of the trip we will be seeing some topless photos of your friend and a "Dear Penthouse" type story.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:52 AM   #162
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I wouldn't go on that trip if you gave me CHIEFS season ticket on the Club Level
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:39 PM   #163
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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It adds up quick. Looks like 95% fun and 5% aggravation with things like broken ferries and road block shakedowns. That's well worth it!

Stay safe and enjoy the photos/stories. Hopefully by the end of the trip we will be seeing some topless photos of your friend and a "Dear Penthouse" type story.
I actually enjoy the slowdown aggravation stuff because it makes a good story and there's usually something interesting going on nearby. Even the border crossings have been kind of entertaining for the same reason. However if I had to do it all over again multiple times that would get annoying.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:04 PM   #164
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Turns out being stuck in Leon where it's about 125 degrees is good for my blog writing. I just park myself at the air-conditioned coffee shop for hours at a time.

Get moving Easy 6, this is a long one - finishing up Guatemala: http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/05/01/...-lake-atitlan/

NSFW

Spoiler!
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:01 AM   #165
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We'll check it out after work this evening...
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