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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 12-24-2017, 09:05 AM   #46
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Wife and I took an excursion to Ensenada on our honeymoon cruise. There was a Mexican restaurant by one of the beaches that was ****ing LEGIT. I don’t remember much about how to get here other than a wood fire oven and the food.

Wife was super drunk and ate a Serrano (sp?) thinking it was a “little jalapeņo”. I spent the next hour laughing my ass off and telling her she didn’t want those Mexican hospitals. It was way more fun than the beach.
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:54 AM   #47
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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First actual travel blog post is up! http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2017/12/26/and-were-off/ Man this is time consuming. I wrote the content in like an hour the other night when I had no internet. But just getting all the images uploaded, captions and stuff took 4 hours.

Now to go dig up gblowfish 10 things so I can get a recap of the game I missed.

Last edited by suzzer99; 12-27-2017 at 02:16 AM..
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:49 AM   #48
scho63 scho63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
First actual travel blog post is up! http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2017/12/26/and-were-off/ Man this is time consuming. I wrote the content in like an hour the other night when I had no internet. But just getting all the images uploaded, captions and stuff took 4 hours.

Now to go dig up gblowfish 10 things so I can get a recap of the game I missed.
Very cool! Good luck, have fun and be safe......
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:57 PM   #49
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Really nice read, enjoyed it very much

That trip will be worth it for the eats alone, those seafood dishes are absolutely murdering me
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:10 AM   #50
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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suzzer has a Christmas Eve moment: http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2017/12/29/...as-eve-posole/

Still struggling to keep up in the blog. Very little cel or wifi in central Baja doesn't help.
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:11 AM   #51
stumppy stumppy is offline
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Good read. Sounds like you lucked out for xmas eve.
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:14 AM   #52
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Good stuff yet again, keep up the good work

BTW you said you're now traveling alone, what happened to your co-pilot?
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:21 AM   #53
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Really cool, thanks for sharing the updates!

I had the pleasure of going from Oregon to Florida in a camper van for 30 days back in 1990. It was great and well worth all of the memories and stories. But what you are doing is on a whole different level. We never went to foreign lands or anywhere that there was much chance for language issues. I am impressed that you are taking this on and am sure it will be one of the greatest opportunities you will have in your life.

Stay safe out there and keep us updated!
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:35 AM   #54
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I'm assuming you're avoiding Venezuela on your way down.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:14 PM   #55
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Great read and pictures. Looking forward to future posts.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:30 PM   #56
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Get on tacomaworld.com and start a thread about this, you'll get a lot of help.

FJCruiser is a good base vehicle.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:34 PM   #57
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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The Christmas eve post was really good. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:00 PM   #58
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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I'm assuming you're avoiding Venezuela on your way down.
Yeah the standard route is to go down the west coast of South America (mostly - the drive down Chile is very very long and some people jog over to Argentina where it's flat and much faster), then curl back up and do some Uruguay and Southern Brazil, then ship your car somewhere else or sell it. I have seen a blog of someone who did the Trans-Amazonica highway in a land cruiser. If I'm feeling crazy adventurous I might try that. Then in theory from there you could drive across Venezuala to Colombia. But I haven't heard of anyone trying that. So very doubtful. Maybe by next year it will be more stable.

I do want to fly in and see Angel falls however. I assume there are tour groups for that. So unless Venezuala bans Americans I'm going to try that.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:03 PM   #59
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Get on tacomaworld.com and start a thread about this, you'll get a lot of help.

FJCruiser is a good base vehicle.
I'm on FJCruiserForums.com - member since 2007. They all think I'm crazy. One dude was literally too scared to take his FJ into Baja and rented a Rav4 instead. Which is just ridiculous. Baja is so safe. Seriously. The worst thing I've heard about is petty crime. I feel safer here than most of LA. Also no one's going to steal an FJ because it would stick out like a sore thumb. At worst they might smash and grab. But I have a locking trunk in the back that should prevent them from getting anything too valuable.

I kick myself harder and harder every day for not coming down here during the last 17 years I've lived in LA.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:06 PM   #60
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Good stuff yet again, keep up the good work

BTW you said you're now traveling alone, what happened to your co-pilot?
He did quit twitter as planned, but because he got a job in Berlin. I knew about 6 months ago he was wavering so haven't counted on him. I'm going to meet up with my friends on motorcycles in a few weeks. Then my hot female coworker is coming down at the end of Feb.
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