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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 01-02-2018, 09:08 PM   #61
stumppy stumppy is offline
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You might want to put a link to your blog in the OP.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:10 PM   #62
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrae View Post
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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Great read and pictures. Looking forward to future posts.
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Originally Posted by Buehler445 View Post
The Christmas eve post was really good. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks a lot guys. It's actually really not dangerous at all so far. Baja is as safe as Patagonia imo - which was also very safe. You just have to be smart about stuff. But even then there's no armed-banditry or anything like that. Just petty crime. Hell in most of the bigger towns all the Mexicans have iPhones. It's really only when you're near the migrant labor camps - where they don't have a pot to piss in - that you have to worry about your car. And all the hotels have big fortress courtyards with gates they close at night - so you know your car is safe.

Or if you camp out you pay like $5 and you're inside some safe fence. Once you get to central Baja there's basically nothing - and wild camping is totally safe. I've found Mexicans in Baja almost entirely to be extremely polite, trusting, honest and courteous. It's seems kind of like Alaska - where people stick together because they're so spread out and rely on their neighbors fighting the elements.

There are a million snowbirds down here from the US and Canada. If it's safe for a 70-year-old couple in a $200k RV, it's safe for anyone.

I encourage anyone to come down and drive Baja some time. I've been to a ton of places and it's probably the most scenic drive I've ever seen next to Southern Utah.

Last edited by suzzer99; 01-02-2018 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:11 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by stumppy View Post
You might want to put a link to your blog in the OP.
Done - thanks!
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:00 AM   #64
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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.
Sounds like a once in a lifetime trip he is missing out on

Thats a great adventure you're on, color me jelly
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:25 AM   #65
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Thanks! Latest blog post is up: http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/01/02/...as-shipwrecks/
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:56 AM   #66
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I'm following along and enjoying your trip. you're saving me a lot of money as I can scratch this off my bucket list.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:06 AM   #67
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Very cool. Iíll be following and watch your six down there.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:25 PM   #68
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Any CPers in Cabo right now?
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:38 PM   #69
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Any CPers in Cabo right now?
It might sound cliche and corny... but when in Cabo, why not hit up Sammys bar for

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Old 01-05-2018, 10:07 PM   #70
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Good read man. Sounds like you're enjoying yourself.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:19 PM   #71
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Thanks - I'm having a blast so far. Baja is amazing. I head to the mainland in a ferry on Tuesday.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #72
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Thanks - I'm having a blast so far. Baja is amazing. I head to the mainland in a ferry on Tuesday.
Cool, look forward to your next blog.

Hmmm, wonder if somewhere out there there's some surfer dudes posting on their blog about the weird traveling dude who kept bugging them about a party.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:19 PM   #73
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So incredibly jealous of you. I wish I was able to go with you
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:52 AM   #74
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Cool, look forward to your next blog.

Hmmm, wonder if somewhere out there there's some surfer dudes posting on their blog about the weird traveling dude who kept bugging them about a party.
Yeah I can imagine. "Gen-Xers are weird man."
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:55 AM   #75
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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A couple new blog posts since my last post here. Lots of food, some nice scenery and fun 4x4ing:

http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/01/07/2-bahias-1-cove/

http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2018/01/12/best-things-life/



Also suzzer tries surfing.

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