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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 05-13-2017, 03:20 PM   #16
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Sounds like a once in a lifetime epic adventure, and also dangerous

Its basically the Wild West in some parts of the nations you'll be passing through, the hidden compartment for valuables idea is a good one, and I would definitely make sure my Spanish is somewhat fluent
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Old 05-13-2017, 03:46 PM   #17
sd4chiefs sd4chiefs is offline
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These two guys might be interested.

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Old 05-13-2017, 05:45 PM   #18
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Isn't that a late 90s grindcore band?
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:05 PM   #19
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:13 PM   #20
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:21 AM   #21
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #22
BDj23 BDj23 is online now
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I read a blog about some dude who drove from Alaska to Argentina in a Wrangler. Seems like an amazing trip.

Last i read, he was gonna circumnavigate Africa in his Wrangler, but that would lead to certian death I'd believe.

Good luck
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:27 PM   #23
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:32 PM   #24
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:00 PM   #25
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:12 AM   #26
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Hola fellow planeteers! New touchy-feely blog post is up: http://ushuaiaorbust.com/2017/12/16/...time-equalize/

Current plan:
  • Leave Wednesday (the 20th)
  • Chill out with my friend in Tijuana for a night
  • Maybe camp at La Jolla campground south of Ensenada in La Bufadora - or maybe just head further into Baja
  • Camp and hike for a few days in Sierra de San Pedro Martín national park in central Baja
  • Make my way to La Paz, take the ferry over to Mazatlan on the mainland
  • Maybe head down toward Puerto Vallarta and chill on the beach for a bit
  • Go north a bit to San Miguel de Allende for a few days
  • Make my way to Puebla for a week-long intensive Spanish school a this place: https://www.livitspanish.com/ which comes highly recommended
  • Hang out in Oaxaca for a few days at a couple campgrounds which are hubs for "overlanders" - who are people doing what I am doing, except most of them have some sort of camper van or RV. Mostly I plan to eat lots of mole. Food in Oaxaca is a highlight of the trip
  • Make my way over to Tulum by Feb 1 - to meet up with some friends who are doing a similar trip (except the whole world) on their motorcycles: http://endofallroads.com/ (they're all pilots with a lot of seniority, so they're taking a month on/month off to ride - 3 year trip around the world)
  • Hang out in Tulum for a couple weeks
  • Then all signs point to a very pretty girl I work with coming to hang out with me for 3 weeks, drive from Tulum, check out Belize for a week, then Guatemala
  • After that it's pretty wide open, but I will probably try to find another week-long intensive spanish class in Antigua, Guatemala
  • Then my motorcycle buddies will be driving the rest of the way through Central America starting March 15th
  • Then I still have to be in Patagonia on 4/16 but I will probably fly because I have determined it's ridiculous to try to drive down there that fast
So that's the latest - keep up with the blog for more!

Last edited by suzzer99; 12-17-2017 at 02:09 AM..
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:23 AM   #27
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Really cool blog and thread dude. good luck! I've body surfed at that beach where the trailer park is in La Bufadora. We used to go do the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride every spring and fall. Once I had kids that stopped -heh. But good times. have a great trip. what an adventure! Rep.
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:24 AM   #28
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I don't know what I thought you looked like. But it wasn't that.

Enjoy your adventure!
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:04 AM   #29
suzzer99 suzzer99 is offline
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Really cool blog and thread dude. good luck! I've body surfed at that beach where the trailer park is in La Bufadora. We used to go do the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride every spring and fall. Once I had kids that stopped -heh. But good times. have a great trip. what an adventure! Rep.
Thanks man. What did you see any of the campgrounds in La Bufadora? Trying to decide if I should hang out for a bit or just head down to mid-Baja to hike.
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:06 AM   #30
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I don't know what I thought you looked like. But it wasn't that.

Enjoy your adventure!


Heh - this is the the girl who seems pretty serious about joining me. Just another dog hoping to have his day. Anyone feel free to reach out to me on social media - all the links are at the bottom of my blog.
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Old 12-17-2017, 03:08 AM
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