Trail Breakdowns & Perspectives: Part 1

Had our first scary road issue when I lost the Panhard (lateral bar) nut on our way back from camping this weekend, and proceeded to death wobble right off the freeway by Pine, AZ.  Luckily, the road was straight (at least where I lost the steering) and the traffic light, otherwise it may have turned out much worse.  The good news is that I now know more about the Landcruiser's suspension.




Even driving with the "death wobble" is better than filling these things (see below) out all day...
FYI - my previous job actually had their own TPS reports and were not afraid to use them, mmmmkay.

The Trip

Monica & I are planning to drive from our home in Phoenix, AZ, south on the PanAmerican highway through Central and South America, in an expedition built Landcruiser.  Our hopes are to arrive at the end of the road at Ushuaia, Argentina mid 2013. Following the Pan-American Highway for most of the trip, we hope to be near a Mayan Ruin on 12-21-12 for an "end of the world" party. We also hope to meet up with some in progress trips that we have been following on expeditionportal.com or any other overlanders.

Please check back as we plan more...

Tentative Itinerary (in progress):  Please help us pick destinations to see by commenting below.

    • Country - (Power, Currency, Car insurance req'd Y/N, Language, Advanced Visa )
    • Canada, August 2012 -  (  )
    • Alaska, August/September 2012 - (  )
    • Canada, September 2012
    • Cleveland, OH - October 20, 2012 for my best friend’s wedding (USD, Y, German, N)
    • Phoenix, AZ November 2012 to get the car serviced
    • Mexico – December 2012 (110V, Pesos, Y, Spanish, N)
      • Baja
        • Mike's Sky Ranch
        • Mulege - fish taco's anyone?
        • La Paz - we have family there
        • Cabo - we have family there
      • Pacific Coast & Central
      • Yucatan
        • Playa del Carmen
        • Tulum
        • Chetumal
        • Palenque
        • Agua Azul
        • San Cristobal

    • Belize – December, January 2013(110V, Belize dollar = 1/2 USD, , English, N)
      • SCUBA - Blue Hole
      • Ambergris Caye -  http://www.airviva.com
      • Turneffe Islands
      • Belize City
    • GuatemalaJanuary 2013
      • Antigua
      • Tikal
      • Flores
      • Lake Atitlan
      • Spanish Immersion Program
    • Honduras – January 2013 ( 110V/60Hz, Lempira)
      • SCUBA - Roatan, Utila,
      • Copán Ruins
      • La Ceiba — port city on Caribbean coast with great beaches and daily ferries to the Bay Islands
      • Gracias
      • Cusuco National Park — One of Honduras most exotic destinations, Leaving from San Pedro Sula by a 4x4 trail into the dense cloud forest.
    • El Salvador- January 2013
    • NicaraguaFebruary 2013
    • Costa Rica   - February 2013 (110V,colón(es), ?, Spanish, ?)
      • Bird Watching
        • Monteverde Cloud Forest
        • Tortuguero National Park
        • Santa Rosa National Park
        • Cahuita National Park; the park is on the beach.
        • La Sevla Biological Station in the northern lowlands
        • Helconia Island
        • Corcovado National Park
        • Huedal Nacional Terraba-Sierpe
        • Carara National Park has 400 species of birds.
        • Tárcoles has great river tours highlighting crocodiles.
        • Whale Marine National Park
        • La Amistad National Park
        • Manuel Antonio National Park has three lovely beaches.
      • Beaches
        • Corcovado — the main beach on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, with black sand beaches fronted by the thick Costa Rican tropical rainforest
        • Dominical — big surfing destination with good nightlife scene
        • Jacó — the party beach city right by San José, a surfer's paradise full of nightlife and casinos
        • Montezuma — the bohemian option, on the Nicoya Peninsula, (known as "monte fuma" by the locals)
        • Playa Grande — this tranquil white sand beach is home to the largest nesting site for the leatherback sea turtle on the Pacific coast, as well as, one of the best surfing waves in the Guanacaste Province
        • Tamarindo — the upscale option, with beautiful beaches complemented by boutique shopping and high class dining
        • Tortuguero — the Caribbean side's most famous beach, which caters to eco-tourists looking to explore the rainforest and spot some manatees
    • PanamaFebruary 2013
      • Panama City and the Canal
      • Bocas Del Toro
      • Colón
      • Shipping or Ferry
    • EcuadorMarch 2013
    • PeruMarch 2013
      • Northern Peru
        • Piura
        • Chiclayo
        • Pedro Ruiz
        • Kuelap
        • Celendin
        • Trujillo 
§         Central Peru
        • Puerto Inca
        • Lima
        • Machu Pichu
o        ChileApril 2013
§         Easter Island
    • BoliviaApril 2013
      • "Death Road"
    • ArgentinaMay 2013
      • Ushuaia
      • Trevelin
      • Mendoza
    • Uraguay – June 2013
      • Punta del Este
      • Piriapolis
    • ParaguayJune 2013
    •  Ship home or carry on... July 2013

Gear Review #1 - Overland Medical Kit & LifeSaver Systems Jerry Can Water Filtration

Coming Soon...

After conferring with an ER Doctor, former Combat Medic, Firefighter/EMT, & current ER Physician's Assistant/Vietnam Medic, we have assembled a over the top of the line Medical Kit.  It's fairly big so we may have to downsize.  Pics and descriptions to come this week.  Let us know what worked, or didn't, in your first aid kit.  I hope to never use any of it.

Also picked up a Mil Spec water filtration system from LifeSaver Systems.  I hope to not try it out soon enough.

Safe travels.




The New Ferry from Panama to Colombia

Excerpt from www.drivenachodrive.com

"If you’re driving from Central America to South America, I expect that you already know that you can’t drive the whole way. Standing between the continents, Panama and Colombia are separated by a swath of jungle called the Darien Gap. There are no roads, and it is inadvisable to try to cross on foot due to the danger imposed by the jungle and the near certainty of being captured by the FARC or other paramilitaries.
Until now, the only way to cross the gap with a vehicle has been to load the vehicle in a shipping container and send it by container ship. The driver and passengers were then responsible for getting themselves to Colombia by plane or boat. The process is daunting, very time consuming (weeks), and has unfathomable amounts of red tape. Now there is a new option."
Hopefully this will be sorted by early 2013 for Monica & I.

Baja - Los Cabos Preview

Monica & I had the pleasure to attend a family wedding in Cabo this past week and we had the very good fortune of great weather and beautiful locations for the wedding activities.  Come to think of it, though, Baja is not in short supply of sunny days and and pretty vistas.  We scouted some great camping spots for our drive through this Fall. Also, we enjoyed many fine meals at places we will not be able to afford the next time through; some recommended favorites are Nick San(sushi), the Whale Watcher bar at the Finisterra(tortilla soup), DOC Wine Bar(pasta), Baja Brewing Co. on top of Cabo Villas(pizza & beer), El Galeon(italian seafood), and of course El Paisa for tacos at 2AM. ...Baja - I miss you already...

Punta Ballena - Los Cabos

Punta Ballena

Punta Ballena



Nowhere Bar

Playa Grande Hotel - Ridge Pool

Capella Pedregal

Capella Pedregal

Capella Pedregal

Campestre

Playa Grande

Chileno Bay - Villa Serena

Chileno Bay

El Arco

Overland Expo 2012 - May 19th

In short, the best merger of automobiles and the outdoors that I have ever had the pleasure of attending. This is a must attend for 2013.  My only regret was not wearing enough sunblock and only being there for 27 hours. Much of the day went like .."OMG there's a Defender 110 diesel, over there is the Turtle Expedition, check out that XP camper, EarthRoamer, GEV, Mog, Diesel JK Jeep conversion, or Rally Fighter...  Wait... I've read this other guys blog for the last 6 months, let's go talk to them..."  It was surreal to see in person the people behind many of the daily Expedition Portal forum/blogs that I read.  Additional PLUS - Monica is now fully vested in the trip, as demonstrated today, when I received an offer to an Executive MBA program for the Fall that she promptly dismissed.  Enjoy the Pics here, but see the official thread on ExPo.

Will's Massive Lift



The Turtle Expedition

Jeep Diesel Conversion

XP Camper detail

XP Camper detail
XP Camper


Local Motors - Rally Fighter

Central & S America Panel - Scott Brady, James from No Limit

EarthCruiser

Whiteacorn



CAMPTEQ Awning detail



Panel Discussion - Chris Scott
And Home...



About Us

Welcome to Overland the World
 
We are both late 20's young professionals that are looking for some adventure, culture, and the road less traveled.
This all started with one of the best questions I have heard in a speech, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. While our current professional careers have been great with providing stability, allowing a few weeks of vacation/year, healthcare, etc.; they have also left us wanting. Part disillusion with corporate bureaucracy, part wanderlust, we are hitting the road. Hopefully over the next year or so we can cover the Americas and then ship on to another continent. Please feel free to contact us along the way for rally's, events, volunteering opportunities, festivals, or a simple hello's.




Jeff & Monica





Salud.

WagonGear 80 Tailgate Lid Install

This weekend I installed a new storage tailgate lid from Kevin at WagonGear. First impressions are that the level of quality is excellent and it was fairly easy to install with the included template and hardware.  Tools used: jigsaw, electric drill, angle grinder (to smooth the metal edges), allan wrench, Loctite, heat gun Dynamat.









Easter Weekend 2012 - Table Mesa Trail - Suspension Shakedown

I just had many of the suspension parts upgraded, so I decided to do a little light wheelin' (shakedown testing) with my brother and and a buddy (who just bought a really nice Land Rover Disco).  Wait ... can Land Rover and Landcruiser owners even be friends (i.e. Capulets v. Montagues)? We went just north of Phoenix and did the the Table Mesa Trail eastbound and ended up north of Bartlett Lake.  Great day, although I did break my snorkel in the car wash after (duh).

Pre-Trip Planning Begins

So we've decided to go.  Now the hard part of packing up/wraping up/renting out/selling everything for gas money starts. Please check back, as we will be adding more to the site about our planned itinerary, maps, and Landcruiser build.  If anyone has any suggestions on gear, gps/Spot systems, RTT's, freezer/fridges, water tanks, or shower systems, please comment below.  I am trying to contact BFG to get some sweet AT tires for the Landcruiser like I have on my Raptor.  We'll see you on the trail soon enough.

Decision Time

 As with any trip, there are restrictions, especially when the average job allows you 3-4 weeks of vacation per year.  Given these types of time restrictions, a journey to the extent we are planning and desire would not be allowed by many employers.  I can imagine the response my principal may give me when I tell her, "Mrs. H, I will not be returning next school year, as my husband and I are taking the next few months to drive through Central and South America."  Who knows what the response may be from Jeff's conservative financial co-workers and employer? After much contemplation, we have settled on our decision, we choose Overland the World, or at least as much we can accomplish given our time restrictions (TBD).  Let the planning begin.
MY