Trout Therapy

The Seven Lakes Drive would be our last dance with the Beast and we set out to choreograph a graceful exit. Logan geared up with a rod and fishing license. I shuffled through our pile of unread books and picked some favorites, more than ready to forget myself in someone else’s adventures.

There would be no more kidding ourselves about the end.  This was it and it filled us both with a deeply unsettling heartache. A final dirt road venture would be our coup de grace.

This was our kind of PanAm perfection, deserted roads, lonely landscapes, crystal clear lake water, sunshine, and a roaring fire each night. Wide open space filled only with our quiet thoughts and the occasional   Continue reading

The Next Life

Although we’re currently set up in Bariloche on the edge of the Argentine Lakes District, our minds are elsewhere. The million dollar question: What’s next?  We still have the better part of a month to go on the road but our home life is rumbling toward us like a Bolivian semi barreling down a one-lane.

Thanks to Carl and Heather, we’ve been rescued from the soul crushing fiasco that is vehicle shipping. We hand over the keys in just a couple weeks and they’ll begin their PanAm journey north.  15 months ago we happily downsized our lives from a one-bedroom apartment to a truck camper. There is no storage unit back home, now we must figure out how to fit   Continue reading

Wind Break

Continuing north, El Chalten was in our sights. The town was quickly put together in 1985 by the Argentinean government in an effort to beat Chile to the land claim. At a population of 600, it is not much of a town. Gas, groceries, and ATM service is infrequent. Chile’s official maps of this area don’t include the border but rather an asterisk indicating that it is still in dispute.

Despite the lack of services this frontier town is a backpacker’s Mecca. Thousands of ice climbers, trekkers, and mountaineers from around the world descend upon the town each austral summer. They are here for the Fitz Roy Mountain Range and Cerro Torre. On the rare clear morning each peak   Continue reading

Victory Lap

Planning, saving, and executing over the last three years meant we had one solitary focus. Now having reached the terminus of the PanAmerican Highway, we suddenly find ourselves without a mission. An eerie yearning pulls at us when we head out each morning. The sun even rises out of the wrong window. For the first time in 13 months we are headed North.

Our plan from here is to explore western Patagonia, making our way home over the next two months. The immediate future holds backpacking Torres del Paine, traversing up Chile’s Carretera Austral, hiking around Fitz Roy, watching over the Moreno Glacier, and trout fishing the Lake District. Overlanding Patagonia, our victory lap, in itself is a journey of   Continue reading

Searching for an End

The day we left San Francisco we didn’t know there was a Ushuaia. We didn’t know about Route 3, Tierra del Fuego, or what lay at the end of the PanAmerican Highway. We only knew that one day we would get there.

Because the reactions to our goal were so contrary, we eventually stopped telling people our plans at all. By December 2010 when asked about our future, the response was reduced to one word, either moving or traveling. Mentioning Latin America, driving, or the PanAmeircan Highway put us on the receiving end of long-winded speeches filled with doubt and concern. The people that believed in us could be counted on our own four hands.

As it turns out there   Continue reading

Truckin’ Down Coastal Route 3

New Year’s Celebration

We struck south from Buenos Aires with two things in mind: sun and surf. We had Necochea circled. The guidebook billed this location as the best surf in Argentina. It was to be our first New Year’s celebration south of the equator and what better way to kick of 2012 than with a dawn patrol surf session.

We pulled into town as everyone was preparing for the big celebration. Looking into the town’s many campsites we settled on ‘Camping El Gringo’ where the Italian owners versed us on an Argentine NYE. It was just like the 4th of July we missed back home: Beach time, brews, BBQ, and fireworks.

Long Haulin’

But the party didn’t stop January   Continue reading

Love Drunk

She’s whispering hurried goodbyes in between barely containable sobs. A fresh stream of tears moistens my own cheek as she embraces me with the tender physical emotion only a mother can produce. All day we tried not to think of this teary departure. Gripping my shoulders and with a downright soul shaking desperation in her eyes, she asks me to look after her son. I am in full throttle brave face mode. I will absolutely look after Logan. There is nothing to worry about. We’ll be home before you know it.

Then the taxi pulls away from the curb, their waving hands and sad smiles disappear around the corner. Total devastation. Instantly I am a pile of tears and half   Continue reading

Tasty Treat

When it came time to decide on gifts for our family upon their arrival in Buenos Aires we were firmly decided we wanted to share an experience. For months we had been hatching different ideas about ways to experience a culture together with our family.

Enter Teresita. With a teaching background spanning more than 20 years, a love for all things culinary, and a passion for travel and learning, she is one incredible lady to spend an afternoon with. Upon retiring she decided to open up her kitchen and teach the art of the empanada.

With Teresita’s help, we made our way through a few bottles of wine, a good deal of laughter, and forty empanadas from   Continue reading

A Home for the Holidays

With overstuffed bags and plenty of anticipation we boarded the commuter train to Buenos Aires. The $0.31 (US), 45 minute trip to the city felt excruciatingly endless, we just couldn’t wait to see the Pribbenos.

Riding up the elevator to our high-rise condo, it was clear, the next ten days were going to be a little different for us. After a flurry of hugs and excited squeals we rushed to unpack and get down to business. A Buenos Aires bucket list was created and we did our best to cross off every single item.

Each morning usually started at the pool, a late lunch, a leisurely stroll, next thing you know it’s cocktail hour. We quickly schooled our new   Continue reading