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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I'm thinking of planning an expedition taking the Pan American highway from San Diego to Cape Horn *in Chile and wanted to see if anyone would be interested.

The duration would be between 60 to 90 days. *Even though i've heard that it can be done in 3 weeks, longer is better. *It allows time for "situations" and eating fish tacos.

I'm considering going solo, but having another FJ or a driver-navigator-interpreter would make it much better. * I speak no Spanish other than baneo and a few food dishes.
**

Mostly the highway is in good shape. Highway - highway, not the bouncing around rutted roads that one might imagine. *Regular cars make the trip. *However, with a little planning and luck, I can find some trails. *I'd mix up the nights between camping and small town hotels. *Basically a vagabond existence. **

The highway goes from the US border in San Diego to:

Mexico
Guatemala
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Costa Rica
Panama
Colombia
Ecuador
Peru
Chile
Argentina

Along the way are desolate beaches, bunches of little towns, and places like*Machu Picchu, Nazca, and Patagonia.

Since summer in the southern hemisphere is Nov/Dec/Jan, i'd work my backward from mid November and leave mid to late August. * *

I'll end the expedition in Buenos Aries, Argentina and put my FJ in a container back to San Diego.

Anyway that's my thought but I am quite a bit away from committing. *Still in the early feasibility study stage. *It would help a great deal if someone else had an interest. **

Here is a web site that chronicles the PAH trip that a young man took in 2007. *He only got shaken down by the authorities twice. He considered it a planned expense.

Welcome to Drive to South America - Driving to the "End of the World"
 

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Sounds like an awesome adventure. Wish I had the time to join-in. I have read the Darien Gap poses some serious challenges. How will you outfit your FJC for this challenge?
 

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A man named Ed Culberson (deceased), who led a motorcycle tour in Mexico that I was on, wrote a book -- "Obsessions Die Hard" (It's out of print and I've got an autographed copy) -- about traveling on the Pan American Highway and negotiating the Darien Gap via motorcycle.

He had locals carry the m/c through the jungle and transport it via canoe across water -- but I don't think that's an option for the FJ. :lol:

One of my "dream trips" is to do the exact same thing. So, I'll be interested to learn how you plan to deal w/the Darien Gap. I'm assuming transport via freighter from Panama to Columbia as already mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
While Googleing *"Darien gap dangerous", I found this site:
Dark Roasted Blend: Darien Gap: The Most Dangerous (Absence of a) Road

Ed was one-he'll-of-a brave man. A serious explored.*

There are forums where the majority opinion is "you will die".*

Shipping is really the Only way. *I thought that since I have to ship I could just ship from LA to Columbia. *Mexico is a bit scary. *But I don't want to miss Central America and the water front.
Again, I am a long way from doing this. However, it's one of those things that I could do, but might not ever have the opportunity in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is one "New" copy of the book on Amazon. $267.00
An autographed copy should go for twice that. :)

(9 used for $33)
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter #9
A very cool thread. Thanks for sharing that.

Looks certain that he took the PAH. But made a right to the port of Buenos Aries, rather than continuing to southern Chile / Argentina.
 

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Luke, if you are really serious about this you may also want to post over on Expedition Portal Forum - Powered by vBulletin

That site is directed more towards those that are very serious about their expeditions and, frankly, your timetable is crazy-close to go time.

What ? . . . no visits to Hugo Chavez ? :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey James,
Thanks for reminding me about that site.
I was there some time ago.

This one is also neat.
The Africa Overland Network - Independent Overland Travel across Africa, Asia and World

Might drop in and see cousin Hugo. We're tight.

I talked to Lisa about the possibility of going (solo) and she didn't seem opposed at all. 23 years of marriage explains that one.

Hope your last excursion was great.
Idea: why don't you join me?
 

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What a Great Adventure It Would Be! If I had the time and $$$ I would join in on the journey...I would say a group larger than ten might be capable of this journey. You would need some political connections to get you thru several hot spots. some rogue soldiers and drug lords to be paid.
 

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Look up a member named Shreesh. He did this trip a year or so ago.

I lived in the Patagonia for a few years. And although I have not seen everything on Earth I am comfortable saying that it is in the very top tier for beauty on this planet. You should aim for Ushuaia (the end of the world) the boats that go to antarctica leave from there. I lived there 6 months during the summer 1999-2000. I still get a little emotional thinking about the things I saw there. Perito Moreno is down South and that alone would be worth the drive from the U.S.

I've driven 85%+ of the highway through Chile. Chilean food is gross. There are many things not to miss in Chile (Beaches, Osorno, Torres del Paine etc..) But having seen Chile, if I had 2 months to spend I would spend most of my time on the Argentine side.
(No offense amigos, it is beautiful make no mistake)

The trip through central America would stress me out a bit without some good support (at the very least a spanish speaker :)). The FJ won't exactly blend in down there. Argentina & Chile seem to be a lot more safe, but can still be very dangerous. Things not to miss if you're going to be down there already:
•Iguazu falls (borders of Brazil & Argentina)
•Bariloche & Villa La Angostura, (stay at a B&B in the Villa or the famous Llao LLao hotel.
•Aconcagua (Highest peak in S. America the switchbacks on the highway near there will blow your mind. You're destination seems 200 yards away, but you have to drive 200 miles back and forth to get there.
•The city of Mendoza is one of the most beautiful I've been in, but I don't know what to do there activity wise unless you like clubbin'.
•Puerto Pyramides is a day trip out on a peninsula on a dirt road but you will see much of the unique wildlife of the Patagonia. If you're lucky the Orcas will be feeding on the sea lions at the beach, and you will see some whales along with guanacos and some big ostrich-like birds that I can't remember what they are called right now, and penguins, and more. You would stay in Puerto Madryn a town built on a bay and you might see some whales and dolphins from your hotel, if not a short boat ride usually fixes that.
•I mentioned Perito Moreno, and you would have an empty checkbox in your bucket list if you didn't go ice trekking there.
•On the island of Tierra Del Fuego there is world class fishing in the rivers near Rio Grande, and of course Ushauia. If I were a God tasked with painting a better end to a trek like the one you are proposing than Ushuaia. I doubt I could do it.

Argentine food is Amazing (for the most part). Asados, milanesas, empanadas, dulce de leche, the beef is well above average (I didn't eat red meat before moving there, but I changed my mind)... oh and find some mate-cocido to help aquire the taste of mate, if you make friends with anyone down there you will surely be invited to share in the Argentine drink of friendship. I dream of an overland trip along this same route. It is just a dream for now though. Good luck, and thanks for bringing back some of my most precious life memories.
 

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With all the trouble down in Mexico I would rather go North way North. I would feel way better going thru Canada and Alaska then going across the Mexican border.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Brett,
All I can say is "Wow" and Thanks !
That was really informative.

Steve,
I'll bring a prayer book. And thanks for watching out for me. :)
 

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Awesome Luke!
Wish I had the time to join you as this sounds like its right up my ally. Good luck to you. When I get back from Iceland will have to get together for some lunch.
 

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Idea: why don't you join me?
Admittedly, that's a definite push outta the ol' comfort zone since I don't speak any "south of the border" lingo. Getting away for that length of time would be very difficult too. :(

I guess I'm more with sanderhawk. I'm grown to really enjoy my trips to British Columbia and only want to see and explore more of our northern neighbor's backyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Doesn't mater now. :mecry:

Had to cancel for a variety of reasons.
Too many things to do in a short time. Plus other considerations that shall remain nameless.

On Monday the 19th, I was set to depart for Brownsville, TX and meet NoLimitX and their Land Rovers. Then drive through MX, to Belieze and continue along to Panama to the USA.

It was last minute, but I got the container shipping from Panama to LA worked out. Scheduled for vaccinations this afternoon. It was going pretty good. Then Bubkas.:ugh:

So the next opportunity is November for NoLimitX's return trip from Panama to the USA.

Ya'll might want to consider. It will be about 30 days. 14 days from Panama to Belize. 14 days up Mexico and to the states.

FYI on Shipping:
This I learned. It's a lot easier to ship a vehicle from the US to Panama, than the other way around. There are numerous international shipping companies / brokers that will take it out. None would consider taking it into the US.

I worked directly with a Panamanian Logistics company. Got the quote today. $2,526 I was expecting about $1,800 because I got quotes on shipping to Europe for $4,000. Still not that bad. (Cheaper than 1st class air)

That said, since there are so many US auto transport companies that ship out, one would think that price will be cheaper.

FYI on vaccinations:
Give yourself plenty of advance time to get them before departing. Most are a minimum of 14 days. Others can be up to 2 months (Rabies and Hep B)

Until the next trip. Adios

(Might see ya'll in Ouray, if I can put it together.) :lol:
 

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My "Dream Trip" has always been to go from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic Ocean by the Trans America highway. Cheech did it last year and they went alone and took almost a year I think. Some day maybe. Not sure if my wife is that adventurous anymore. It would be a serious trip and would take a lot of advance planing and the right mix of fellow travelers.

:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:
 

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My "Dream Trip" has always been to go from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic Ocean by the Trans America highway. Cheech did it last year and they went alone and took almost a year I think. Some day maybe. Not sure if my wife is that adventurous anymore. It would be a serious trip and would take a lot of advance planing and the right mix of fellow travelers.

:cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers::cheers:
I'm sure you meant 'to the tip of South America' (or something along those lines), right? There is no Antarctic Ocean. :silly:

Silly me.....seriously though, I would love to do something like that. I just can't imagine it could ever be possible till I retire. Perhaps that's something I should start planning for now.....I'll have decades to get ready for it :lol:
 
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