South America Road Trip Completed

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Back in December, I posted on BITOG about a road trip I was taking from Colorado through Central and South America. I was in Southern Patagonia, when the COVID-19 Pandemic really started heating up, so I decided I was better off in an area near an airport and hospitals. Higher population density wasn't a concern because at the time, there were barely any cases on the continent. That was only 2 weeks ago. I made it to Punta del Este Uruguay one week ago, which is a very posh resort like W Palm Beach for the jet-setters of the Southern Hemisphere. I established contact with the US Embassy in Montevideo early in the week after hearing rumors that flights were going to be cancelled. They told me on Thursday to LEAVE NOW. I got on the last flight out to Panama from Montevideo at 1AM Friday, then on to Denver. Panama's airport is now completely shut down. In looking at the Arrivals/Cancellations board at PTY, the only flights that weren't cancelled on Friday were to the US. On the way to the Montevideo airport, I dropped my 2015 Toyota Tacoma at Wave Logistics, who will ship it to the US. We parked in a large covered garage near their office in downtown MVD, and signed a couple of papers. They told me that the Port of Houston had just closed, and that they had no idea where it would end up. Living in Colorado, I told them I was flexible. My best guess at this point is Port Everglades in May. They're a very professional outfit who were busy helping out a lot of people at the time. There were other overlander vehicles in their lot, and I met up with them at the MVD airport. Several people had suggested that I just abandon the truck, and get my a$$ home. I'd just as soon abandon my dog as my truck. With the stock market way down, it's going to be a while before I want to buy a new one, anyway. I ran across this interesting article about COVID cases in Uruguay just as I was leaving. Once I get my vehicle out of the container, I'll get the oil changed, grab a sample for Blackstone, and drive it back to Colorado. I have about 12k on Mobile-1 EP, IIRC. I wasn't happy about leaving it filled with old oil, but I basically had to evacuate. Here are some pics taken on my trip. Note the "Older Posts" link in the bottom right of the page. People have complained that it's hard to see.

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Good plan getting out! The testing is limited down there at least Paraguay. Some connections in medical field(radiologists) and physicians see the indicators but testing thru put is only about 100 per day in country to confirm it.
 
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Your truck doesn't look very overlandish, not outfitted with the usual kit of winch bumper, roof top tent, water/fuel containers, etc. heck the bed is empty. What were your accommodations on the trip?
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
Very cool trip! I remember your posting. Some of the members were worried about security. What can you say about issues on security while you were travelling? smile
I was pick-pocketed in Quito Ecuador. They got my decoy wallet with a laminated ID, expired credit card, and about $7. I also had a note in there, written in Spanish, telling them to do something painful. The good stuff is never accessible, or even carried on me. Never had a crooked cop, or anything like that. I will say that at the very end, foreigners became very unwelcome, and they thought we were spreading the virus. So I felt uncomfortable only the last week I was there.
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Your truck doesn't look very overlandish, not outfitted with the usual kit of winch bumper, roof top tent, water/fuel containers, etc. heck the bed is empty. What were your accommodations on the trip?
I mostly stuck to the Pan American Hwy, which is all paved. Mostly stayed in AirBnbs or 2 or 3 star hotels. There was only one hotel in Panama where I wish I had slept in my truck.
 
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Quote I'd just as soon abandon my dog as my truck. ----------------------------------------- Really? Your dog breathes - has an intricate, emotional brain, eyes, nose, mouth........etc... much like a human being. Your ride doesn't. It's very easy for me to to decide which one I keep and which one departs. Glad to read your complex - yet mostly rewarding travels kept you safe and healthy-to-date. All our lives have been turned upside-down these days. There will be many stories to tell about this calendar year, for decades to come.
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted by Marco620
Glad your back. Did you see anything extraordinary that would make you go back?
I wish I had more time to spend in Patagonia. I sensed that things were falling apart, so I rushed through. Was also hoping to see Buenos Aires and Brazil, but didn't have enough time. I have the XM Radio app on my phone, and when I had cell coverage, I streamed the news in the truck via bluetooth. It got worse and worse by the day. And being divorced....don't get me started about the women... I could do blog just on them LOL.
 

JerryBob

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Originally Posted by AZjeff
Did you interact with the locals much? Don't see many people in your photos. You saw some great stuff.
Definitely interacted. I am fluent in Spanish, and have no problems getting around. I am reluctant to snap and post photos of people without their permission on a website. Don't even want to ask, and explain why. But you make a good point - I should have put more faces on my blog.
 
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You might want to remove all of the references to you-know-what in your post smirk
 

ls1mike

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Originally Posted by JerryBob
And being divorced....don't get me started about the women... I could do blog just on them LOL.
LOL. Do it. Glad you got home in one piece. They say how long it will take to get the truck back? Pictures are awesome!!
 
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Originally Posted by ls1mike
Glad you got home in one piece. They say how long it will take to get the truck back?
Not the OP and am curious as well but from my experience with ocean freight, I'd venture to say 3-4 weeks. It will probably spend more time at the origin port waiting and the destination port waiting than it will spend on the ocean.
 

Y_K

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Great job! Thank you for sharing. San Martin de los Andes in Argentina is the only place in Patagonia I keep returning to. it's not cheap though. I'd say you did very well.
 
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excellent followup jerrybob, thank you! when you settle back into laying low here please post more about your trip. i worked overseas for 29 years, mostly asia, much third world, closest i got to latin america was 1985-7 in haiti with a toyota tercel. i just returned from indonesia a-ok in early march. cheers.
 
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