Thursday, August 7, 2014

Checking In! On the Road Again.

Back in the saddle. On the road again.

We've recently returned from a visit to the USA to visit family and friends. It was a whirlwind trip packed with so many fun things, I can't do it justice in a blog post. For most of the time we stayed in Ann Arbor, MI with my parents. We also made a visit to Indiana and Kentucky to visit Scott's family as well as an awesome visit to Portland, Oregon to see old friends and visit our favorite part of the country.

The Matthews Family

Scott's brother's family and his Mom

Scott's other brother, Shane

Our time in the USA was a welcome contrast to our travel life. Sometimes it's good to change things up. Thank you to all the people who made it happen - especially Mom and Dad Matthews. During the visit, we never asked ourselves (or each other) where we would find water, diesel, or propane. I never wondered when we were going to be able to wash our clothes. The GPS was rarely used, and we didn't study guidebooks and maps to plot our next few days or weeks. We never reached an elevation that required special, high-altitude precautions, nor were we far from the luxury of air-conditioning if we felt uncomfortable. We had access to all the fresh food, craft beer, and high-speed internet that we could ever want. We did not have to struggle to communicate, but we also worried that we might lose the little bit of Spanish that had stuck in our brain. We feel rested and pampered and look forward to another perspective-changing episode of adventures and travel.

While we were in the USA, we left El Tigre in Tacna, Peru, and jumped through a few hoops to put the vehicle permit on hold. This was so that we would not have to worry about getting back before the permit expired. The return trip was a bit tenuous considering we were smuggling $1000 worth of truck parts not available in South America. We didn't learn that we had to "smuggle" the parts until we were actually on the plane from Dallas to Lima. The 5 pounds of smoked salmon and 3 pounds of parmesean cheese were the least of our worries. Fortunately, we walked right through customs with fuel injectors and glow plugs in our pockets, and bigger, but cheaper items in our bags. Even more fortunately, we were thrilled to see the truck parked just as we had left it.

El Tigre's resting place in Tacna, Peru

We spent a few days in Tacna getting our house back in order, then moved on to Chile. In Arica, we prepped El Tigre for the impending cold weather of Bolivia. We plan to spend a few weeks there before spending the rest of the year in Chile and Argentina. Onward ho. South-ish, in a zig-zagity fashion.

1 comment:

Shonah and Todd said...

Hey fellow travelers. We are so glad that we were able to coordinate meeting up with you two in Oregon to allow us to catch up a little. And, thanks again for allowing us to pick your brains and for sharing your wisdom to help us in our continued adventures. Especially glad to see that El Tigre was safe and sound upon your return. Hopefully he didn't miss you too much and throw any fits. Safe travels to you and keep in touch. Shonah & Todd