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Panama Canal Zone

After thoroughly enjoying our time in Bocas del Toro, it was time to head south to Panama City and prepare our truck for shipment to Cartagena (Colombia) aboard a giant container ship. Geography buffs will know that it is impossible to drive the relatively tiny stretch of roadless wilderness between Panama and Colombia known as the Darien Gap. Instead you find a buddy with another overland vehicle and you share a cargo container, the same type that is used to

How much does it cost to drive the Pan-American Highway? Costa Rica update

Beautiful beaches, great food, U.S. prices… That pretty much sums up Costa Rica. We spent three weeks here and loved it. However, it certainly was not cheap. We averaged $182/day. However, we did have two larger expenses which were school for the kids for two weeks as well as an unplanned visit to the doctor for an eye infection + insane Rx prices. Most food at restaurants was no different than going out to eat in the U.S. and groceries

Bocas del Toro: Air

Last Bocas del Toro post! We got out the drone for a little aerial action.   But first a photo from my mother-in-law that she took atop the birding platform. Can’t get enough of them sunsets.     These pictures are from three different locations. #1: The dock at Tranquilo Bay   This is a good shot of the reef close to shore. Nice snorkeling right off the dock, although we may have spent most of our time playing chicken

Bocas del Toro: [Under]Water

I haven’t done any scuba diving since I was rear ended in a car accident a few years ago and consequently suffered a burst disc in my neck and nerve damage in my arm. My left side is pretty weak so for now we’re sticking to snorkeling, which is just fine in a place like Bocas del Toro as much of the coral is in shallow water.    If you take the day trip to Cayo Zapatillas (highly recommended!), bring

The Trip So Far: More Honest Reflections

Here we go, Round 2 of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of overland travel! Here is Round 1.  The Very Good After a bit of a delay, we were finally able to leave Panama. Hello South America!! We are happily ensconced in a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. Our truck is safely stowed in a cargo container aboard a ship that sailed from Colon (Panama) and we’ve been tracking it as it lumbers our way. The process of extracting

Bocas del Toro: Water

The best part about the resort is that several excursions were offered to nearby attractions: beaches, coffee plantations, and bat caves on the mainland. I’m sure most people opt to choose all three but we elected to spend all our time lounging on the beach and playing in the water. Coffee is nice….but sand is better!   Our favorite beach was a national park called Cayo Zapatillas, which was about 20 minutes away by boat. We went twice, it was

Trip Highs and Lows

We’ve had a few crazy adventures on this trip; here are the best and the worst plus a few fun stats. (We’ll update these as we go along) Farthest North: Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse, Alaska Farthest south: To be decided! Ushuaia, Argentina? Hottest: 47.2 Celsius (117°F) Death Valley (previously: 106°F Vacaville, CA) Coldest: 8 Celsius (46.4°F ) Nevado de Toluca, Mexico Highest: 3,730 meters (12,237 ft) Nevado de Toluca Lowest: Badwater Basin 252′ below sea level, Death Valley NP Windiest: TBD Best thunderstorm: El Rollo

Bocas del Toro: Land

Upon arriving at Tranquilo Bay resort, it didn’t take long to get into island mode. A cold beer, a comfy hammock, and a view out over the bay.  This girl loves her brother. Besos todos los dias. Our little cabin overlooked a secropia grove that was a hotbed of 3-toed sloth activity. At one point we counted 5 animals happily munching away above us. Manuel Antonio was the best place to see sloths in Costa Rica; we saw five times

Day 104- 113: Bocas del Toro, Panama

Ok, so we loved Panama. Like seriously wanted to stay here forever, which is kind of funny in a not-really-funny-kind-of-way because our shipping partners (the people that we were going to share a container with to get our vehicles to Colombia) ran into some mechanical issues so we missed our boat to Colombia and are frantically running around trying to figure out how to leave the country. We love you Panama, but we want out. But Panama is like: “Nope,

Days 99-103: Cerro de la Muerte and Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

We said a sad goodbye to Manuel Antonio and prepared for a two day drive across Costa Rica from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. But first we stopped at a fantastic reptile zoo so Ben could have a glimpse of all the venomous snakes that we (cough, cough, thankfully) didn’t see on our night walk.    They also had a number of non-native species, including this Komodo dragon, which was also accompanied by a few nervous-looking chickens. Maybe