Author Archives: Sonja

Northern Peru: Booking it south and avoiding flying trash

Hullo Peru! After a long border crossing from Ecuador we tucked ourselves into a little campspot on the beach for a few days to regroup. The kids make good beach bums. Also! We had our first encounter with Peru’s famous hairless dogs. Not to be confused with Mexican hairless dogs. Peru’s specimens were bred by pre-Incan cultures along the coastal regions  but almost became extinct when the Spaniards arrived.  They are…weird. These guys weren’t completely hairless and had mottled skin

Ecuador: Cotopaxi

We were leaving the dense, steamy Amazon behind and heading for altitude. But first we said goodbye to one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve ever seen: Cascada San Rafael. I included a photo of it in our previous post but this thing deserves a closer look. It’s stunning.     And then we hit the road and began climbing. We also crossed over the equator, which was a pretty monumental event. Unfortunately, we were told there was an official marker

Ecuador: Exploring the Amazon Jungle

We crossed the border into Ecuador, drove into the oil-field town of Nueva Loja (also called Lago Agrio), and promptly discovered that our hotel had a water slide. So we basically did this for the next eight hours:   But the real reason we were in town was to spend some time in the jungle! Ben has been talking about the Amazon jungle ever since we told the kids we were going to embark on this crazy adventure. This boy

Southern Colombia: Parque Arqueológico De San Agustin

Full disclosure: Mocoa isn’t really southern Colombia. If you have yourself a look at a map of the country, you’ll see that about half of Colombia, including the southeastern-most swath, is the vast roadless wilderness inhabited by the Amazon Jungle. My apologies, dear readers, I’m feeling a bit lazy this morning so the title will stay, despite perhaps not being entirely geographically accurate.  Regardless of its placement, Mocoa is down near the border with Ecuador in a remote part of

Colombia: Tatacoa Desert

Time to hit the dirt! The highway debacle outside of Ibague sent us scurrying for roads that were more lightly traveled. So we headed for a desert that isn’t technically a desert and at various times over the millennia has been a tropical rain forest, a prairie grassland, and several hundred feet underwater. For our two days in the area, it was blisteringly hot with occasional clouds and rain(!), which turned everything a bit swampy. For the record, one of

Central Colombia, Part II: Wax Palms and Giant Car Crashes

We rolled into a hostel in the sweet little town of Salento. It was pouring buckets and the camping area was about 6″ deep in standing water. Dude, we are from SEATTLE; this doesn’t bother us in the slightest. We popped the top of the camper and the kids happily played with legos while we tried to eek out a wifi signal. Chris also took the shortest shower in the history of mankind because the temp started out hot and

Central Colombia, Part I: Zona Cafetera and Jungle Hot Springs.

On this trip we really haven’t given big cities a fair shake. We tend to roll up to the outskirts, take the briefest of peeks into the urban center, and then promptly get the heck out of dodge. We have missed countless museums, fabulous restaurants, and delightful shopping. Example A: Medellin, Colombia.    We had a slightly terrifying drive up to the campground though the city (Google Maps is not our friend – we should have listened to Garmin), tried

Shipping Across the Darien Gap

Hello! I promise we’re still on our trip and trucking south. We’ve been camping almost non-stop since we left Cartagena and the wifi has been spotty at best. Hence the lack of recent blog posts.  Shipping Time!   I’m sure most overlanders dread this process; we certainly felt it hanging over our heads in Costa Rica and Panama. A quick recap: Geography buffs will know that it is impossible to drive the relatively tiny stretch of roadless wilderness between Panama

Long Overdue Update

Hello Dear Friends! Our apologies for the long blog silence. Except for a short stint in Cartagena and a trip to an Amazon jungle lodge, we’ve been out camping in the boonies with poor (if any) internet connections.    We have just entered Chile, after exploring Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. We will update more as we’re able, although in all honesty we’ve been a bit better on Instagram. That is us on Thanksgiving Day on the Salar de Uyuni,

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

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