After a long day on the road in Belize, we were happy to find a nice little BBQ joint right near the Belize/Guatemala border. We had heard the new facility was opening, from our friend, Damon Russell.
We had another great experience at Auga Caliente in North East Guatemala. This is one of our favorite spots in Guatemala. It features a cool flowing river, providing the water supply to the small village for washing clothes, bathing, and recreation.
The unique part is the sulfur heated sauna like waters that come crashing over the edge of the waterfall. Words cannot describe the feeling of wading through the comfortably cool and refreshing river, to be met with the steamy hot water of the waterfalls!
Ahhhh Antigua! Possibly (most likely), our favorite city in all of Guatemala. There is so much to see and do here. Countless restaurants, coffee farms, historic churches, and buildings, entertainment, and cobblestone streets! This is a place you could move to or visit, experience history, modern amenities, and everything in between. We have been here 5 or 6 times, and each time is more fun than the last. We find something new each time.
Our first week in Mexico has been an adventure! We have experienced the mountains, jungles, and beaches. Temperatures are at both ends of the scale. It makes it fun to pack for!
Our first stop after climbing the rocks at El Potero Chico was a small town called Parras de la Fuente.
We stayed at a nice campground on the U.S. side of the border called Casa Blanca in Laredo Texas. We took two nights to get prepared for the crossing, getting vehicles worked on, supplies purchased, valuables secured, etc.
While checking all of the compartments, I found something strange. My power strip and flashlight had been melted! And the compartment door was blackened. Was there a fire? A battery explosion?
We planned a launch for our one year + overland trip to take off from Asheville North Carolina. For those instagram followers, we created the hashtag #ashevilletoargentina. This represents the full length of the trip from top to bottom.
October 7th-9th 2016 was the Overland Expo East, held on the grounds of the prestigious Biltmore Estate in Asheville North Carolina. Funny to think of all the tents and campers sleeping along the banks of the French Broad river, of the largest private home in the U.S.
We had agreed to show our new vehicle at the expo and give a 1 hour presentation of our travels to Belize. This is a wonderful event drawing thousands of fellow overland enthusiasts. There are some pretty amazing vehicles that come to the show. We were honored to have been one of them. It was great to see so many people and new products on display.
We met up with our fellow travel partners at the expo. It takes a special family to want to travel for this length of time, but they claim they are up for it! Their names (as you will hear more about them), are Adam, Ashley, Cayen (9) and Ellie (5). We really enjoy their company.
Our trip will take us from Asheville North Carolina, and through all of Mexico, Central and South America. Ultimately we plan to reach the furthest point South in Argentina, and put our toes in the sand. We may even have a special trip, that will take us to the next continent (more on that later).
The expo was a success and FINALLY we are Off!
Next entry will be the Mexico border crossing!
It has been a long time coming, and I am behind on the blog. We have already started traveling, and will get updated soon. I wanted to share pics and details on our new overland vehicle. After traveling thousands of miles and visiting numerous countries in our roof top tent on the Land Rover, we now have premium accommodations!
We chose a 2002 Ford F250 with the 7.3 L diesel. Mostly in part to the fact that they are a proven engine, being dubbed the “Million mile motor”. Plus being that its a pre 2007 Diesel, it does not require the ultra low sulfur Diesel that the new ones do.
We found the perfect truck in El Paso Texas and drove out to get it. It wasn’t the exact color I wanted, but it had all the rest of the requirements, including lots of extra goodies the seller had installed. It came with after market tires and wheels, New Fox shocks all around, a diesel tuner, and lots more. Money saved on items I would add any way.
We decided to have the truck painted. It was done professionally, with all doors, hood, and molding removed. This allowed for a complete color change, as good or better than a factory paint job. Next we had a custom camper built to our specs. This was a culmination of many miles on the road and deciding what we wanted vs. what would fit, and still make it down the Central and South American roads.
A company out of Denver Colorado accepted the challenge and began building the one of a kind camper. The amenities and features are endless!
It was a bit challenging trying to coordinate all of the special requirements we wanted built into our rig, being 1500 miles away from the build. It took about 6 weeks to complete, but what turned out was pretty amazing! Ill share more interior pictures and specs in a later post. Next entry will be our launch from Asheville North Carolina!
And Here it is!!!
We are anxiously awaiting our departure (33 days), for the upcoming expedition trip, from Asheville North Carolina, all the way down to the tip of Argentina. The destination is the furthest point South, in South America!
In preparation for the the trip, we are having a fully self contained, expedition rig, built to our specifications. This is a culmination of everything we think we will need/want on this 1 year+ journey. This is proving to be an arduous process, weighing needs/wants, with space & weight.
I am sharing pictures with you, of the progression of our current and previous vehicles, that we used, or planned to use for our exciting trips from the States to Mexico, Belize, and Central America. Since 2012, we have been traveling extensively (4-6 months at a time), back and forth, logging some 50,000+ miles in and around the Countries mentioned.
Proposed overland vehicle
We thought we found the perfect solution!
We began with a Land Rover Discovery, and Rooftop tent, and have since had several vehicles and accommodations. You will notice, the picture of the ambulance. We bought that in anticipation of converting it to an off road camper (like the white example I posted). We soon discovered, that was not a direction we wished to go.
We bought another Land Rover and further outfitted it with many accessories, including dual deep cycle batteries to run the refrigerator, steel bumper and winch, roof top tent, and custom made storage boxes inside with drawer, that replaced the back seat.
Next we found the ultimate off road, overland, expedition vehicle! A custom Land Rover with hard side camper permanently mounted. We bought and camped with this for a while, but soon discovered, it would be too small to provide a home away for a year long trip.
We have enjoyed each one of these vehicles immensely, and they have served us well. They have carried us to so many off the beaten path destinations, crossing rivers,trudging through mud, climbing volcanoes, camping, and much more! They have afforded us opportunities, the average vehicle would not withstand. And then there are the people. We have met so many amazing people along these journeys. Each country offering a beautiful culture to discover. Many countries offering multiple cultures to enjoy. Belize is near and dear to our hearts as we have spent many, many months equating to years of exploration, on many trips there, settling in Placencia for nearly a year, and meeting countless friends. We cant wait to step back across the border to see everyone, as we make our way South.
I previously posed a question to the group, asking if there was an interest in the new direction that we are headed, to keep posting our journeys on the group. The response was overwhelmingly, that it was indeed, the majority decision, for us to post pictures and stories of our journey. So.. with that being said, We will begin posting immediately as the trip progresses. If anyone has any comments or objections, please feel free to PM me directly to discuss. The reason I am trying to address this new direction, is that I know that the group was formed, and ran as an exclusive traveling Belize format. While Belize certainly will be included, it will no longer be exclusive to my posts. I hope there is an adventure traveler in all of us that will enjoy seeing all types of cultures and countries.
The picture of the aluminum frame and insulation (below) is what is being built as we speak, and I am being assured this will be complete, and installed on our Ford F250 diesel chassis prior to our departure. Fingers crossed!
We depart from the Overland Expo being held October 5th-7th in Asheville North Carolina, at the exclusive Biltmore Estate grounds. If you love overland travel and adventure, you should check the show out. There is camping all weekend on site. Check it out @ www.overlandexpo.com look for the East venue.
Stay tuned for more changes and updates as we make this transition. Planning for one year consecutive on the road is proving to be a challenge, but one that we are up for! You can follow our new blog @ www.lifeallout.com This blog has not been recently updated, but will become the platform to record our entire journey, including pictures and tips! If you have an instagram account, please follow us. Look for @lifeallout You can also “Like” us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/lifeallout/
Would you leave your home and travel in a off road camper for 1 year or more, or are we the only crazy ones!? Please comment. Id love to know your thoughts. See you on the road!
About 4 miles off of Southern Highway, down a dirt road is a village called Red bank. It has recently become a tourist destination when it was discovered that the Scarlet Macaws flock there to eat the sweet fruit of the Annato and pole wood trees. The best time to see the birds is January thru March.
We decided to drive out last Sunday afternoon for a picnic and swim along the river. The road was in good condition as it has been dry lately. The turn onto the two track narrow jungle path is not marked. Fortunately we had friends with us who knew the way.
After winding down the overgrown path for maybe a mile, we came to a “Y”. We took the left leg and found ourselves sitting above the rock laden river below.
Boulders better describe the landscape. We unloaded all of our supplies , chairs, and food, and walked to the edge of a tree shaded spot to set up.
The spot was a good mix of rocks, sand, shade and access to the river. The kids played and the men got the fire started so we could grill the hot dogs.
After eating grilled onions, and hot dogs over the open fire, some of us chose to swim while others opted for a relaxing nap in the shade. Angela and I opted for the nap.
While it was unfortunate we did not see the Macaws, we did enjoy other birds and wildlife, along with the soothing sounds of the flowing water around the rocks, forming rapids.
You just can’t really have a bad day traveling around Belize, enjoying all of its natural beauty.