Adios Sea Level!

Alright folks, Colombia is going down! Forget simply retrieving our home from one of millions of containers floating around the multitude of ports. Never mind the obnoxious humidity, blistering heat, and complimentary lack of wind. No, no no no, we must bathe in the mud volcano before we even attempt to deal with anything serious. I mean, imagine a human stew with a complimentary dude rub. Or how about a native stripping you naked in a river faster than you can say “where’d my top go” or “so much mud…” Well, all of that and more can be yours on a simple outing from the hostel in Cartagena. For a mere $17 US you can have one of the most interesting, bizarre, novel experiences of your life. Plus, how often does one get the opportunity to get inside an actual volcano?!?! It goes a little something like this:

  1. Climb the stairs, enter the mud volcano, get rubbed down (by a dude). Not sure if I’ll ever be able to forget the guy saying, “Relax, relax. Welcome to Colombia.”
  2. Exit mud volcano, head to river, get stripped faster than you can say “whoa” by a mama and vigorously washed.
  3. Buy overpriced beer and wait for staff to collect tips from you for said services.

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Sailing to Colombia – San Blas Paradise!

Our trip to Colombia begins with an early 5:30am four wheel drive capable taxi pickup at the hostel. After about an hour of driving we’re in Kuna territory on roads so steep that even the powerful trucks we’re in must build significant momentum before attempting each one. A minor accident on the top of one of these steep hills provides a chance to stretch our legs. Read More

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Pool poaching

60k With No Brakes, Temporarily Homelessness, and The Art of Luxury Pool Poaching

As if the weeks of planning, paperwork acquisition, and a minor bomb threat weren’t enough to make the shipping process the stressful pain in the ass that anyone who’s been through it will tell you it is, no sooner than we pull away from the hostel on the morning we ship, then the brakes completely die! Refilling the reservoir with brake fluid deposits its entirety on the ground faster than you can get the van in gear and even need to stop. Not a brake line which we could duct tape, but the actual slave in the caliper. After 10,000 miles of travel with only one spark plug going bad, we cannot believe the bad luck as we scramble to decide on a course of action. Read More

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Build Costs

The following is a complete breakdown of the materials and cost for building out the van from scratch. The first table is an overview. Any item in bold in the first table has a more detailed table below covering individual items and associated costs. We spent a total of $7,354 purchasing the van and outfitting it entirely. These numbers do not include any mechanical repairs that were done to the van prior to leaving. We spent close to 5k more replacing the head gasket and having the transmission rebuilt among other things bringing the grand total of the van to approximately 12k.

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