The Final Hurdle

There are so many things I will miss about traveling, not least of which are the funny little oddities that occur when switching back and forth between two similar languages. Saw this gem in Ushuaia while we were in route to meet the Germans buying our van!



We picked up Dominque and Anne and drove to an overlander campground to sort out the vehicle stuff. Over the next two days we would take everything out of the van, disassemble it completely, show the new owners every square inch of the vehicle, and then attempt to pack everything we wanted to keep into a couple backpacks. No problem right?

So much stuff to sort, so much information to relay...
So much stuff to sort, so much information to relay…

It was a weird experience, having people pick through your home and ask you questions about it. We also came across some stuff that made us laugh while we were packing.

These are the left over papers from borders. It's not all of them because a lot of borders keep the papers when you check it. Nonetheless... that a lot permission in Spanish!
These are the left over papers from borders. It’s not all of them because a lot of borders keep the papers when you check out. Nonetheless… that a lot permission in Spanish!

Packing is truly challenging too. Despite selling a lot of stuff and leaving many things with the van, there was still a ton of things to sort out.

"Hey Niccole, how are we going to fit all of this into a few backpacks?"
“Hey Niccole, how are we going to fit all of this into a few backpacks?”


Magic! (and a few boxes for the Post Office)

I also got the feeling that our buyers were more than a little green around the gills. Odd comments, strange questions, and telling stories. In addition it turned out this would be the guy’s first car… ever! But really, that’s not any of our concern in theory. Maybe they’re in way over their heads and maybe they’re not. We’re simply selling a van. We give them the keys, they give us the money. Simple. And after a lot of organizing and elaboration and packing, that is exactly what we did! Sold!

Handing over the keys!

We were supposed to get a power of attorney drafted by a lawyer giving them rights to do whatever they want with the van for as long as they want. We went to all three places in Ushuaia and were turned away by each. Apparently, unless the title has been officially translated into Spanish, they can’t issue the¬†poder. The only place to have this translation done is in Buenos Aires, 3,000 km away. Not happening. So we made our own bill of sale in Spanish and English, printed it out, and gave each party signed papers. I signed the title and gave it to him and after that we took it to Aduanas and had them cancel my import papers. They could get their new ones themselves at the next border heading north. That was it. That and a little photoshopping to duplicate a Colorado registration with the correct name on it. Just a little something to speed those Bolivian border crossings along ūüėČ

Next up we took a bunch of clothes and camping gear to the post office and shipped it home. I thought post offices at home sucked. Wow, it must be a universal thing – it was a madhouse. We did get it done though and I really, really hope we see the boxes again someday. That would just be swell.

And just like that, we were backpackers! Selling the van was hugely important for us.¬†Recouping that money and absolving ourselves of further responsibility for the van were the last major cruxes of the trip. That and packing. It was a relief to have it all done and a very liberating feeling. Suddenly we’re only responsible for a few small backpacks – that’s it!

We watched the Germans drive off in the first home we had ever purchased and lived with each other in. I was a little sad until I saw them immediately pull into the YPF to fill the gas guzzling beast!

Fitting final sighting of the van for us. So long Bertha. Drink, be merry.
Fitting final sighting of the van for us. So long Bertha. Drink, be merry.

Adios Bertha! You got us to the end of the world! We’ll never forget you. May you have many more adventures in your future!

We snagged a couple tickets to Buenos Aires and hit the air! BA here we come!


Buenos Aires is a mellow, dreamy city. Nothing seems to move too fast despite it having a busy downtown and a population of 3 million. I thinks it’s the combination of Argentinian culture and¬†oppressively hot, humid days. It’s just not the kind of place to hurry in. The streets and plazas are enormous and the architecture is really something special. Getting around is easy too thanks to a very efficient and dirt cheap subway system. It is certainly high on my list of favorite cities now and an excellent place to spend our final days before heading home!¬†We’ve been hostel hopping, making new friends, exploring the city, and partying a bit for our last week or so in South America! Here’s a few pics from this muggy city.




Park sesh!
Park sesh!
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

So there you go. We fly home on Wednesday! After endless summer for 14 months we will return to the Colorado winter! I only kept a few things stashed at home, but my snowboard was one of them! Can’t wait to see our family and friends. Just imagine, craft beer… on tap everywhere no less!!! Bagels. Chips and salsa. Park Burger! Flushing toilet paper – heck even a bathroom at all for that matter! Not to mention English speakers! Oh the list could go on and on. We’re truly excited after this long on the road to come home! Funny how the travel bug can get you though, ideas for new trips are hatched constantly. It’s only a matter of time. There’s a lot of world left out there!

And also, just when you thought the craziness might stop, I just received and email from the Germans and you are never going to believe what has happened.¬†This will require an additional blog post. Stay tuned and prepare yourselves. It’s not pretty…

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