Well, the birthday celebrations are over (Tom’s and Stewart’s in Uruguay and Leah and Christopher’s in Australia). We have spent the last couple of days in Paraiso Swisse organizing the vehicles. By this we mean finding places in our vehicles for all the items we bought with us, testing bits of equipment (solar panels, cooking equipment, electronic devices etc) and talking to the occupants of this small campground. The campground is specifically for Overlanders and many have completed this part of their travels and are preparing to ship their vehicles home through the port of Montevideo. Six of the eight travellers have what we would call trucks – Iveco and Mercedes predominantly, of various configurations, but all are BIG vehicles compared to ours. However, people travel in all manner of vehicles; Filiep from Belgium has travelled to most countries in the world in his 80 Series Landcruiser with very few ‘creature comforts’.
Most of those in the park at the moment are very experienced world overland travellers – we’re talking travels to ALL parts of the world! Some travel for 6 – 9 months then park their vehicles (secure vehicle storage locations are passed on through word of mouth) and fly home for a few months, then return to pick up vehicles and continue travelling. Currently there are Swiss, French, Belgian & German campers here along with the six of us, all roughly in our age group. We had read about this ‘community’ of Overlanders in the lead-up to this trip and have now experienced the friendliness and wealth of experience they enthusiastically share. Information overload is the only problem at the moment! This campground is also a secure storage place and there are currently 20 vehicles of all shapes and sizes from across the world, parked up and waiting for their owners to return and continue travelling. Tomorrow we head East for a bit along the coast, then loop around through Central Uruguay towards Fray Bentos and the border crossing into Argentina. Stay tuned.