How do you plan for an extended trip? Common questions that seasoned travellers ask revolve around dates, schedules, tours and accommodation booked. When you’re intending to drive more than 14,000km, it’s not the same process. You have to prepare and research as much as possible but create your schedule as you go. It’s hard to know how much planning you need to do.
Have we done enough? How much is enough? We don’t know yet.
But where are you going? Do you have a plan?
We’ll collect our cars from our shipping agent in Montevideo shortly after they arrive (she says confidently). After a few days exploring Uruguay and learning about shopping, local safety, fuel, road rules and driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, we will head south through Argentina & Chile to Ushuaia. We don’t have a schedule but have some rough times estimated to keep us ‘on track’. Our intention is to have left Ushuaia and be heading north before the ‘Christmas rush’. From the southern most tip of South America, we plan on heading north through Patagonia and the southern part of Chile, then across to Rio de Janiero. After Rio, we’ll head west again through the Pantanal to enjoy the wildlife, into Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Its possible that we’ll have done all this in 6 months, and may ship the cars from Colombia to Mexico by May.
How, when, where, why, who & what Along the way we will be speaking with other travellers and adjust plans a week or so at a time in consideration of weather, road conditions, safety and things to see and do. There are many rules regarding Visas and Temporary vehicle Imports, so we will adjust plans accordingly along the way.
In preparation we have considered health, personal security, technology, language, money, clothing & climate, timing, visas, permits for vehicles, shipping vehicles and of course where to go. We have researched, read, shared and asked questions of online blogs, Facebook groups and other overlanders. We might expand on this in the coming months and are very happy to answer questions via email or at the bottom of this post.
Once we had purchased our vehicles and begun modifications, we started our serious planning with a map of South America, a conversation with friends of T&J who had recently returned to Australia after 5 years living in Chile. We’ve read guide books & blogs and conversed with The Kingsmills, who are seasoned overlanders we are lucky enough to know.
That’s about it really. We made lists and had a note book that everything went into. We have had lots of ‘group chats’ to share research and make decisions that effected all of us.
Leaving family It’s difficult to plan an overlanding trip without thinking about leaving people you love behind. This is by no means easy to do. In our group of 6 we are leaving parents, children, grandchildren and brothers and sisters. We are hoping that those who are following our travels enjoy sharing our story and that this makes up, in some small way, for us being so far away.
Fortunately technology means that it is easier to stay in touch than it once was.