Overlanders (Drive Day 233: Feb 17th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0217a.jpg

It is in this stretch of between-ness that we discover overland tours. When you encounter foreign travelers here it is because they are en route to someplace more dramatic: the Peninsula Valdez or Tierra del Fuego.

0217b.jpg

Adventurous types hitch rides in converted military vehicles and beefed up, outback-style busses that barrel over viciously gravel roads in the dead of night. And it isn’t only young people.

 

0217c.jpgAt Peninsula Valdez we meet a retired Nebraskan and her German husband who are driving their Armageddon-ready, converted Mercedes WWII communications vehicle through every country on every continent. Our 1968 Avion seems delicate and fragile by comparison, especially when we know that this drive is coming to an end. We will have to sell our little house-on-wheels to fund our return trip.

0217d.jpg

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Bariloche to El Bolson and beyond (Drive Day 232: Feb 16th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0216a.jpg

The landscape opens up the farther south, toward Patagonia. Trees and mountain lakes give way to vast expanses of wind and wonder.

0216b.jpg

It is sparse, yes, but strangely beautiful too. On the long stretches of driving that the guidebooks shudder to mention for the monotony, we find freedom unparalleled. If I could fill my life with paintings of the way the land arches to meet the convergence of clouds in an Argentinean steppe, I would never need windows.

0216c.jpg

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Nahual Haupi National Park (Drive Day 231: Feb 15th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0215a.jpg

On our steel horse we ride – away from the spot that has held us captive longer than any along this road trip. As if to reassure us that we’ve made the right decision, the sun breaks through a rainy sky. There’s more, it seems to say. And we are ready.

0215b.jpg

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

My Valentine to Argentina (Drive Day 230: Feb 14th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0214a.jpg

It is fitting that our last day in Junin is Valentine’s because we are equally, unabashedly smitten. We have camped without any fear of imposing because the welcome is so natural. We haven’t locked the doors since getting here and we toss our towels on branches while we swim in the crystal-clear waters without worry. There is literally no hotel in the world that could be more romantic than our bunk in the cozy Avion. Argentina is both reward and renewal in the way that only travel offers.

0214b.jpg

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Closer to my parents (Drive Day 229: Feb 13th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0213.jpgBeing forced to sell the camper in Bolivia meant my parents never got to see this part of the Pan-American Highway. I have a feeling if they had, we might never have gone on to South Africa or back to North America. No doubt some of Junin’s charm is in the energy of the rodeo – not every day would be as interesting and colorful if you lived here fulltime. But this freedom, this openness, is what my parents were searching for and would have found in Argentina. Everyone camps. There is an appreciation for tranquility. We are no longer the oddities we were in the rest of the continent and I am not oblivious to the relief of fitting in. The festival is coming to a close and pulling up stakes will be harder than ever before.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Country and western (Drive Day 228: Feb 12th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

 

0212.jpgWestern is still a lifestyle here in Junin; it hasn’t been reduced by tourism quite yet. There are corner stores that sell saddles next to the powdered milk. In the heat of the day, even during Puestero, Argentineans take a three-hour break, close their shops and close ranks with their families for the big meal of the day and a siesta. It may be the never-far-off sounds of bandoneons and accordions but it seems like people work simply to live – not the other way around.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Mapuche magestry (Drive Day 227: Feb 11th, 2004)

Posted on Updated on

0211.jpg

Kicking through dusty streets watching cowboys cleaning saddles is a time warp. We could be in wild west America, except the scenes playing out in front of us don’t seem to contain any Indians. Until the day of the big parade. That’s when we see the entrada of the Mapuche. They too ride with long facons tucked in the small of their backs but instead of blousey shirts tucked into pleated riding pants, the indigenous riders wear solemn red ponchos and leather boots as wafer thin as socks.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.