South America

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.

Sacrificial lambs (Drive Day 226: Feb 10th, 2004)

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The festival is building to its finale and the campground is overflowing with families. Each designated spot is filled with a pile of firewood surrounded by lawn chairs and a ring of tents and cars serving as changing rooms, pantries and extra beds. One family pulls up in an old Ford Falcon with a kid on the roof holding a fuzzy white lamb in his lap. I knew Argentineans are all about family but I had no idea they even brought their pets to campgrounds. Well, turns out they don’t. On my way back from the showers I saw that in less than ten minutes the “pet” was hanging from a rope without its skin and the kid had turned his attention to the cooking fire.

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.

The joy of waiting (Drive Day 225: Feb 9th, 2004)

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We have no idea which day or event is the most important and it is delectable not to care. Each day brings more time to absorb Argentinean rural culture. Even waking at night to walk through the campground to the bathrooms is accompanied by the soft sounds of tango playing from radios. The local classifieds are a window to another world – where horses cost more than cars, and the newest cars for sale are from the 80s.

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.