Since SparkleGirl and I got married a year ago, we have dreamed about taking a long trip traveling around the world. I wanted to come up with a main “goal” for our trip, and my first idea was to circumnavigate the globe by sailboat. SparkleGirl talked me out of the idea, pointing out that she gets seasick easily and that we didn’t know anything about sailing. I reminded her that I spent a summer sailing on lake Mendota in Wisconsin during college, but to no avail.
After a few months of hard thought while drinking Pacifico beers, my mind made the following leap, see if you can follow it:
Yachting Around the Worldto
Land Yachting Around the Worldto
Land Yachting to the Tip of South America
Is it possible to drive from the United States to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America? Could I set a new record to be the first to try this? After a little research on The Google, the simple answer to both questions is NO.
The trip has been done by many people – Lonely Planet has an online guide on how to do it, and this couple are doing the trip for a second time in a 40 foot RV! Someone walked half of the way, some people have biked it, I am sure someone’s grandma did it in her walker by now. It’s hard to be the first at anything out there with 6 billion people competing with you. That’s not even counting all the people that have lived since we stopped being apes or were magically put here, depending on your beliefs. I just need to think of a smaller niche to be the first person in, such as the first person to drive from the US to the tip of South America wearing a cowboy hat, or something. Let me know if you come up with any ideas for me.
The not so simple answer to the second question is a little less straightforward. The Pan-American Highway goes from Alaska to Argentina, except for a small section between Panama and Colombia called the Darien Gap. In the past you could at least get a guide and hike through to Colombia, and people have successfully crossed it using once again on foot, by bicycle, motorcycle, and off road vehicles. At this time, drug runners, rebel groups, and locals that are fed up with outsiders make it too dangerous for even a foot crossing. So, you can drive to the tip of South America, if you ship your car around the Darien Gap.
So that is our plan. Everything but the Darien Gap should be simple – just get on the Pan-American Highway and drive south. Oh, and of course a few other details we will be working out. Stay tuned…