They say “home is where the heart is”, which has mostly rung true for us throughout our travels. When we flew back to Colorado we were excited to be back with our friends and family, back in our house, and in a town that we love. But part of our hearts were still in a container somewhere between Chile and Texas. We deeply missed Chimera. After a year of impressing, thrilling, frustrating, and challenging us, and always providing a safe and comfortable shelter, our van really feels like our home. So for us home is where the van is (and the dog).
After a month of waiting and figuring out how to fit back into the still life we happily jumped on a plane and flew to Houston to liberate Chimera from the container that safely brought it across the seas. As expected, the process was a hassle and took longer than it should have, but before too long there we were in the port standing in front of the container that we loaded up in Valparaiso. The port crew were happy to let Tim and Corey hook the batteries up and unload the vehicles themselves, which they were eager to do.
Free at last.
Corey happy to be reunited with his Cruiser.
It felt so great to climb back into our little home with all of its familiar smells and memories. Before long we hit the highway and once again we headed north. We drove late into the night, for the first time on our entire journey, then stopped when the thunderstorms got too intense, and slept at a rest area tucked between big rigs. We drove the whole next day, luckily avoiding the major flooding in northern Texas, and by late afternoon we crossed the border into Colorado.
Just after the sun went down we pulled into our driveway in Boulder, which we had pulled out of 431 days earlier as our journey began. Now our whole van family is really home. This marks the end of this wonderful adventure, but as with most explorers this journey has only fed our wander lust and we’re starting to dream about where the van will take us next. So stay tuned, it might be a year or three, but before too long we will hit the road again heading to new places and new adventures.
Thank you everyone for following us through to the end. We are so grateful for your support and encouragement.
Our travels over the past few weeks have provided a rich feast of the senses. Vistas across high mountain roads and through thick jungles, huge ornate flowers, ancient Mayan temples, and native locals with their beautiful colorful wares have filled our eyes, accompanied by the sounds and smells of the jungle – ripe and rotting mangoes, howler monkeys, bird and insect orchestras, thunderstorms, the scent of soil and greenery after the rain. We have tasted fresh mangoes, lychees, several varieties of bananas, fresh local coffee and chocolate, countless numbers of coconut popsicles, and of course copious varieties of tacos and empanadas. Our skin has been variously soothed, assaulted, and subjected to fresh cool rain, intense heat and humidity, scratching and poking by thick jungle foliage, and innumerable insect bites, covering our legs and feet with polka dot patterns. This is Chiapas.
This morning we awoke to the hooting of howler monkeys and this view out the back door of the van. Life is good.
The state of Oaxaca offered a very welcome change from the heat of the Pacific Coast. We drove narrow, winding mountain roads with breathtaking views, enjoyed the food, coffee, markets, and culture of the city, found a great climbing area, and mingled with rural villagers.
Along the highway to Oaxaca.
After a particularly long, hot day of driving, we were held up by a traffic jam a mere five kilometers from our destination by some bored taxi drivers.
Because we were finding the Pacific coast of Mexico so hot this time of year, we decided to book it from Acapulco to Puerto Escondido so that we could high-tail it to the hills. It was a slog of a drive. We were fed up with the topes that each little town we went through had put across the highway, which require us, in our loaded down van, to slow to a crawl and uncomfortably bump up and over before accelerating back up to speed only to find the next tope. Needless to say, we were excited to finally be pulling in to Puerto Escondido with the RV park we planned to stay at dialed into the GPS so that we could get off of our sweaty backsides and tilt back a cool cerveza. The taxi drivers had something else in mind.