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Shipping the Van From the UK and our Route

May 24, 2014

The big Nigerian turned to me ‘I like your All Terrains on your 4×4’ he said with a tone that could be perceived as ominous or was it just my imagination. Maybe he was just admiring them.

We were at Tilbury docks just south of London, the bakkie was lined up among a row of cars and vans in all stages of neglect. A sign said “No jump starts or push starts in this area” All these vehicles were to be loaded on the Grande Africa, the heaps would be ending up in Nigeria, and our bakkie, with all four new All Terrain tyres still fitted, we hoped, would disembark in Montevideo. The Nigerians had a good business going. buying old cars, shipping them home and making a good profit. Just hope the bakkie isn’t off loaded. They were a friendly lot with one of them giving me his phone number, he wanted to buy the van when we returned.

So the van is on its way as we are on the 26th. The plan is to fly to Santiago in Chile then make our way overland by bus ending in Montevideo before the ship scheduled arrival on the 10th June. A certain flexibility is required when dealing with shipping schedules as they could be early or late. By getting to Santiago two weeks before ETA means we can get over to the east coast quicker if we need to.

Once the van has cleared customs and insurance organized we will travel alongside the Plate River visiting historical towns like Colonia del Sacramento and Fray Bentos in Uruguay before heading north into Brazil and on up to the Iguazu Falls. From there  it will be a north west loop to Cuiaba and the Pantanel. The Lonely Planet says the Amazon is for jungle, the Pantanel is for animals. The animals won.It is an area where there is a good chance to see jaguars. Caimans are everywhere  as are the ubiquitous capybara, the world’s largest rodent.  The roads here are dirt and impassable in the rainy season, there are countless bridges many in a state if disrepair. Four World Cup games are played in Cuiaba and although the Australia/Chile game will be too early for us, it would be great to see at least one of them. Maybe the Nigeria/Bosnia Herzogovina one a little later on.

We will retrace our direction a little to Campo Grande from where we head to the border and into Paraguay. It’s a country seldom visited by Overlanders and well known as a Nazi refuge with Joseph Mengele living here for many years and perhaps Martin Bormann whose death in Berlin is subject to much conjecture. Paraguay has recently been voted the World’s happiest country and South American countries taking out 12 of the top 20 places. Australia came in 18th.

From there we will head towards the Andes then make our way south to the Mendoza area where the bakkie wil take a rest till early 2015

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