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May 5, 2017

Sommerwind Finca, Northern Ecuador. 26/4/17

The camp site is full of Overlanders stranded by the floods and landslips in Northern Peru. In fact from the devastation of Mocoa in southern Colombia down to Lima in Peru much of the country has been deluged. Roads have subsided, areas cut off. A Chilean motor cyclist managed to make it from the south although he was held up for three days at one of the flooded areas.
The bakkie, after sitting here for 9 months, started first kick. We are staying in one of the cabanas on site while the work is being done in nearby Ibarra. A bit of welding, a diesel tank full of Bolivian sludge they call diesel cleaned, new shock absorbers, then its off for 5 new tyres and wheel alignment that will just about see us ready for the road.
Plans are in a bit of flux at present: the idea was to ship it to Port Everglades near Miami but the word from other Overlanders is that the US have tightened up on insurance for foreign vehicles making it very difficult to obtain. Then we see an ad in the PanAmericana web site for someone wanting to share a container to Vera Cruz in Mexico. Why not see what Donald is getting all het up about!
Then on the same web site we see another ad for someone wanting to buy a campervan in good condition. I thought I would drop a line and find out that he is very interested. We have been thinking of calling it quits the last few months after 10 years of doing this. It will be hard selling and Mexico sounds very inviting especially it is a country where you can leave your vehicle for 10 years if necessary. We will see what eventuates in the next few days.
Los Angeles better than we expected. Only spent two nights there but the Hollywood/Beverley Hills tour was not bad. Our hotel was in Down Town LA. An area that had gone to the dogs a while back but the last few years have seen a rejuvenation take place with empty buildings being turned into apartment blocks, a metro being extended, supermarkets opening. It was alright. While there the tour bus had a bit of trouble picking us up from the hotel. Twenty minutes before pickup the Earth March started appearing on the street. It went on and on. Ten thousand was the estimate. The placards were all in the same vein ‘Save us and the world from Trump’s madness!’ It was very heartening to see.
LA Airport was a cinch. Were out on the street within 30 minutes of the plane landing. Leaving for Quito was a little more hectic but even then we were near the gate in about 30 minutes. Can’t say much for American Airlines though. Food was shocking: pretzels and juice on a 4 hour flight, then a sandwich on the international leg. Managed a wine though.

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