Monday, January 19, 2009

Drive the Americas

We got some emails from people asking us for a new post. Sorry everyone - we have gotten behind, but we have an excuse. No, not an excuse that an excellent swell showed up in Nicaragua and we have been out surfing. No, we have not been spending time lazing around a pool, or honing our Spanish speaking skills with the locals. We have been working.

Working, you ask? What legal work could a bunch of Norte Americanos with a 90 day Visa be doing in Nicaragua? We have been working on creating a website for other travelers driving the Americas. You can work from anywhere in the world on a website. Not too easy from Nicaragua though. Imagine how tricky the digital commute can be in a country where the electricity goes out at least once a day. Hard to see the keyboard let alone get on the internet when your house is lit by candles. Even when the power is up the internet connection often disappears or slows to the speed of a dial-up connection for hours at a time. (My apologies for any of you poor souls still on dial-up out there - according to Google Analytics, 1.52% of our traffic is still coming from dial-up).

Inspired by the lack of information about driving through Mexico, Central, and South America, we have banded together with our fellow road-trippers, Tom and Kelsey, to create an online resource for like-minded travelers. For the last two weeks we rented a sweet two bedroom condo near Playa Madera in San Juan del Sur here in Nicaragua and worked feverishly to put together a website called Drive the Americas. Fueled by banana-watermelon smoothies and delicious home cooked meals, we hope this website will be a useful guide for people driving the Pan-American Highway. We promise to leave our very biased opinions about Honduras to ourselves, or at least to this blog :)

You can:

  1. Sign up at
  2. Join our Facebook group
  3. Join our Flickr group
Be sure to send us your comments, and contribute your experiences and information to help us make the best, most up-to-date source of information for people traveling North, Central, and South America by car! Oh, by the way, you might have realized that I am 'blogmoting' our new site here. Remember that you heard the word 'blogmoting' here first.

Next on the agenda: driving into Costa Rica, looking for that sweet point break to surf, stay tuned...


  1. Hi! I discovered your blog in my ECamper research and have been enjoying your adventures! I wondered if you might be willing to post a little updated review of your ECamper experience...pros/cons, tricks/mods. My husband, 18 month old daughter, and I are planning to get ours this summer, and would love a little more user feedback. It appears that you guys are tall, and we're 6' and 5'8"...and sometimes find the world is a little smaller than us. BTW, not stalking you, but noticed in a Flickr photo...we're Novaks, too!

  2. Hi fellow Novaks - glad you're enjoying the blog. We love our Ecamper and have very few suggestions for John and Jim, the Ecamper guys. We do have a couple of suggestions though. The sleeping pad in the Ecamper is pretty slim, so we bring up extra thermarests for additional comfort. We velcroed the removable pads to their sunroof panels to make it easier to get in and out. We also put thin foam insulation around the edges of the sunroof hole, to cut down on road noise from the Ecamper. Since we put a roof rack on our car with a storage container and to carry the surfboards, the Ecamper now requires two people to put up and down since it's a little heavy, but that's not a big deal either.

    I assume you read our Sept 1, 2008 post as well, since we describe additional modifications we made to make living out of our car a little more comfortable. That's about all I can add right now though - you're going to love it.

  3. You have to help me out!

    There is this web site out there called The Darien Plan I'm about ready to hack it and delete it, or maybe I should start rambling through central america in search of it's creators. Upon finding them I will cut off their fingers to make sure they can no longer haunt me with their blog posts, photographs, and videos. Do they not understand what they are doing to us! The ones left behind, forced to eek out a miserable existence in cube farms across this great USA of ours. Us humble folk who have cast aside our hopes and dreams, who have embraced the "9 to 5". To keep a roof over my head I bought a $390,000 home (which is now worth about $5), but your saying all I really needed was a Honda Element? I have been waking up every morning with the same street address, when I could have been waking up every week on a different beach, and every month in a different country? Having my energy bills paid for by heat of the equator, and my breakfast provided by the banana tree on the street corner!

    No, no, no, no! I won't accept this. You are not real, you must be an organization setup by Hugo Chavez, with the goal of tarnishing the Republican American dream. Or maybe you are "Al Kida on the Beach" an offshoot of Al Kida in Iraq, who's goal it is to terrorize us with the fact that you are having a such a great time and we are not. And "Yes" I do feel terrorized by the knowledge that your only concern is weather to apply SPF 30 or SPF 40, while I have to worry about how many handicap people are going to try to get on the bus on my way home from work, making awful commute even worse.

    Yes my job sucks. Yes my house is worth less then I paid for it. Yes I freeze my ass off in the rain waiting for the bus (to save on gas and parking). But that doesn't mean that I deserve to have "The Darien Plan" rubbing it in my face, one blog post at a time.

    ps. I have written my senators and told them to change the FDIC rules to not include people that out of the country having a great fucking time. New Rule: If you are living on a beach in some other part of the world having a great time without a fucking care in the world. Then your saving is not safe. There! Take that! Now you have something to worry about too.


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