November 14, 2012
“We will be pulling out of our driveway at 6pm. The car is packed. The dogs are fed. I have my “Bucky” in the front seat. Chris likes night driving. We have an 18 hour drive since we are leaving 2 days later than planned. Too many last minute things. I think we packed too much. Hard to pack for a year in a foreign country…with dogs! Kennels take a lot of space.”
Chris prefers to leave after rush hour, but we needed to hit the road. We had 1800 miles to drive. We would arrive in Miami with just enough time to drop off our car before the gates closed. Our flight left the next day.
The car was packed to the ceiling with a space down one side for the dogs. We did opt to leave some things due to lack of room. Packing is challenging: How do you plan for everything we would need to “live” for the next year? We filled the space with numerous suitcases, 2 kennels, 2 backpacks (one was a PacSafe), duffle bags, dog food etc. I even had my pots and pans along – that turned out to be an excellent decision. Electronics are VERY expensive in South America – we found space for quite a few. Although there was a limit, we did have a car we could fill; not just suitcases. We love to travel light, but that was not an option on this adventure.
Our house was left in the hands of a realtor to find a renter. We would have sold our house, but the market was terrible. We were not crazy about being absentee landlords, but it would be nice to have the rental income for living expenses. Eventually, we lucked out and found a great family of four who stayed for 2 ½ years.
We arrived in Miami with just enough time for Chris to drop me, the 2 dogs, 2 kennels, a few suitcases, and two backpacks at the hotel before dropping off our car. DAS Global had made arrangements with a guy named “Shark” (gotta love it) who secured the shipping container, got our car into the container and locked down, and made sure the container got on the ship.
Note: We had to give “Shark” our original car title. Made us nervous to hand it over to him. Within a few days, it was sent by DHL to Uruguay. It now has a number of tiny holes punched in it – shipping information. You must have a clear title – no loans/liens. You can not ship a vehicle without it. Also, you can not cross borders without a clear title that matches the name on one of the passports crossing.