We first met Victoria and Jason from Neli’s Big Adventure at Overland Expo in 2013. We were all planning to set out on the Pan-American Highway that year and we were so green (looking back). We were all focused on the wrong things (well, at least we were). Worried too much about if we had the right gear and worried about safety on the road. Trying to learn all we could from the classes and speakers. The funny thing is, if you have traveled internationally before and spent some time camping, this trip is easier than it seems. People south of the border are kind, camping is fun and your biggest problem is more than likely bad weather, car maintenance and driving in some challenging conditions (example: small villages on market day!). What we should have done to prepare ourselves for this trip is drive the XP around San Francisco for a few days before we left, attempting to drive through Farmer’s Markets and dodging smug bikers and Priuses (I owned a Prius so I can make fun of my people). Driving off road is easy, it is the busy cities with small streets that break you.
So, it was ironic and awesome that when we met Victoria and Jason again in Costa Rica it was not at a rural camp site on the road, but during a stint they had house sitting at this little dump:
Are you kidding me? This view from the house was just amazing and in case you think a few days in luxury would make us soft, we got lost in the jungle on the way to the house for THREE HOURS and then stuck against a mud wall at a steep incline, in the rain, in the dark. Sam got out the shovel and had to dig for about forty five minutes while I ran around in the mud to the top of a mountain with bats flying around me to find a cell signal so Victoria did not think we were dead. We totally earned the following days sipping rum cocktails in the infinity pool and our time cooking and catching up with our friends.
During our time away from boon-docking, we needed to do some cleaning on the XP. We got a little bit of mold on the tent part of the camper from all the humidity and rain at night. We needed to take the tent off and make sure the mold was killed. We did some research with Toni from XP and found a good solution for the mold. We used an anti fungus spray and then laid the tent in the blazing sun for two days. All the mold was gone and the tent looked brand new, it did not even have any discoloring. If you have any problems south of the border with mold (and if you have tent material, you probably will), look for this, it works really well.
Truchas Selva Madre
We heard about a great place to camp on the way to the Osa peninsula from our friends at Life Remotely up in the cloud forest of the Cerro de la Muerte area, in the Talamanca Mountain Range. It was a little pricey, but you can fish for trout here and then pay for it by the kilo and they have miles of really nice established hiking trails. While we were here, we were the only guests, it was a relaxing place to camp and hike the next day in the cool mountain cloud forest.