Panamericana roadtrip memories 2

| Sapa Pana Travel

The Panamericana road trip started in December 2011. A car trip through South America with 83 classic Volvo's. In 35 days and 16,000 kilometres, these Volvo enthusiasts drove from Buenos Aires in Argentina, via the south to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. On our blog we will share memories of this memorable journey in the near future.

Day 7: Comodoro Rivadavia-Rio Gallegos, Argentina

Team 68
Every single day the trucks here surprise me. The roads here are dual carriageways and these giant things race back and forth over them. Sometimes you can see kilometres of road stretched out in front of you, mirages making it hard to see and then somewhere in the distance something immense rises up from the boiling asphalt. We slowly see something appear that looks most like an apartment building on wheels and it is thundering towards us. Our type of car – which has  been nicknamed ‘the tank’ – turns into a Dinky Toy and I’m sweating, my hands clenched around the steering wheel waiting for the blow even though I looked so cool this morning in my overalls (hair all neat, fabulous sun glasses). After a massive air current and a lot of noise the beast has passed. Pffff.

Day 8, Rio Gallegos – Ushuaia, Argentina

Team 41
Today was an exciting day: we went to Ushuaia, the most Southern city in the world. A journey during which we crossed 2 borders, took a ferry and drove 100 km on a gravel road. Tonight we did some maintenance on the car: filled up the oil (wasn’t too bad), lubricated some parts (wasn’t too bad), but we also cleaned up our mess (not that great). Oh yes, we also cleaned the radiator, which was pretty clogged with bugs and that affected the cooling. By the way, cooling is a hot item. Everyone wants to know what others have done to give the engine some extra cooling. When we tell them about our high tech modification (a block of wood under the hood) they raise their eyebrows. 

When we have to stop at one of the many police posts the policeman asks us: ‘This is wowo?’ We don’t understand his question and shrug. The policeman walks around our car and says: ‘Yes, this is wowo!’ Us: ‘Aaaah, okay, yes: VOLVO!’

Day 9: Ushuaia

Team 60
Finally a day off. No excursions, no 800 km drive. We had a bit of a lie in and then hung around the cars a little. This place is breathtaking. On our way here we drove past forests with trees that were covered in some sort of stringy moss, very surreal! In the afternoon we took a drive on a little road that brought us even further down south. We saw foxes on the road. We also passed a few villages and not much later the road really stopped: the end of the world indeed! It’s a really odd feeling when you stop to think about it. The feeling that you really are at the southernmost point of the habitable world, a long way from home and not even all that far away from the South Pole. 

Book Panamericana roadtrip

As a reminder of this memorable journey, the book 'Panamericana Roadtrip' has been published. The story is told with the stunning photographs from travel photographer Thijs Heslenfeld, supported by a selection of some of the many stories written by the heroes of this journey. For everyone that did not participate in this journey, it is a wonderful book to dream away with. The proceeds of this book go to the special projects of the HoPe Foundation. This organisation - founded by Walter Meekes - is involved in developing education in the remote mountain villages around the Peruvian city of Cuzco. 

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