Dr. Seuss and Solar Power

The More that You Read,

The More Things You Will Know.

The More that You Learn,

The More Places You Will Go.

˜ Dr. Seuss

A year ago — no a MONTH ago – had you asked me about solar power, I would have given you a blank look.  What a difference a month makes and shows that the more that I read, the more things I will know and armed with that learning, the more places Roque and I will go.

From the scores of Overlander blogs from we have read and studied over the past couple of months, it seemed pretty clear that life on the road will be a whole lot more comfortable and enjoyable if we have a 12 volt refrigerator with us.  Not to be confused with thermoelectric coolers, 12 volt refrigerator/freezers are true refrigerators and have the capacity to maintain temperature required for real refrigeration, regardless of external temps.  Not only will this allow us to have fresh veggies, beverages and meat food on hand for days, it will allow us to save leftovers, etc. without having to deal with the inconvenience of locating ice and dealing with the melting, to say nothing of the spoilage that inevitably results from days of camping with coolers and ice.  Not a necessity, for sure, and relatively expensive (certainly compared to the cost of ice), but having such a fridge is a luxury we figure will be a great investment considering the amount of time we will be on the road and the unknowns of locating fresh food and ice. Continue reading “Dr. Seuss and Solar Power”

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Getting ready – Part I

This is How We Will Roll

Having decided that we would embark on this road trip en route to Panama, and having rejected the idea of taking one of our Audis, we began to consider what kind of vehicle we wanted to drive.  Studying postings by Overlanders revealed a stunning array of exotic vehicles selected for this massive road trip.  There are Overlanders on bicycle and motorcycle, in motor homes and in antique cars, in modified ancient VW (and similar vans), in trucks, in SUVs and in contraptions referred to as “Global Expedition vehicles,” which are like motor-homes on steroids.  Much as Roque, like many men, might secretly pine away for the testosterone-charged Earth Cruiser or something similar, I waited for his fiscal prudence and common sense to kick in (since expedition vehicles start at a whopping $175,000+) so that we could talk about something a tad more affordable and, for me, easier to climb into.

Overlanders use all kinds of vehicles (ambulance conversion anyone?) and many seem to favor older-model Toyota Highlanders (ca. 1980’s) apparently due to the early generation Hilux truck body on which the Highlander was built.  As you can see, I read enough to sound like I know what I am talking about but frankly, this is all way beyond me and I was NOT enticed to start looking on Craig’s List for 30 year old trucks with which to take this trip. Continue reading “Getting ready – Part I”

Getting to Panama -The Road Trip

The Road to Panama

While visiting with expats in Panama, one frequently-asked question focused on whether to move with all, part or none of our belongings.  The temptation was strong, at least initially, for us to sell or give away everything we owned, pack a couple of suitcases of essentials, and start anew.  New life, new things.  No baggage with no baggage.

We learned that expats take all approaches. Our friends Holly and Scott packed and shipped a HUGE shipping container of items, including loads of tools and equipment that Scott knew he would need and want for the construction of their casita, home and to use daily in his workshop in Boquete. Others started virtually from scratch.  Still others suggested a middle ground approach of leaving much and taking some things, particularly those of sentimental value. The things that would make us feel at home in our new home.

The middle ground approach appealed to us as we thought about our new start.  We knew that some things are inexpensive in Panama and worth replacing; other things were going to be harder or more expensive to replace. So we met with an international mover (recommended by others in Panama), got estimates and proceeded with the plan to pack much of our house for shipping to Panama once we settled. Continue reading “Getting to Panama -The Road Trip”