The plan was simple: Complete the trip by driving north into Brazil where we’d spend maybe three months exploring and then ship the car back to the States. After entering Brazil we began the process of researching vehicle shipping from Brazil. One of the first posts we came across was a former traveler who tried to do just that. He began by writing “DO NOT just drive your car to the end of a continent and expect you’re going to put it on a ship and get it back to the states.” After reading his entire lengthy, complicated and expensive process we decided that we needed a plan B. Executing this in Brazil where we speak zero Portuguese was simply not going to work. The bureaucracy is thick and multilayered and the expense was prohibitive. The most efficient and economical way to do this was to drive west across the entire continent and then north up the west coast of Peru to Lima where we could ship Amelia in a container to Los Angeles. We’re going to miss most of Brazil. I guess we’ll just have to come back.
The maps showed a road from Curumba’ Brazil across northern Bolivia but we couldn’t determine the condition of the road. No one we talked to had traversed the entire way but we hit the road anyway. Bolivian road construction is unlike anywhere else. There are no warning signs, no clear detours, no flagmen, no guardrails etc. About half the road was under construction and it runs through mountains where there are washouts. Often we were in muddy ruts at least a foot deep. Amelia took a beating completely loosening up her front suspension and steering components, breaking off a rear shock absorber and knocking off a section of tailpipe which we were fortunate enough to salvage. She made it all the way to Lima however, the three of us just limping across the finish line.