Vanlife–Lance are taking us back to Chile

We still love our new life with Lance, and no we don’t miss the motorcycles. Especially our time in Argentina have been a mix of sunshine, rain, wind and low temperatures which makes us even more happy with our choice of selling the motorcycles and buying a van. Yes, sometimes we drive on a road, that would have been amazing on a motorcycle, but we still enjoy the drive in Lance, sometimes it just takes longer, but in the end we still have much more energy when we get to our destination.

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Our friends, Jordan and Forest gave us this book “Two wheels through terror” by Glen Heggstad alias “Striking Viking”, who travels from California, USA to Ushuaia, Argentina and back in just 8 months. He writes in this book “It is not about the destination, it is about the journey”. When we started our adventure on the motorcycles and traveled through Mexico it was about the journey, but slowly it changed from the journey to the destinations. This explains why we had to change from motorcycles to van, because the aim for our adventure was no longer the journey but the destinations. We want to learn more about the countries we travel in and go explore both nature and culture on our way. It is a journey and a chapter in our lives, where we learn from the destinations that we visit.

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Camping in Lanin National Park (Lago Lolog)

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Having the opportunity to cook with local ingredients and the time and energy to BBQ. Baking potatoes, butternut squash, sesame seeds with oil and spices as a side for a big piece of meat. 

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Living a van-life is sometimes also cheaper, because canned food is more expensive than fresh food both in Central and South America (including the countries we have traveled so far). The cost of these steaks was only 4,5 USD (28 DDK), and there is enough for two meals, which calculates into 1,2 USD (7 DDK) per person per meal. In comparison a can of salmon cost 3,3 UDS (20 DDK), or if the canned tuna is on sale it is about the same price. Also our diet has a bigger variety compared to when we traveled on the motorcycles. Now it is not a problem carrying a bag of charcoals, real wooded charcoals – the best we have ever bought! (right picture). On the other hand we spend a lot more money on alcohol, we have never before been drinking and enjoying so much wine. It was just not possible to carry a bottle of wine on the motorcycles. Then there is the accommodation. In both Chile and Argentina we would be able to wild-camp (camping for free), but when the weather gets cold and rainy we still wild-camp in Lance, where we on the motorcycles would have found a cheap hostel or hotel to spend the night trying to dry out or motorcycle gear. In the end we are still trying to live for 66 USD a day including everything also the extra maintenances we have already had on Lance, and I had to buy more asthma medication, because my supply, bought in Denmark, has run out.

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Even doing the dishes seams so easy now

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Driving towards the border in Lanin National Park all gravel for more than 100 km… yes, we could have done it a lot faster on the motorcycles, but we enjoy the drive in Lance, and think more about our destination in Chile.

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Like taking care of the motorcycles, we are also taking good care of Lance. Checking the breaking pads and supply him with new oil every 5000-7000 km. Check out how handsome he is looking from underneath wlEmoticon-winkingsmile Vanlife–Lance are taking us back to Chile.

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Two border crossing further north than the one we took to Bariloche, we exit Argentina for the first time. We are the only ones at the border, which consists of two containers, that is temporary in place at the border during the summer from December to April. It took only 5 minutes and we are back in Lance driving into Chile where a lonely sign welcomes us. After about 10 km we get to the Chilean border and customs control, where they search the vehicle for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat etc. We had prepared everything: (1) ate all the food that was fresh, (2) cooked all our quinoa, because quinoa is a seed, it is illegal to bring into Chile, (3) ate all our nuts, (4) we cleaned up everything in Lance, so we new where all our non-fresh food where and (5) showed them our Lentils which we were not sure, that we could take back to Chile. All in all they looked through all our food, and checked the lentils and the dog treats. They didn’t confiscate anything, and now we know a lot more of what food we are allowed to bring across the border. After 1 hour and 15 minutes in total, accounting exit Argentina, driving 10 km on a dirt road and getting back into Chile we were back on the road. Our fastest border crossing!

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First stop in Chile THE BUTCHER

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Buying a good piece of meat!

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Next stop was the rubber store (In Chile: “gomeria”), because during our stay in Argentina we found out that Lance has a leak. So every time it rained water came in at the top of the rear hatch. Trying to find the right shape and size. It is amazing the things you can find in a Chilean rubber store. Esben is a big fan!

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Esben is replacing a special rubber mount for the radiator on Lance (it was broken) – also found in the rubber store

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Stopped for the night at a river bank on our way to the German Settlement Frutillar. We cooked some food and had a cup of our favorite cheap Chilean red wine. We both jumped into the refreshing water, but only for a short time. It felt so good. We are getting so far south, that al the natural sources of water are COLD wlEmoticon-freezing Vanlife–Lance are taking us back to Chile. Anyway… when its been at least 3-4 days including 30 km of hiking since we had the last shower, a river shower is just fine.

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Can you see the ferry in the back ground, there is a close up photo. This ferry really looks like the small “Stige”-ferry, which only transport people and bicycles across “Odense”-canal in Denmark. In the right picture you see all the bugs in the air. So after our swim in the river, we hid ourselves inside Lance, and locked the bugs outside.

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See you in Frutillar in the next post.

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