Names: Brad and Jana Collin
Hometowns: Los Angeles, California
Road trip destination: Los Angles to Panama
Date left home: March 6, 2008
Date trip ended: No end date really. We flew back home for the holidays but are returning to Costa Rica in March to landscape our new property and house sit another property for the rest of the year.
Top 2 campsites: (1) Hotel Chancletas, northern Nicaraugua; (2) Pepe's Cabana's, Barra De La Cruz, Mexico
Preferred guidebook(s): Mexico Camping and Costa Rica Lonely Planet
Top 2 travel gadgets/devices: No devices other than maps.
Worst border experience: Honduras was definitely the worst in terms of corruption. They told is they were closed for the day and perhaps longer. We had to bribe officials on order to get through. With the help of local guides we got through in about 4 hours. But every official in the country was corrupt. I would have to recommend nudie mags and cigarettes as another option besides money.
To top it off we didn't have enough money to get out of the country after all of the mordidas and had to drive about 60 kilometers back in. Our experience was nerve wracking but we have only driven the shortest stretch
between between El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Highlight of the trip: Well, we came home for the holidays and to work a bit. Luckily we sold the truck to the "Costa Rica Dive and Surf" store in Dominical. So... I guess the trip's over.
Highlights, seriously, there were so many that all we can do is go back for more.
Best piece(s) of practical advice for someone following in your footsteps: Be mindful of your profile. Make a gazillion copies of all your important documents and hide them throughout your vehicle. You'll need copies of your passport, driver's license, vehicle title, vehicle registration, and any immunization or certifaction documents for your pet. If you just have these ready to give to border agents and guides it takes a lot of hassle out of the process.
Have extra tires, have engine and radiator inspection prior to trip because of excessive heat and wear.
Organization is key to moving quickly through inspections, the less you have the better. Cooperating and talking to officials helps tremendously.
Brad and Jana's website: www.surfaricollin.com