We had twenty four hours to pack our bags, weigh them to make sure they didn’t exceed the airline weight limit, drop Brady off at Nate’s parents house to be “doggy sat” for the next two months and wake up at 2am for the drive to Boston to catch our flight back to Costa Rica. Holy moly. It seemed impossible…. almost, anyways. This isn’t the first time that we have put off doing the things we are supposed to do to the point of making ourselves completely uncomfortable and stressed. It actually seems to work better for us. We should have been named The Procrastinator’s Looong Journey South.
After looking into the shipping process across the Darien Gap, we decided it would be better for Brady to be left home and then flown to meet us in South America. Only having one flight to S.A. seemed better for him than flying with us back to Costa Rica, traveling with us through Panama for about a month, waiting in the truck while we complete the tedious shipping paperwork and then being flown or sailed across the Darien Gap to Colombia. As hard as it was to say bye to him and know that we would have to travel without our best friend for a little while, it is in his best interest. He is in good, loving hands at Nate’s parents house, until we can figure out a good place to have him sent to us.
The night before our return flight, we had pizza with our parents and Brady and then went home to figure out our baggage. We packed and unpacked uncountable times. Having about 120 pounds of truck parts and gear didn’t make it easy to fit everything into three bags under 50 lbs each. We needed a new rotor, caliper, and axel u-joint for the front drivers side, brake pads all around, a track bar heim and other miscellaneous parts and tools. We had also bought some things that we were having a hard time finding down there and had to shove those in our bags too. After packing the checked bags to the gills and weighing them, we still had a stack of clothes to find a place for. You can see where our priorities are… Clearly, we would rather be naked and have Truck run perfectly. She deserves all the new parts after carting our asses through eight countries and 17,000 miles of the roughest roads we have ever seen! That night, we hit the hay at 11:40pm with our alarm clock set for 2:00am on the dot. Phew!
Waking up ready to go, we threw our bags in the back of my parent’s car and hit the road, but not before a quick Dunkin’ Donuts stop to charge up before the two hour drive to Boston. We arrived early for our flight and went over to the desk clerk to check our bags. Two were an even 49 lbs and one was 47lbs!! Go us! We checked into our flight online but it wouldn’t let us print our tickets because we didn’t have return tickets back to the states. We explained to the lady that we were flying back to Costa Rica to pick up our truck and continue driving South to Argentina. With a puzzled look, she put in an override code and sent us on our way. I hope Costa Rica and Panama will see it the same way!
The flights to San Jose went smooth and better than expected. When we arrived to customs in Costa Rica, we expected to have trouble because of all the car parts. We hoisted our bags off the baggage conveyer to find them completely torn apart, literally, and shoved back together. However, everything seemed to be there! We placed them through the x-ray one more time, were waved on and walked out of the airport to find our free hotel shuttle waiting for us outside!
We decided to stay at a hotel we have been to before when our friend Sean came to visit. It is a simple Best Western Hotel but has a free airport shuttle, free breakfast in the morning at Denny’s, laundry machines, a pool and hot tub, a casino and even an open bar at the casino every night from 5-6pm!! We were so excited to be back, but decided that we would just chill and hang out at the hotel for the first night since we didn’t get there until dinnertime. Tomorrow morning, we get to go pick up Truck! EEEEKK we couldn’t be more excited!