There’s nothing further from a description than an experience. ---Franz Kafka

While that may be true Franz, we’ll give it a shot!--- NCB

We got the idea for our current around-the-world trip in 1997, when we took a shorter trip to Belize and Guatemala. When we returned, we heard about two 60-year-old guys who had driven a 1954 Packard convertible around the world. That got us dreaming and led to the 1999 tour. But first, here's our 1997 Journal.     

The trip was organized by Dr. Ben Mathes, a minister from the state of Georgia, who heads up a volunteer organization called "Rivers of the World." Ben does all kinds of missionary work in a Land Rover Defender 90. 

Ben organized a driving trip to Belize, joined by a number of  Land Rover owners who "...brought their share of supplies for the people of Belize!" 

Ben is a natural leader. People who give morning briefings to their groups have sincere intentions to keep the lines of communication open; Ben did just that. He always made sure we knew what was going on. 

My wife Chanda and I, and two other companions were among the group to make the trip. So on July 4th of 1997, we piled into two Land Rover Dormobiles (the same two we're taking on our current trip), and left Los Gatos, California for Belize and Guatemala. Chanda and I drove Alaska, the 1962 Dormobile.

Our other two travelers, Todd Borgie and Dave Hughes, affectionately referred to as "the Peace Corps guys," drove Hercules, the 1970 Dormobile. We brought along a luggage carrier filled with an estimated $6,000 in donated supplies.

Our group had the furthest to travel to get to Belize. We also had the two oldest Land Rovers in the bunch. Our route took us out of the US and into Mexico, down the Baja peninsula to the capital of La Paz. There, the Land Rovers were loaded on a ferry bound for Mazatlan. Once we were on the mainland, we drove east through Tepic, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz to Villahermosa — a city in the Mexican state of Tabasco. 

Villahermosa is on the Caribbean side, and there we met up with a large group of other Rover owners from the US who had come by another route.

Getting two vehicles ready for a 9,000—mile trip was half of the challenge. Planning the route was the other half. And driving was yet another half. Okay, I know that's three halves — but that's what it seemed like. You can read some entries from my journal, and see for yourself what the trip was like. 


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