The post you thought we’d never write

28 Mar
Van ready to go

Safe to say that mechanic Juan Carlos and owners Lothar and Lothar Ranft don’t ever want to see us again, nor us them.

Quito, Ecuador
[by Paula]

We’re back on the road again. No, we can’t believe it either! After 11 months off the road, the van is finally purring away happily and getting ready to turn south again.

Having our home back is an incredible feeling. We’ve had some great digs while waiting, but we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t missed it.

Some aspects of the last year have been supremely stressful – the worst thing was not knowing how or when the saga would end. But our stoppage also led to some changes of plan that we find it impossible to regret, not least our unforgettable time in Bolivia.

You might wonder how the feck it could take 11 months to repair a van. That’s something we’ll be writing more about very soon. Suffice to say that – as far as we have been told – this is the first time in the world an automatic-manual gearbox conversion has been done on our specific model, year and engine-type. If anyone knows otherwise, we’d be happy to hear it.

It was bloody difficult for all concerned, but we’ve done it. Our mechanic’s wife waved us off last night with particular gusto.

For now we have another enormous challenge to face before we can truly relax and enjoy the ride, and we sincerely hope that very soon we can report good news on that front too.

Thanks to family, friends and fellow travellers for your concern and encouragement, now let’s hit that road!

9 Responses to “The post you thought we’d never write”

  1. imolcho March 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    thumbs up! safe drive.
    we will be entering bolivia from argentina in 2 weeks time headed north. have been hosted by westy club buenos aires these days. see andeanroads@yahoo.com – look for cristian, that is if you’re coming that way. hasta luego.

    • seventeenbysix March 29, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      Cheers! We might even run into you in Peru or Bolivia? We’ll be in Peru next and then re-entering Bolivia in about 5 weeks. If you’re looking for somewhere to camp near La Paz, check out the beautiful campsite that we worked on just south of the city – http://www.colibricamping.com
      There’s room for a small-medium camper. Maybe see you sometime!

  2. George March 29, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    Good luck guys on the next step! Let me know if we can help in any way. We could do a Skype session if you want to pick our brain …

  3. alison Bell March 29, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Hi Guys,

    So great to read this post. You must be thrilled to be back on the road!

    Now, that you are back touring, let us know of the great places we should be visiting in the future. We do hope you find a nice place to tarry awhile so that we can come down for a visit.

    We also hope that the other challenge you mentioned is nothing serious and we will keep our fingers crossed that you receive good news soon.

    Love Alison and Doug

    • seventeenbysix March 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Thanks guys! We’ll be happy to scout out the rest of South America for you – all part of the service. :)

  4. Joe March 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

    Congrats! Great news! Way to hang in there and not give up (not that I’d ever expect you to)! Best wishes on the as-of-yet untraveled roads!

  5. stephanie March 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    great news! wishing you a smoother ride ahead! and looking forward to hearing about the van…

  6. Jill April 4, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Yay! So very happy for you guys! Looking forward to following your life back on the road

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