Shipping forecast

3 May

Managua, Nicaragua
[by Paula]

It’s unbelievable to us that it’s now nearly five weeks since we broke down, and we are still not in possession of a new gearbox.

But we have bought one, we have seen the pictures to prove its existence, and it is on its way here – apparently. But for financial reasons it is coming here on the slow boat, and that’s just the way it is.

So we are learning something about the art of zen. Yes, even Jeremy.

If we are feeling stroppy over yet another delay, we remember we are lucky to be doing this trip in the first place. End of.

Che placard at May Day rally, Havana, Cuba, 2012

Cocktails for moi, Che for Jez.

And recently we have had some rather fabulous distractions from the waiting. After making all the tricky decisions about buying the gearbox and figuring out how to get it here, we scooted down to Nicaragua on the bus, to catch our pre-arranged flights out of the country for separate long weekends – me to New York and Jeremy to Havana.

Before leaving Managua we were lucky to coincide again with our friends Zach and Jill. As fellow van owners they were able to offer excellent consolation, with the help of a few beers and a good dose of empathy. While a dead gearbox isn’t exactly every road-tripper’s worst nightmare, it’s up there with the mechanical worst-case scenarios. We’ve been grateful for all the messages and advice people have sent us from the road, and from home.

After a few days of clothes-washing and trying to make ourselves look presentable we headed off to New York/Cuba for two very contrasting weekends.

For me it was a celebratory four nights in Manhattan with my school girlfriends, to mark our 40th birthdays – involving cocktails, wine, chatting, sightseeing, eating, giggling and… erm, more chatting. For Jeremy, it was a revolutionary weekend in Cuba for May Day – involving proper work, politics, meetings, rallying and, okay, maybe some rum too.

The four girls in NY

Rosie, Sharon, Caroline and me – starting our own little revolution in Manhattan.

I wouldn’t want anyone to make any lasting judgments about what these trips might say about us … but trust Jeremy to trump my girlie lip-glossy weekend with something significant and meaningful!

Now we are back in Nicaragua and keen to do something useful while we spend the next 2 or 3 weeks waiting for the transmission to arrive by ship from the US to Honduras.

With all the shenanigans of the last few weeks, our focus on Spanish has really taken a dive. So we’re off back to school on Monday for two weeks, in Esteli, northern Nicaragua.

Once the gearbox arrives we’ll hot-foot it back to Honduras to rescue the van and get back on the road. We hope.

Here are some pics from our recent trips:

Havana, May Day 2012 – on Flickr

New York – on Flickr

Days: 213
Miles: Same as before
Things we now know to be true: Ships take longer than planes, but they are way cheaper.

5 Responses to “Shipping forecast”

  1. James May 4, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Congrats on finally tracking down a gearbox! Can’t wait to see you guys back on the road.

    • jeremyandpaula May 5, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Cheers James. We’re in Esteli now and will welcome the distraction of Spanish school next week. We can tear our hair out over verb conjugations instead of transmissions! p

  2. Chris May 5, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    I have been tracking you as well…as I sit in Guate City looking for a front axle. Damn this is hard… Sorry that the gearbox calved but it looks like the light is at the end of the tunnel. Keep up the spirits and maybe we will cross paths soon. I’ll buy another beer for you…

    • jeremyandpaula May 5, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      hi Chris, thanks! Sorry to hear you’re having troubles too. Did you find the part? We’ll check out your blog. p

  3. Derek Jolly May 6, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    lovin’ the pics – very ‘sex in the city’ – sans the sex of course – the art of zen is not to be under-estimated. On that note I’m off to ‘Kuk Sool’ – then over to the folks to see the Aunties and Uncles…
    Talk soon xxxx

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