Sunburn, exhausted, and water logged ears drums, we reluctantly made our way back on board the Panga heading to mainland Placencia. Did we care we were in such battered condition, would we do it all over again? Yes, we all agreed! An amazing adventure, Silk Caye was. Delighting us for the moment we arrived till we departed, we snorkled the entire island, had a huge lunch barbecue and then swam with the sharks, turtles and rays. More video of our under water shenanigans coming soon. Trust us you’re going to love it. Meanwhile enjoy the pics and thanks for following.

 


I’ve always had this fantasy of driving an old Land Rover since I was a kid. I remember seeing the first one on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, bouncing through the jungle with that spare wheel on the hood, no top, the front windshield folded down, and cool safari guys hanging on for dear life while taking photo’s of Lions, elephants, and Rhino’s. Since we’ve been here in Belize, I’ve noticed a few of just such old Land Rovers around the country from time to time, but have never had the opportunity to check one out, until today.  All the while thinking how cool it would be to explore the natural beauty of Belize in an iconic old Land Rover, and just enjoying this simpleness of the machine, this dream keeps circling in my head. No air conditioning, power steering, radio, not even windows! Less stuff to fix or worry about breaking, I thought. Until today!

As you know we’ve been working on the Royal Rover feverishly trying to get it up and running so we could take it out for drives while we’re here, and it’s coming along slowly. Meanwhile we spied another old Land Rover here on the Placencia peninsula owned by an enthusiast. “I think I saw a Land Rover peeking out of that garage” I told Scott as we drove down the street. “Lets swing around and check it out” he said excitedly. “UnBelizeable” we both exclaimed as we pulled into the driveway and there it sat. A 1980 Land Rover Defender Military edition, in all it’s glory with the camouflage paint, canvas top and some cool looking crossed swords painted on the door. We introduced ourselves  to the owner, and before we could finish our conversation about our Land Rover restoration project, he said “Have a look” and we most certainly did. From top to bottom, front to back, and meanwhile asking a thousand questions about it’s history, we were drooling. ” It runs fine” he said. “I’ll fire it up and you can take it for a spin” he added. “Now if you’re not back in ten minutes, I’ll come looking for you! ” he said with a chuckle.

 

Then, off we went and my fantasy started to dissipate. He warned me that there was no power steering, air conditioning, radio, none of that. “You have to manhandle it” he said with a smile. It took me several minutes to get out of the driveway doing a three point turn wrestling the steering wheel as sweat poured down my face. Once we got it going, it was bitter sweet, but “where’s the air conditioning?” I said turning to Scott. “Two windows down at 55!” Scott said laughingly as we drove along. It was quite entertaining and fun to drive an old historical vehicle like this especially in Belize, but the though of driving it any more than twenty minutes over rough terrain was sobering. How did those British Military soldiers survive driving these old Landy’s all over the country. Hmmmmm.. mad respect for them I’m thinking now.

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Time to turn around. Another several minutes and a three point turn, we were on our way back. “Did you enjoy it?” we were asked. “Most definitely” we replied. We much appreciated his kindness and for us a memory we’ll soon not forgot. Especially that I need a/c, power steering, a radio, and windows. Have I gone soft and spoiled, you betcha? In all fairness though, I love these old Land Rovers so much and it really wouldn’t bother me to do without the modern day comforts. I still see myself just bouncing around in the jungle taking pictures of wildlife. Me, my camera, and the Landy. Maybe one day. Do you have a fantasy with old cars? We’d love to hear about it. Keep the dream alive.

The fastest woman in Central America

Posted: July 23, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

Yesterday was great, as I had an opportunity to volunteer at the Kaina Martinez 5th Annual Olympics Games for the kids in Seine Bight Village. Thanks Rodolfo Sáenz de Ugarte for inviting me.

Born 20 February 1986 in the Garifuna village Seine Bight, Stann Creek District, Kaina Martinez is a Olympic Belizean athlete. True to her roots, she sponsors these games for the children of Seine Bight, every year. Encouraging, mentoring and coaching, her caring and commitment to her community is evident. She has won many titles and is known as the fastest woman in Central America. She competed in 100 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Introducing our travel partners, “Life all Out”

Posted: July 21, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

Dear family, friends and faithful followers. You’ve probably noticed the Ford Earth Roamer in many of our pictures and the cute couple that navigate it. Our fantastic friends Angela and Scott Woodhams have been our travel partners for many years, and this trip to the most southern tip of the planet, Ushuaia Argentina is no different. They are from Augusta Georgia and we recently met up with them in Cancun Mexico to begin our journey. Please check out their site Life all Out to learn more about them, their unique vehicle, and life story. Moving forward we’ll be cross blogging, sharing stories and pictures all along this most incredible journey. Cheers!

 

South of the border, the Mexican one!

Posted: July 21, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

 

As we crossed the border into Belize from Mexico, Tammy looked at me “We can go back to speaking english now!” she said, “Si” I exclaimed with a chuckle. Just then we passed under large colorful sign that said welcome to Belize. “Woot woot” I shouted as Tammy and I did a fist bump. About then we came upon the fumigation station. Like a car wash, we pulled into the building, stopped, and we were doused with some unknown chemical that smelled like bug spray. Good thing all the windows were up tight. “$10.00 the attendant said and he gave us a receipt. This time we were sure to give him $10.00 Belize currency. When we came thru in 2014 we paid the attendant $10. USD, only to find out at the immigration and customs office that is was $10. Belize, which is $5.00 USD, so he made a huge tip.

Getting thru immigration and customs took almost an hour with a vehicle inspection, stamps in our passport and an interview. “Where are you staying, how long are you going to be in Belize, do you have any fruits or animals in your possession?” were just a few of the questions asked and we were cleared to go.

Feeling a sigh of relief, but still knowing we were not quite done yet, we moved on to go get some insurance. Auto insurance is mandatory in Belize. You get stopped often at police check points and you have to produce your proof of insurance, drivers license and sometimes your registration too. Occasionally the police will do a safety inspection, checking lights, your front windshield, seat belt operation and so forth. Now if you don’t have insurance they will take you to jail right on the spot. They are serious about it.

Having made it through the border, plus insurance in our hands, we were free to roam the country. Soon we’ll be taking a rickety old ferry to visit friends in Progresso, we will make it? Stay tuned.

 

 

Chillaxing in Cancun

Posted: July 7, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

It feels good to be off the road for a few days. Waiting for our travel partners “Life all out” , Angela and Scott Woodhams, we’re getting caught up on some much needed rest, getting organized, laundry and sharing some fun and interesting stories with our new friends Christina and Paul that own and operate Camping Cancun RV.com https://www.campingcancunrv.com/.

Christina and Paul have been the most gracious host and have a great set up here for overlanders as well as the locals. A pool, cabanas, RV hook ups, storage and restaurant. The cool thing is you can leave your expedition rig here for months, go back home and return to your vehicle and continue your trip. Which we might do in the future.

We’re going to miss it here, but Belize is calling. Thanks for following. 20170706_125926

 

 


When will it end? We want out we cried. Well not really but we felt like it. Passports, vehicle registration, vehicle title, vehicle insurance, customs, immigration…… and mucho copies too! After two hours we were done and finally free to roam the country. Our first stop, the rock climbing town of Hildago about 200 miles south of the border. We’ll stay here for a night and keep moving south bound and down in the morning. Thanks for following. We’ll have a real treat for you tomorrow. Cheers!


Lafayette’s Louisiana famous Chef Bourque welcomes us! 

As we made our way south towards the Mexican border, there are several stops that are a must. Family, friends and then visiting with Shirley and Ted Bourque (Chef Bourque) in Lafayette, Louisiana is it’s own special treat.

Cajun gumbo,  ribs, chicken, crawfish and much more, was just a few of the many cultural meals we feasted on. “I really think we got so full, we won’t have to eat until we get into Mexico. “said Tammy. We all had a big laugh and kept on eating. Always a good time for us and we greatly appreciated the opportunity to have a meal with them and other friends and family as well .

After leaving Clarksville and prior to visiting with the Bourque’s, we made stops in Knoxville TN, Charlotte NC, and Pensacola FL. We’d like to thank everyone for their great hospitality and well wishes for success on our trip.

Claudell Harvey,  our daughter Brittney Barbour & DJ Wright, our daughter Santia and her family, Shirley & Chef Bourque. We miss you all already.

Aieeeee!

And we’re off, again !

Posted: June 10, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

For immediate release

 

When you say the word road trip in the presence of Tammy and Bernard Barbour of Clarksville, this couple’s ears perk up and their eyes gloss over with excitement. You see this road warrior couple are departing for a road trip of epic proportions in just a few days. Driving from Clarksville Tennessee to Ushuaia Argentina. “We’re leaving on my wife’s birthday, June 20th” Bernard says enthusiastically. They estimate this trip to the bottom of the world will take them anywhere from 18 months to two years. They plan to mark a bunch of things off their travel bucket list. The Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu and more they say. “I’ve always been fascinated with Bolivia” Tammy says, “ I can’t wait to explore Patagonia” Bernard chimes in.

 

The trip will take them through 13 countries. It will include shipping their vehicle around the Darien Gap from Panama to Columbia. México, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. While not new to overlanding travel, in 2014 the couple spent eight months driving all throughout Mexico and much of Central America. “ This time we want to explore more” the couple said with a chuckle. “Sometimes when we tell people what we are doing they think we are crazy, but if you research you’d find there’s a fairly substantial amount of people out there overlanding” Tammy said. “We keep up with a wide variety of people who are out there as we speak driving all around Mexico, Central and South America.” Is it dangerous many ask? Of course it is, no more dangerous than wandering in the wrong neighborhood in any big city USA” says Bernard. The people we’ve met on previous journeys have become like family. Inviting us to their homes, showing us great hospitality and learning a lot about their customs, culture and lifestyle.

 

As a retired Military couple they will easily admit they have the travel bug bad. Being stationed in Europe and Asia during much of his military career, Bernard says he really never got a opportunity to explore South America, so this trip will be a chance to see what he’s been missing. Tammy’s working on her third passport as well. We set a goal to see as much of the world as we could. In 2015 they traveled to Hawaii, England, and Canada all in the same month. Bernard says it all started with him when he got his first passport. “I’m on my 4th passport now and one I almost managed to completely fill with stamps” he says.

 

While the trip will include many fun touristy things to do, they will also be volunteering. Animal conservation projects in Belize, Costa Rica and Panama are already on the to do list as well as Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala. “If we happen upon a worthy project on our travels we’ll be flexible enough to adjust our schedule to participate.” they say.

 

The couple have their 2008 Toyota Tundra with a truck camper all decked out for the trip. They admit their truck and camper does attract some attention.”Many people ask us what’s that black thing sticking out the side of our truck?” he said. In addition to having a snorkel fitted,  there’s a winch, front grill bar, auxiliary  lights, the suspension is heavy duty and lifted, and they are carrying some critical spare parts. the truck camper has a bathroom, A/C, kitchen, which Tammy loves.

 

“Since the kids are grown and have started their own families, we decided to rent our house and hit  the road full time” they say.

 

On the 20th of June their adventure begins leaving from Clarksville heading south. “Passport, camera, spanish lesson CD’s, check!” Tammy laughs! We are ready to go!

 

You can follow their journey at Tales of the Pan American Highway and Central America Overland Expeditions.

 

A virgin passport………

Posted: May 19, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel

by Bernard Barbour

I have four passports now. All starting back from 1987. Prior to that, being in the military I could travel most places on my military ID and or drivers license. However, when I found out I needed to get a passport, thus began a novel idea of wanting to travel as many places as i could go and get as many stamps as I could, thus filling up every page. Looking back now it looks like I did a pretty good job, especially with two of my passports as they are almost full. As I look through them sometimes, vivid memories flash in my head of my adventures. Wow, I think to myself, I have really been quite the wanderer. Cyprus, Morocco, Chile, Bahamas, lol. Yes, from our cruise ship I walked to immigration and got the stamp.  Maybe deep down inside I’m a passport travel stamp collector. How did this come about? Gibraltar, Ecuador, Canada, El Salvador and many more stamps adorn the pages. What memories.

Interesting enough in the last few years it’s been harder to get a stamp depending on where you go. In Europe for instance now, sometimes it’s almost impossible if you don’t fly into an airport to get a stamp. One time taking the train and driving around Europe you now have to go local immigration office to get a stamp. There’s no guard or border crossing agency at the border now. Funny when you arrive there to request a stamp in your passport, they want to know why you want a stamp? Sounds crazy, but true.

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Well as our big trip looms I had to get another newer passport with 43 fresh pages in which to collect stamps……woot woot! Look out world I’m on a mission to fill this virgin passport! Hoping to fill it up soon. Will there be a 5th passport?