Meet & Greet

First and foremost, my parents. If it was not for them and for their love I would not be on that trip, because I would not even existe. Thank you for all your support, for your open minded up-bringing of four kids the last one being me. And more so for your understanding for my need and urge to continously explore new horizons far, far away from home, far away from you. Thank you!

My brother Stefan is not just making sure I have something to read on my trip, since he is an author. But ever since I got infected with the travelling bug many years ago and set off for my first big trip with the Transsibiran railway, he is the one taking care of business, my paperwork and all that, that is. He is handling everything that needs to be handled back home and making sure I can travel safe and sound without risiking to be arrested for some overdue bills once I get back to Switzerland. The title of his first book "Treibholz im Touristenstrom" (so far in german only) is based on a true story we have experienced together on a trip in France. The book is a series of short stories. Click here for more information about "Treibholz im Touristenstrom". Furthermore, Stefan aka as Pfiff, has always been an inspiration for me for being an Overlander, since he has set of with his 80ties Renault 4 with a roof tent to explore all the countries from Switzerland to Greece and back long before I would ever know hitting the road in the blue truck. 

My favorite sister Beatrice has, ever since I was a little kid, been one of my biggest supporter for my own plans, ideas and dreams. While in very young years I was argueing with myself what was best to do, who not to disappoint or hurt with what I wanted to accomplish, she has always told me to "go my way" which will automatically be the right one without having too many second thoughts. I could not have a better "old" sister than I have. One of the very first trips with the blue truck, still with a roof tent was with her and her son Nino. We have been travelling in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands in fall 2009. 

Florian, my oldest brother. We share a passion for things burning fuel and smelling a little bit of burnt oil, making noise. We can talk for hours and hours about classic cars, about motorbikes and about the blue truck. While the Toyota was not yet ready to hit the street we were already practicing the beer drinking and barbaquing on his terrace and kicking ideas for the Toyota modification back and forth. No one has been a better consultants to me to discuss options and modificaitons of my home on wheels. And once in a while I needed a break from working at the Toyo too and we've been hitting the roads with our motorbikes.

Claudio aka Mops is a long term friend, our friendship goes back decades to our years as little boy scouts. It was with him when the blue truck was hitting the road as a travelling vehicle for the first time. We have set off from Zurich to explore almost forgotten roads in the Alps in Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Slovenia. We have grown up in the same valley in Switzerland, have lived at the same or almost same time in the cities of Winterthur and later Zurich, Claudio is now a school director in Milano, Italy.

Raymond and his family. They let me stay and stay and stay at their beautiful home in New Jersey, while I was waiting for the blue truck to arrive, waiting for the harbour workers to stop striking, waiting for customs to work. Thank you for the fantastic hospitality, even more so for the friendship. And of course for the sending me off, that was where my trip really started, right there in your backyard.

Ursi from Stans in Switzerland has been visiting me on this trip again and again, she hast not really been a camping kind of person before but kind of fell in love with the simple life on the road with a gas burning stove and places to set camp where no Hotel would ever be built. Ursi and I have become a well worked in team, while I am driving she is the navigator, while I am drinking beer chatting with other campers, she cooks dinner. And more so she bakes bread while we travel how wonderful to eat a fresh crusty bread in countries like the US or alike where they eat rubber-foam, calling it bread. Looking forward to travelling with Ursi again soon.

Denise has been the first ever "guest" on the blue truck while travelling in the US. She joined in Atlanta at the NBAA annual convetion 2010 and we drove to Savannah for a weekend. We have met a couple of years earlier through work at Jet Aviation. Besides the love for our home town Zurich and it's rough edges in Kreis 4 and Kreis 5 with its many bars, restaurants and fantastic international mix of folks, we share a dangerous passion for good wine and fine food.

Reto joined me for a couple of weeks travelling in Florida. Reto is living in Zurich, Switzerland. Our friendship goes back to 1995 when we have first met in Royan, France at the Atlantic Coast where we were attending a French language school. When school finished the French decided to slow their country down significantly through a general strike among most public services also the trains stopped moving. So Reto joined me and we were heading back East towards home in my little red Fiat Panda. Reto still speaks French today - I kind of don't.

Vera is an Italian-US girl having lived in Florida until lately, moving to the North East of the States right now. We have met in Florida as a result of the trip with Reto, since Reto and Vera's freindship goes way back as well, again to a language course abroad, I believe it was the UK for them. Vera has spontenously decided to book at "blue truck travels" for a long weekend in the monument valley. Few days, a new friend and many states, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado.

Jim and Jeannie Sternberg are from Canada. We have met in Catalina State Park in Arizona Winter 2011. Jim is the kind of person I could talk for ages with. Not just because every time he would pass by my campsite he would bring a beer along. Sure that helps to become friends. But: His and his family's history is very interesting, how war brought them to the UK and how Jim and Jeannie set off from there for Canada. Jim is voice recording a daily journal about his travels and I had the honor to be featured in one of his recordings. I hope to see Jim and Jeannie again one day. Maybe I should make my way up all the way to Canada again once I have reached the Southern tip of Southamerica. Meeting Jim and Jeannie would definetly make the trip up worth the while.

Nadja and Marcel: I have met the Swiss Italian-Swiss Team in Alaska and in Alaska again and in Costa Rica on Nicoya and in Costa Rica in Orosi valley and in Costa Rica's Playa los Cocles, where they are living now.  Before they settled down in Costa Rica they have been travelling with their 5th wheel "Sally" and their Dodge Ram "Rock", Central America, USA, Canada, far up North to Alaska, than Canada again, USA, and through Central America express to Costa Rica again.

Photo by Janet
Janet, I have met in Alaska. She was my neighbour on the campground. While she is travelling nowadays in a US built RV her heart is still beating for a Volkswagen Camper-Van with pop-up roof, rear aircooled engine and all the cool goodies. She once travelled with one on the route I am on, long before I was even thinking about it.  

Joachim and Bärbel, my neighbours in San Miguel de Allende. The german couple is southbound on the way in their well equipped Unicat MAN 4x4 truck. They really like San Miguel and have spent quite a bit of time in the amazing colonial city in Mexico's central highlands. Joachim has taken me on a City tour right the very first day, couldn't have gotten a better first impression of the beautiful place. I have gone back to San Miguel to celebrate Christmas 2011 with them and than again to store my truck when I was going to Switzerland in fall 2012. For right now our ways have parted since I have shipped to South America but I am looking forward to seeing Joachim and Bärbel again in South America. Joachim has started and is continously maintaining the excellent site Worth a visit if you are on the road in the Americas or planning to be soon. Bärbel has become an artist and is creating amazing jewelery. Joachim is one of the most ambitous amateur photographs I have met on my trip, check out his pictures on

Ulla and Kari, a Swiss couple with an amazing travelling history in their Mercedes Sprinter. Can you imagine driving from Switzerland East, driving your own RV through countries like India or Pakistan. Ulla and Kari did excactly that. We have met for the first time in La Paz on Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, again in San Miguel de Allende and than again in Guatemala at Finca Xobel, from where we travelled a couple of days together. THANK YOU for the nice dinner invitations and for the sand boards I was given! Looking forward to seeing you again in Switzerland some day.

Swantje & Stefan from Germany, first met on Victoria Island in BC, Canada, we have come  across each other again and again. They were South bound in a good looking, black Land Rover TD5. Which they love to spoil with work, replacement parts and all kind of TLC on the road as they go. Follow their trip on By now they are back home in Germany. Planning on a camel trip along the Silkroad.  

Toni & Felix, Germans from Vancouver BC, don't ask how that works. Southbound in a RHD ex-Japanese Mitsubishi Delica, alias L300 4x4. We have met in Mexico and dug each other out of the mud a couple of times in Guatemala. Honduras again for a little, reunited in Nicaragua for a while before they took off much faster than I ever will. Their van, Dino Evo has just sold and soon they are heading to new adventures back home, where ever home will be. All the best!

Photo by Abenteuertour

I met Andrea and Roman and "die gelbe Schlampe" (the yellow bitch) for the first time, yes, again, in San Miguel de Allende. Later our paths cross again in Mexico and than, many months later I see the yellow bitch parked in my former neighbourhood in Zurich. They have been travelling the Panamericana North to South and are back home in my beautiful home town Zurich, by now. 

Susanne & Thomas are travelling with a vintage MOWAG (aka Dodge) former fire truck, that has been transferred to a slightly overweight RV. The Swiss couple has been travelling from Switzerland East. Visit their web page to read about the amazing experiences through countries like the UAE, Turkey or Iran. We have met several times in Mexico. 

Photo by Abenteuertour
Abenteuertour, that is Petra & Klaus, we have met in Guatemala. The German couple is on the road southbound with Expedi, a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 with a comfy cabin. Petra & Klaus are maintaining a website that is super resourceful if you are travelling too. Downloadable GPS coordinates for overnite stops and much more. Check it out HERE. Or as other roadies call them "the reference on the Panamericana".

Photo by
Wosans? Bavarian for "where are they?" That is Marki and Tania and soon to be little Manchez. A Land Cruiser a couple of years older than mine with a very similar set-up is there home on wheels. They know Mexico and Central America in and out. One of the few travellers that are moving slower than I do with my blue truck. Celebrating with them comes along with its very own risks.

Photo by Hostal Renacer
Sabine & Thomas are travelling with a Alphütte on wheels, not even missing a wood burning oven in their vintage 4x4 Mercedes truck. I have met their truck before I have ever met them. That was in Colombia, but by the time I was in Otavalo Ecuador for the 2nd time, they had met their truck again and we spent a couple of days together at Rincon's Campground in Otavalo. Check out their beautiful black & white webpage HERE

Nando & Yvonne I have met on the Dempster Highway. They are both working for the Police in Zurich, exactly in the part of town where I used to live. Surprisingly enough I have not had any dealings with them anytime before. Despite that they were out of beer in their rental RV as well as I was, we had a very nice campfire BBQ late nite with plain light on the way back South after having reached Inuvik.

I have met Brigitte & Peter in Los Barilles on Mexico's Baja California. They once started off with their bycicles, through house sitting all over the world they have moved to a full size US RV and are living on the Baja California now. Visit them at their Bistro Bus when you're in Los Barilles. Yummiyummi. Peter is a chef and Brigitte a yoga, zumba and some more, trainer. They took me on a ride on their quads to a pic-nic on a lonely beach. Was a lot of fun. 

Photo by henryreisen
Claude & Erika, a Swiss couple are on the road all over the world and have been so for, I believe over 13 years in their Toyota Land Cruiser 79 with cabin. We have met twice, once in Antigua, the second time in Mexico. And I am looking forward to meet Claude & Erika again. Where? I have no idea, but we did not have any plans the first, neither the second time, so I am sure it will work a third time without making plans.

Bob & Nancy from Canmore, Alberta, Canada were touring in Florida with their Volkswagen Bus at the same time as I was, at the time with blue truck visitor No. 2, my friend Reto from Switzerland.

Photo by Abenteuertour
Thomas from Switzerland is touring in a powerful Mercedes G Turbo, or is it a Twin-Turbo? Diesel with a yellow roof tent, we have met briefly at Esther & Julio's beautiful Campamento Tortugeuero, Playa Ventura in Mexico. Later our path crossed once again, when the watercooled alternator of the Mercedes decided to quit it's service. I have lost track of where Thomas is right now, but believe he made it to Ushuaia.

Adam and his mom Priscilla I have met in a State Forest in Arizona, they were tent camping on the same forest campground as I have spent the night, later we have met on a little hike again.

Christiane & Patrick have crossed my path in Mexico. I am not sure but believe they are in South America as well at this time.

Photo by Hostal Renacer
Kurt & Cindy a belge couple were camping at the beautiful Hostal Renacer in Villa de Leyva at the same time that I stayed there. They are North bound on the way with their vintage Mercedes 4x4 truck.

I have met Donna twice on the Baja, Mexico, where she was touring and camping with here friends. She invited me to camp outside her property in Cabo. I had a very relaxed day at here Bali huts and we had a tasty BBQ and a good bottle of wine right at the beach where the blue truck was parked. Thanks again for your spontanous hospitality, Donna.

Anne de Mare is a documentary movie director at Spargel Productions in New York. We have met, sounds funny I know, in a natural hot spring in Texas' Big Bend National Park.

Hans Dieter und Isabel from Germany have been camping at the fantastic Finca Xobel in Guatemala in their RV at the same time as I did. Lost track of where they are right now.

Edita Florianova from the Czech Republic is travelling by backpack and hitch hiking. We have met in Ecuador where the hitchhiker got a ride in a blue truck for a couple of days.

Together with Edita, hiking along a lagoon in Ecuador, I have met Denise Builder from the USA, so we joined for the hike, which has proven worthwile, not just because it was much more fun but also because we were three to chase the mean dogs away along the trek.

Franzisca from Switzerland is running the Café y Panadería Suiza in Costa Rica's beautiful valley of Orosi. Don't miss to stock up on tasty bread, jam's and more. Franzisca is a wealth of information for all kind of things you wish to know about the area. Here husband is offering Motorbike Tours in Costa Rica and they have a couple of cabins for rent in the Orosi valley.

Photo by Hostal Renacer
The Swiss couple Günther & Doris are on the road on the Panamericana with their customized Iveco RV, listening to the name Henry. They are about the only ones travelling almost as slow as I do, we have met in Guatemalas super beautiful colonial city of Antigua the first time. In Costa Rica we had a reunion at the house of Nadia & Marcel and I hope to catch up with them soon again.

Heinz & Sole, a austrian-spanish couple, well experienced on travelling in latin America. After starting of with VW camper that was not blessed with any kind of german reliability they are now working their way south in a large Ford F350 with a pick-up RV cabin. We have met for the first time in Mexico, later again in Colombia and just a couple of months ago in Ecuador, they are rushed to South America, will spend som time back home in Spain and I hope to see them again when they are back.

Rick and Heather have been camping in Catalina State Park, Arizona at the same time as I did. Their business card says: "Take care, be good & kind and don't forget to laugh". They have their own art business Earnest Efforts and I was presented with a piece of their wood work for good luck. Ever since it is travelling with me on the dashboard of the blue truck. And it works! Visit them on their webpage: or on their blog:

Photo by anywherethatswild
Jill and Zack are going any where that's wild. They are from the most difficult to pronounce state in the USA, Massachusetts, travelling with a Chevy Astro 4x4 which they have equipped cleverly for the trip. We have met several times in Mexico. The last time just before they were heading to Belize. I belive they have reached Ushuaia by now.

Picture by Johannes Kühl
Johannes Kuehl is a retired former Boeing Engineer, I have met Johannes on the Baja California where he was camping with his 5th wheel on the same campground in Loreto as I did. Johannes has been in process of getting everything arranged to build on his own property on the Baja. I am sure by now he is living under a fixed roof vs his caravan. And according to his plans you should soon be able to rent a cabin on his property North of Loreto as well. Check out his Facebook page and read about the construction of the property and how Joahnnes and his wife are living of the grid. Very interesting. All the best to you Johannes, hope to stop by once again some time in the future. Congratulations to your success.

甲田 千晴 Chiharu Koda is a talented young artist, I have met her on the boat Angelito on the Galapagos. After her studies and works in Japan she is now studying in Germany and has just recently had an exhibition in Luasanne, Switzerland. Previously she presented her work in Japan, in Paris' Louvre, in Germany and many other places. I wish I would speak as fluent Japanese as Chiharu is speaking German and English. Check out her work on

Photo by
Daniel & Yvonne, the Swiss couple is travelling in a beautiful grey metallic Land Rover, when ever they are not on their bikes. We have met in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I believe they are back home in Switzerland by now.

Photo by that is Adam, Emily and little Colette, we have met in Cuenca, Ecuador. The US family is travelling in a Subaru tuned Volkswagen Bus with pop-up. They have just pulled up today at the same campground I am at in Cuzco, Peru. Happy reunion.

I have met Richard in Mulege on the Baja California, Mexico. Richard has by far the coolest vehicle set up of all roadies I have met so far. His Willys Jeep is from the 60ies, his beautiful airstream from the 50ties.

Tom and Sandra from Vernon BC, Canada were camping at Voiseaux Provincal Park next to me. They travel a lot as well, like mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, birding and a lot more.

Paul and Verginia with their little daughter have crossed my path for the first time way south in Arizona's Organ Pipe National Park and later again a couple of times far up North in Alaska. Unfortunately I have lost track of where they are right now.

Sourdough Joe from Glennallen, I have met him at the gas station in Glennallen Alaska, where he showed up out of nowhere all of a sudden on his bycicle. Joe was convinced that I should not be travelling neither camping in the woods without a gun and he was more than ready to sell me one, right their in Glennallen. "The bears like that bear spray, that is why it is called "bear spray" it will attract them like nothing else, you need a gun, my friend!"

Photo by Stefan
Stefan from Germany has been working in BC, Canada, that is where he bought is Ford Explorer, equipped it with a roof tent and started off driving the Panamericana. I have met him in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was kind of rushed as he has to meet a deadline to be in Australia to start the time of his holiday-work-visa.

Photo by Rosmarie & Fritz
Fritz & Rosmarie from Switzerland are on the road in a pretty cool MAN 4x4 truck. We have met in San Miguel de Allende last fall, when I spent some time there for the third time. I believe by now they are back in Switzerland for a short while before heading off to new adventures.

Photo by Abenteuertour
Sabine und Theo or better Theobine, from Germany in a chocolate brown Ford Transit RV have crossed my path in Mexico, shortly afer I have gotten off the Ferry from the Baja California to the mainland. Without having it planned that way we shall meet a second time, when I stopped at San Miguel de Allende, still Mexico for Christmas 2011. I believe they are back home in Germany.

Photo by
The Zottis, that is Kristina & Clemens travelling in a beautiful Land Rover with pop-up. First time we flew by each other in opposite directions on the road in Panama, but neither of us had the opportunity to stop. So it took a couple of weeks more for us to finally meet at Lago Atitlan in Guatemala. BBQ and wine are a good base for new friendships. That is what we celebrated with passion. I believe by the time Kristina & Clemens where leaving the campgrounds at Vizion Azul at the lago, not just the wine cellar of the blue truck would not spit out any more, their Land Rover must have been equally empty down where the good stuff is stored. Since the Zottis were coming from where I was going to, Kristina has written a list for me with many tipps and tricks, places to see and visit and good places to park for the night. In fact right now I am parked at one of those. Thank you!

Photo Source: Beaglebound
Alex and Natalie, the Aussie-USA team from the UK (Hä??) are beaglebound. Heading South in their Toyota Tacoma with roof tent. First met them in Mexico, you guessed it, it was San Miguel de Allende again. In Colombia, correct, it was Villa de Leyva again. And yes you are correct, they are moving faster than I do. Hope to catch up with them for a good nice bottle of chilenian or argetinian wine.

Brenton and Shannon started off in the coolest town of Texas, Austin and are Southbound. We have met in Colombia, Villa de Leyva and again shortly thereafter and travelled from the Salt Cathedreal together to Bogota to City camp next to each other. When they were moving on and, you guessed it, moved much faster than I do. Hope to catch up with Ruined Adventures when they are coming back from a "vacation" in the USA.

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Home on the Highway that is Lauren and James. They are travelling in a 1987 Toyota 4Runner. We have met too short but at least we did, in San Pedro, Guatemala. It is just too cool how simple and (envy when off-roading) light, they are travelling. I was hoping to catch up with the two of them but, as often, I am just too slow moving. They have reached Ushuaia. Where next? Hope to not just stay virtually connected with James and Lauren.

Markus is a long term friend of mine, he used to run aviation companies like I did before he decided on a second career and started art school in Zurich. He has been travelling with me for a couple of weeks in Guatemala and Mexico.

Fidel I have met in Colombia, he is from spain, backpacking through South Ameria, primarily Colombia. We have met at Hostal San Souci in Minca, Colombia at the edge to the Sierra Nevada.

Photo by Hostal Renacer

Marina and Mauro are from Brazil and travelling in a Toyota HiLux with a self-built-pop-up cabin. Very cool. We meet at Hostal Renacer, Villa de Leyva, Colombia. And again at the Salt Cathedral in Colombia.

Photo by Hostal Renacer
Lukas and Brigitte from Switzerland are on the road heading North. I have met them in Colombia, Villa de Leyva, Hostal Renacer. They moving north in their Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 RV.

Max and Francisca are from California and Chile and travelling with a cool Land Rover Defender TD4. We have met in Ecuador. Since we discussed all our travelling with a bottle of ron they brought along I am not quite sure anymore where they are heading but I believe they started of in Chile, will travel South America and return to Chile at the end. I hope to run into them again soon.

Dawen & Aleksey from Canada. We have met in Cusco, Peru on the campground. The travel in chilenean Peugeot Partner. Very simple and clever system. The little van has a Diesesl engine and despite limited off-road 2WD capability it most probably beats almost any overlander vehicle on economie. The couple is touring South America and will return to Chile some day to sell their four-wheeled travel companion. (Like so many times I have missed to take a picture of them or their overlander and "stole" the picture off their facebook page)

Isabell & Oliver are travelling in a Toyota Land Cruiser 75 with a pop-up roof, similar construction as mine. we have met in Cusco, later on the road again and have been travelling together for a little bit. The german couple is north bound heading towards Colombia, planning to ship the vehicle back home from Cartagena. Right now our two Toyotas are parked side by side again on Hitchhikers Hostel's courtyard in Lima, Peru.
This french family drove up on the campground and put every one a shame with their impressive Renault monster-truck. The vehicle is for sale in South America. We have met at Camping la Quinta in Cusco, Peru.

Claudia and Sandro were driving up to the campground in Huanchaco at Peru's pacific coast while I was camping in the garden of the Hotel. We did not only make "Knöpfli" (the swiss version of the pasta known as Spätzle or Schupfnudeln), we also worked hard on making the life of our fridges easier, by drinking all the cold beers our of there that were once in 'em. Claudia and Sandro are heading North and will sell their 60ies series Land Cruiser in Ecuador or Colombia. The car has Californian registration.

Photo by travel2explore
Joelle and Thomas and their doggy Bella are already in Lima by the time I hit Hitchhikers Hostel for the first time. They are about to get ready and organizing shipping home from here while I camp next to them. Beside brubbling in Swiss German again we also share the passion for modifying our vehicles ourselfs. I am not just very impressed with the fantastic upholstery work that Joelle did or the impressivly solid interior Thomas has built into the VW synchro bus, but also with the strong Comunity those VW drivers have around the world. Joelle and Thomas are back home in Switzerland by now. 

Photo by Global Inc Safari
Global Inc Safari, that is Anna & Russ, we have met too short in Otavalo in Ecuador, the Aussie couple is south bound and are about to sell their cabable Toyota Tundra with Pick-Up RV cabin in South America. Visit their web page to see an follow their impressive journey. 

Rochelle & Will are from New Zealand, we have met at the campground in Cusco. They are travelling with a powerful Dodge Durango V8, started off in the south heading north towards Alaska. The picture is off their facebook page. Visit their blog to follow the Kiwis on the Panamericana.

Stefanie has been visiting me in Peru super spontenously, we have known each other from working together at Jet Aviation in Zurich. Actually, did we? In Peru we have been touring from Lima to Cusco, flew over the Nasca Lines, climed up on Machu Pichu's Montaña and much more. Thank you Steffi for having chosen "blue truck travels" for your vacation. Hope to welcome you aboard soon again. 
Photo by Thomas Barkley

Going back to school has its very own advantages. As you can see. Ariane was my only class mate at Don Quijote's language school in Guanajuato, Mexico. She is from Brazil, started her first company with 17, now back to studying at the University, her business is doing fine and run by a GM. Very impressive.

Photo by Akiko
If you've ever gone to a language class abroad, you might know why I like learning languages so much, despite the fact that I am not too successful at it. Being part of all that fun is what really counts. This is at a dinner party on the campground where I was living during my time in Guanajuato, Mexico. Left to right, Ariane Gimenes from Brazil, Thomas Barkley from Germany & the USA, the guy in the middle I do not know, Lupita (where Ariane used to live while in Guanajuato) and Oscar from Guanajuato. Thank you for all the fun, and Lupita, thank you so much for all the fun parties and BBQs we had at your house. 

Akiko from Japan, another party guest at the blue truck Spaghetti factory. And another friend found at Don Quijote in Guanajuato, Mexico. Thomas Barkley, Ariane and I.

Photo by Tiipsy
In Colombia on La Guajira I managed to rip off an axle clamp on the rear spring. Only thanks to that I have met Tiipsey, who is working at Toyota in Riohacha in customer service. La Nena who runs finances and Tiipsey's sister Taisuly. Tiipsy took excellent care of the Suizo. The last night the girls took me out for original Colombian Hot Dogs and fresh fruit juice. Thanks for getting my Toyota on the road again and for the oh so typical Colombian hospitality.

Photo by Angelika & Roland
Angelika and Roland are travelling in a comfy Hymer RV. They are from Germany and we have met in Lima at Hitchhikers Hostal. We have spent a fun night together before they were heading off North. They are the only roadies I met that have even had their own aircraft (an ultra light) with them. By the time we have met they have left it in South America though.  

Photo by Fernando
While I was camping at Hacienda La Florida, just outside of Tarma, in the Andes of Peru, I have met Debbie, she is from Scottland and is working her way around the world, volounteering on farms. Her term at the La Florida ended the same day as I was leaving and we have been driving for a day together.
Photo by Fernando

Fernando is el administrador, the manager of Hacienda La Florida, which is an active organic farm but has a hotel and a campground as well and it is possible to vehicle camp in the beautiful courtyard of the Hacienda.

Melanie (front) is from Canada, she is working at the National Park back home for about 9 months a year she works there, while she takes the other 3 months to backpack, each year another country. We have met in Villa de Leyva at Hostal Renacer. In the back of the picture is Jess, she runs & owns a Hostal in Trujillo, Honduras but actually is a Kiwi. She is about to sell her place, lost track of what is next for her. Melanie by now is back home wokring again, I guess. We have had a fun bike tour, in the hills, really hills around Villa de Leyva. We even went tasting some wine in the vinyards around Villa de Leyva. We weren't too impressed though.

photo by ruined adventures
This was at Shannon's (of Ruined Adventures) Birthday, again at Villa de Leyva. Left to right, Alex and Natalie, me, Andreja from Lublijana, Slovenia working at the Embassy in Brasilia, I believe by now Andreja is back in Slovenia, Brenton and Shannon and Melanie from Canada. Great night out. Thank you Shannon for inviting me to come along and celebrate with you.

This is Karin & Coen, they are on the road for impressive 10 years. After having known of them for a while we have finally and too short met at Cusco, Peru just the morning before Stefanie and I set off from there to explore Machu Piccu. Check out Coen & Karin's page, very, very impressive travels with their beautiful vintage Land Cruiser. I hope by the time I get back to Cusco to meet the dutch couple again. I believe it is only Claude and Erika (see above) that I have met, who have been on the road longer than Landcruising Adventures.

Christain is the owner and has built the beautiful Hosteria Islamar at Ecuador's Pacific Coast, just south of Salango. We became friends while I stayed there and we were getting his Caterpillar up and running again Currently the Hosteria is run by Patricia and her husband Carlos, Christian is back in Switzerland, returning to Salanog later this year.

Stefan is from Switzerland, we have met at the Campground La Quinta in Cusco, Peru, he is travelling in a Toyota Land Cruiser, same year as mine, 2001. He is travelling on the Americas from North to South. Previously Stefan has been exploring Africa, by motorbike as well as with his Toyota.

Photo by Mauricio

Anyela, Kenia, Mauricio, Reinaldo and their Oncle I have met at the Hosteria Islamar. We have done a boat ride together that Christian has organized for us. Kenia is from Brazil, the rest of the gang from Ecuador, Reinaldo's home is Cuenca, the others are living in Spain. What a fun day we had and an excellent BBQ I have been invited too. Muchisimas Gracias!

Wolfgang and Hille are from Germany, travelling in a Iveco Daily 4x4 RV. I have met them in Cusco at Camping La Quinta. They have been travelling all over the world, knowing a lot of Africa. Now touring in South America, heading towards Brazil.

Photo by
Adrian & Jana are a Swiss couple travelling in a Mitsubishi 300L 4WD with pop-up roof. We have first met in Colca Canyon when I was touring with Stefanie towards Lima. Later I have met them again in Cusco at Camping La Quinta. They started in the South of the continent and are northbound. A cute brazilian doggy keeps them company.

Photo by Sonja & Christoph
Sonja & Christoph, the Swiss couple is biking their way from North to South on the Americas. In the caribean they traded their bycicles against a sailing boat. We have met in Abancay, later on the road that would lead the two tough bikers to over 4'500 meters over sea level, with icey temperatures. In Cusco we have met again for a couple of beers huge salads, a nice Pizza but most of all for a fun night together. I am very impressed, I feel air getting thin while I am just driving in my truck, but riding a bike. Wow! Visit their blog to read more about the impressive adventures of Sonja & Christoph.

Roland and Irene: Roland and I have been working together at Jet Aviation in Switzerland until Roland quit and moved to Bonaire with his future wife Irene. On the caribean Island they are running two hotels, a restaurant, have built a house a pool and have many more plans. I have visited Roland & Irene at Tropicana in February 2011, when I took a flight from Houston, Texas to the beautiful Island.

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Andrea & Corsin, the Swiss couple are northbound with their cool aircooled VW Bus T3. We have met in Cusco at Camping La Quinta. Check out their webpage for information on South America as well as for their story of the trip.

Tarmo Tamming, the first and only overlander from Estland I have met so far. Tarmo has been travelling in Africa, Europe and now in South America with his 2WD Mazda Combi. I have met Tarmo in Cusco, Peru. I hope to see him again, as he has left to see Machu Pichu and might come back to Cusco prior to my departure.

Michel & Sylke from Lausanne in Switzerland are travelling South America in their super cool Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ79 with Azalai cabin. I was invited for a dinner at the compact and off-road capable set up and can tell you there is so much comfy space in there, it is unbelievable. Thanks again Michel and Sylke for the time with you and the fine food and wine. We have met in Cusco, Peru.

Henrik is belge and travelling in his self built Mercedes G-Wagon. We have met in Cusco at ovver 3'400 meters. His G-Wagon just does not like the high altitude and had to get a little Toyota help once Henrik wanted to leave. The jump from the blue truck would not get the 300 TD started but a pull from Stefan with his HZJ 78 got the Mercedes going again. As I understand this is the second G-Wagon RV that Henric has built, very cleverly constructed with lots of room a fixed bed over the cabin, shower, toilet, kitchen, heating, nothing is missing. And you know what's the material Henrik used to build his cabin? Used out of service Highway street signs, true! - Safe travels in your black G!

Andi & Kim are from Basel, Switzerland. We have first met in Arequipa and again in, guess where, exactly Cusco at Camping La Quinta. The Swiss couple is northbound with their former Swiss Firetruck. A Mowag aka Dodge.

I have met David and his wife and the three boy first in Nazca at Maison La Suisse, I have missed out the first time to take there information and there blog to post a link here. Met them a second time in Cusco at Camping La Quinta. Screwed up again on getting there blog and I am now waiting for them to roll on here in La Paz Bolivia and I promis, I won't forget again to take their blog and link it on Meet & Greet. And HERE it is.

I have met Bruno and his wife from Saint Martin in the Caribean for the first time in San Augustin in Colombia. Months later in Cusco again. They have stored their Doge with pick-up-pop-up camper at La Quinta in Cusco and are back in the Caribeana for some two months.

Lukas and Eva are from Solingen. We have met in Cusco, yes at La Quinta. The german couple is southbound, have started in Canada and I am looking forward to see them soon again. I have left Cusco a little earlier but I am sure they will soon catch up with the guy in the slow blue truck.

Another Cusco La Quinta find: Hans and Doris from Switzerland have been travelling for many years in their custom built Merceds 4x4 truck. Follow their trip on their webpage. Thank you for all the information you have shared with me and for the maps of the places I am heading too. Muchas Gracias!

Matthew & Pascale with their two boys are southbound as I am. I have met the Canadian family in Cusco. Matthew and I share the professional history in Aviation. Have you met Aviators before? If so you know: They can talk for hours and hours about things with wings. The second card I have misplaced since Cusco. So stay tuned, I will find it soon again and up-date the information with a link to their blog.

Photo by SwissZebra
Did you know we have Zebras in Switzerland? Urs, Caro, Tim and Klara, that is the Swiss family travelling in the Swiss Zebra. We have just met here in La Paz, Bolivia. Their MAN 4x4 truck is..., well what is it? I would say..., a Monster. The hood of the blue truck would easily fit under the rear overhang of the massiv truck. I am sleeping up under the pop-up roof of the Toyota at about 2.3 meters over the ground and will still sleep at a lower level than the Swiss family is. Check out their web site and their massive vehicle here.

Claire & Jan from Ireland (as the truck's colors kind of tell) and the Netherlands are travelling in the largest all wheel drive monster I have yet come across on my trip. The super cool 6x6 MAN truck powered by Magirus-Deutz pulled up on the Camping area of Hotel Oberland yesterday. The couple has come from the South of the Continent and is more or less north bound. Follow the monster on their blog.

Erich & Franziska are from Switzerland. They are well experienced travellers all over and also in Southamerica. While the Swiss couple has explored the continent a couple of years ago with their Toyota Land Cruiser, same year and model as mine, they are now travelling with a Iveco 4x4 truck with a clever new cabin. Franziska & Erich left Hotel Oberland today (19/07/2013). They will head up North for a little before turning around heading South again. Looking forward to seeing them in a couple of months again.

Herr Lehmann goes around the world, that is Kati & Martin from Germany. Read about their amazing trip in the little 2x4 highly modified van. Check out many pictures and videos of where they push through with a 2 wheel drive van, where many with 4WD wouldn't even go. Kati & Martin are Southbound and I am looking forward to seeing them soon again.

Simon is from Switzerland, the French speaking part. He is travelling with a Land Cruiser short wheel base, with simple but clever equipment and a glasfibre roof tent. We have met at Hotel Oberland in La Paz Bolivia. Simon is northbound and will probably travel for another 8 months or so.

Photo by the Huntigton family
The Huntigton Family. Brent came up to me and was as so many and so often asking about my Toyota. We got into talking and it wasn't long and I got invited by Brent, his wife and the four kids for Dinner, Campfire night and most of all a wonderful night at their Campsite with great company. That was in Lousiana in Winter 2011. The Huntigton family took a trip for a year, I guess I can't say a year off, as both parents are teachers and the four kids hardly ever got a break from home schooling. What a great system allowing a family to become roadies for a year. I believe the Huntigton family is back in Canada by now. Check out their blog to read and see about their adventure.

Emily Zaebst and her daughter Serenity have been staying at the same Hotel as I did in Xela, Guatemala. Unfortunately I have missed to take a picture of the two cute ladies. They have been backpacking and approached me whether I would know a Hotel, exactly while I was looking for one to spend a week plus, since Xela was the City I was attending school for another week to get some of the Spanish. Unfortunately I have lost track of Emily and Serenity's where about. Their home is in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jan & Regula that is a German/Swiss couple. We have met on the North Coast of Peru. While I was heading South, the two were northbound in their VW T3 camper bus with pop-up roof and Diesel engine. The VW has a simple but beautiful interior. Like my truck the small engine of the VW doesn't have a turbo charger. And I always thought my truck was slow but the Land Cruiser still has more than twice the horses onder the hood than what is pushing the VW over the Andes. Jan & Regula have turned around are now heading South again.

Julie Boulianne is from Quebec, Canada. The two solo hikers have met on hike in Ecuadors Parque Nacional Las Cajas. Julie is a teacher for envirnomental studies and has been in Ecuador with a class of students. Since this was a Sunday and the hike required an early rise, she was on her own without any of the students. After we have speparated in the National Park I have met Julie again on the road, waiting for a bus that apparently was not going on Sundays. So I gave her a ride back to town. We had a nice chat on the way and I've learned about how much out in the woods she is living back home. Lakes, bears sounded very appealing.

Carole DeVine is the owner of the fantastic Finca Ixobel in Poptun, Guatemala. I have camped twice at the beautiful place. Read my post about the Finca here. Carole is originally from California in the USA. She and her husband Michael have been touring Central America in a Land Cruiser just like I do but some years ago, that was 1970. So there were no paved roads, hardly any tourist infrastructor at all. What started as a small organic farm shall soon become a place where toursits stop and camp. And over the years it has developed to a full service facility, whether you are going to hang a hammock in the trees or wish for a room with private bath, a dorm bed or a Suite. No worries, Carole offers it all. I have met Carole at one of the tasty dinners at the restaurant of the Finca and enjoyed an evening with her and the brathtaking story how Finca Ixobel became what it is today.

Petra und Frank are Tour-Guides, Drivers, Chefs and much more at Kondor-Tours. They have been awaiting their group of tourists in their impressive Mercedes Actros at Hotel Oberland in La Paz. They prepared the truck and organized all kind of stuff prior to the groups arrival. They know South America insideout, since they have been leading tours for Kondor since many years.

The beautiful dutch Toyota Land Cruiser with Cabin and impressive suspension mod as well as gearbox and turbo engine from an 80ties Serie Land Cruiser has just pulled-up yesterday. Hermanus and Johanna have an impressive travelling history in Asia, Africa and the Americas. They are northbound and will be heading to the north of the continent. Setting over to Central America and move on towards Mexico and the USA.

Andreas is from Germany, has lived in Switzerland for 10 years and is now touring South America in his VW T4. He is camping directly next to me at Hotel Oberland, actually right now he's not since he has left to get some stuff fixed at his Volkswagen at Ernesto Hugs workshop. He bought the T4 from a Swiss couple in Argentina, but is not entirely happy with the car that is not sufficiently robust with its electronic motormanagement and the independet suspension.  He has just made a deal to purchase an IVECO Turbo Daily 4x4 from a german couple in some month in Argentina. Andreas is a runner, has toured Africa on his bike, he is a climber, a hiker, a kayker a world tourer. He is travelling with his dog Murci which he adopted in Agrentina.

Margrit and Walter are retired and backpacking South America. They have just left for Lake Titicaca but will return to Hotel Oberland in a couple of days. The Swiss couple will be heading South, where they stop in Sucre for a couple of weeks to attend a language school and stay with a local family. Check out their blog here.

Marko is from Hamburg, he has just set of for 7 weeks of impressive bike touring through the Altiplanos of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Not just because his bike is of the same colour as my blue truck but also following very strictly the KIS (keep it simple) principals as I did made me very interested in his set up. The bike as a steel frame, no springs, 29er wheel. He is towing a single wheel trailer with the same size wheel and tube and tire as the bike.

Andreas, Marko and me, sending Marko off this morning. Just as a start he has to cycle up to El Alto, a elevation difference of around 800 meters. Fully loaded with gear, water and food. Good luck, Marko! Hope to see you later on again on the road.

Hans and his son Martin are touring in a cool VW T3. Hans has bought the old Volkswagen new 25 years ago in France. He had travelled with it with his family, his wife or solo in Europe, Africa and Asia before shipping the vehicle to South America. We haven't had much time to talk, up-date will follow.

Jean Pierre and Hannie have just pulled up yesterday. They are touring in a massive US built 4x4 Ford F550 RV. The couple is from Holland and has travelled by Land Rover and trailer before swapping for the Ford along the trip. We have not had much chance to talk yet, up-date will follow. Check out their impressive trip of over 120'000 kilometers on their web-page.

Les OrAnGiMa, c'est: Orane, Anaé, Giles, Marie-Ange. The french family is travelling in a Ford Transit RV. Giles is a hard core mountainer and is participating in climbs for a movie project. The cute girls of 6 and 4 are always up for something. Together with Andreas we've had a wonderful BBQ at Hotel Oberland. The vegetables in alufoil I had prepared were a little too spicey for Andreas. But the girls were not greedy and shared the none spicey ones with him.

Nery and his wife Cindy showed up one weekend at Christian's (see above) beautiful Hosteria Islamar at Ecuador's Pacific coast, near Salango. Nery and Christian have been working together once at Holcim in Guayaquil. Nery is an engineer and was facinated by the blue truck and we got into talking about how I transformed the Toyota Troopy into the blue truck. Later when I went to Guayaquil with Christian to find parts for his Caterpillar we visited the impressive company that Nery owns and runs. Just outside of Guayaquil towards the coast he and his large team are constructing and fabricating pre-fabricated concret and cement structures. The photo was taken by Cindy and shows Christian, Nery, me and the blue truck (from right to left).

I did not expect to meet a real Australian Bush Camper in South America. But  when you travel like that, you never know. Wilflried, Claudia and their son Camillo were camping in the parking lot of Kolping Hotel in Sucre where we spend two nights. From Austria to Australia. The family has started their trip from Vienna by backpack and by the time reaching Australia bought the Bush Camper which has now become their home to travel up North and soon to sail over to Central America. Safe travels!

This gentlemen and his son, due to the noise I never got his name, neither the one of his son, have been sitting next to me at a local football match in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The father was convinced that we were all millionaires in Switzerland and trusted me and the millionair's saga as much that he wanted to entrust his son to me to take him to Switzerland. Smart he was, I was told, and he could become a banker and make tons of money. Read the full story here on my swiss-german blog.

Katrin & Manfred Heinl are from Germany, not a surprise as most travelling with trucks that I meet are. They have purchased the former fire-truck readily modified as expedition vehicle and it is the trucks second go-around on the Panamericana. We have met in the hot springs at Tatio Geysirs in North Chile. The German couple is northbound. 

Photo by La Cordillère à vélo
Camille and Alain are from the french speaking part of Switzerland. The brave couple is cycling and hiking from Lima to Caphorn. Check out their blog to learn more about the adventures of the two young envirnomental engineers. They have also been featured in an article in the Onex Magazine.

Margrit and Volker are from Bavaria in southern Germany. The well experienced travellers spend their retirement travelling some nine months or so a year and go back home to see their families and grand children for 3 months every year. They have owned their Land Cruiser with Desert-Tec pop-up roof since Kilometer 0 in 2001 and have since put over 300'000 travelling kilometers on it. Volker is conected through his radio with most of the world, wether in Germany or on the road. Thank you for the nice company and the software for the Android-GPS.

Francisco Bermudez, his wife and friends I have met while negotiating my way up to the closed National Park of Turialba, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is Franciscos home land, where they were just spending their vacation, since they nowadays live in Miami where Francisco runs Arber & Associates Inc, a structural & shoring engineering office. We've made a soft appointment to later meet again down in the village, unfortunately I have missed them.

Biking along the beach with Silvia & Ursi
Silvia Peluso and I have worked together at Jet Aviation in Zurich early 90ties. Silvia left and got married to John and moved to California. When heading South towards Mexico we visited John and Silvia and their two boys in their beautiful home at Redondo Beach. It was so great to see them again and to spend time with them. We had such a good party on the great roof top Terrace of their house. It was just the neighbours who did not enjoy our wine drinking and music as much as we did. Never mind. John gave me all kind of information about Mexico to where I was heading days after the visit in South LA and an excellent printed map out of google maps to the roads in the copper canyon where I was headed to a couple of weeks later. Thanks again Silvia and John for the great time. Looking forward to seeing your soon again.

Marcello owns and runs Ranch Mandovi in the brazilian South Pantanal. He is a native or as he calls himself a "Pantanal-Indianer". He is fluent in several languages and beside the Ranch where you can camp either with your car or with your vehicle, he also runs Explore Pantanal with his business partner Miriam from Switzerland, who unfortunately was on home leave while we camped at the ranch. Stop by or even better join Marcello for a tour into the Pantanal. His knowledge is impressive.

We have met Werner from Paderborn in Foz de Igauçu in Brazil. He has just started his "testing-trip" with the newly purchased Mercedes RV. After some three weeks of travelling he will return home to Germany and return spring next year with his wife to start their Panamericana adventure from the South to North. Werner is an experienced overlander, the retired teacher has already been overlanding through Africa in an Unimog, from South Africa all the way home to Germany, with three young kids at the time. Are you a long term overlander? You may have met the family 1986 in Africa.

Alfonso Ogawa is a Physiotherapist from Londrina, Brazil. We have met him in the Pantanal where he was passing through for an extended weekend, shooting photos, his hobby.

Photo by Cañas Castilla
Agi and Guido are originally from Switzerland, years back they have moved to Costa Rica and bought a beautiful piece of land just about 15 kms South of the border to Nicaragua. They run a Finca but also have some cabañas (bungalows) you can rent. And even better, you can camp with your vehicle on their property. An amazing beautiful spot, with many animals and senderos (hikes) that cross the property in any kind of way. Enjoy Agi's excellent food, a fresh fish from their own fish hatchery for dinner and listen to Guido's stories about how they came to Costa Rica. And animals, all over, hauler monkeys, spider monkeys, cayman in the river and much more.

Maja and Bruna the two Swiss Ladies own and run Cometa Travel in Quito, Ecuador and the attached B&B. We have stayed at the B&B prior and post to our trip to the Galapagos on their boat Angelito. We have enjoyed their fantastic hospitality and enjoyed chatting with Maja and Bruna and learning about their adventure of bringing up and running a business in Ecuador and even more so managing a boat on the Galapagos. A trip with them to  the Galapagos is highly recommended. 24 hrs safe parking for your RV is available near by.

Photo by Johnatan Dillon
Johnatan has come up to the drivers door of the blue truck on a parking lot in Ecuador. We had a nice little chat with him, he was very interested in the truck and what we have been doing, since a truck with Swiss plates is kind of rare on an ecuadorian parking lot. Check out Johnatan's web page to learn more about what he is up to.

Francisco Sevilla and his friends I have met at the Campground at Ojos de Volcan in Ecuador, they have spontaneously invited me to join them for a trip down to the waterfalls South of Baños. We had a fund day together speaking a little Spanish a little English and a little Spanglish. at the end they delivered me back up to the campground high above over baños. Muchas Gracias.

Juano Narvaez and his colombian wife I have met in Peru at Reserva National Lachay. We have done a couple of hikes the same day but have not met before all the three of us came down on the sendero right next to where I had set camp with my blue truck and Juano had parked his car.

Victor Covo is branch manager at Naves in Colombia. I have met Victor when I was handling the transaction of the dollares for the shipping from Veracruz to Cartagena. Victor had a lot of nice things to say about my home on wheels and we stayed in contact through e-mails for a while. I had send him links of the time when I was building my Cruiser. Thanks Vicotor and all the best.

Bill and his wife from Steamboat Springs in Colorado have been camping at Gran Canyon Campground just a couple of sites from where the blue truck set camp. Bill is an achitect and has his own business. We noticed that we did not just share a passion for outdoor life and wilderness but also for old Toyotas, or let's say Toyotas in general. Thank you very much for inviting me to your cool off-road camping-trailer for dinner. The trailer was pulled by... a Toyota of course.

Evelyne, Cédric and their four kids, Oliver, Kevin, Ethan and little Ilona from near Lausanne in Switzerland are travelling on the northern as well as on the southern hemisphere, depending on the time of the year to catch the warm season. Our luck, so we have met the family in South America. We spend a couple of days together at Camping Suizo in Mendoza and coordinate our second meeting point via SMS for the Dakar Rally in Uspallata. Ilona spends a dancing night with Ursi while we are tasting each other’s “catch of the day” in the wine reach region around Mendoza. Parting in Uspallata we shall meet again up at Paso Christo Redentor crossing over to Chile. After each team going its own way we re-group in Pichilemu and spend a fantastic night once again with some excellent filet grilled by Cédric and salads prepared by Evelyne and Ursi. While we share wine and fine food we also share our stories how we came about to quit work and start to travel. Cédric’s story is impressive, a true self-made man, having started his business at the tender age of 20. Let’s see whether we manage to re-group by SMS once again.

Martin is from Germany and started not too long ago with his KTM in South America, now heading north. The German solo travelling has been in Latin America before as a back-packer and has now saved up his money for a three year trip with his bike. We have met him in Salta, Argentina on the Camping Municipal.

Peter, another German solo traveler, he pulled up in his rental Mitsubishi L300 mini RV covered in Graffiti’s. He started his eight week trip in Santiago and is about half way done when we have met in Argentina, Salta again.

Peter from Germany is a teacher and has been teaching in Germany as well as in Mexico at German schools for now though he is taking a sabbatical. His original plans to tour South America by bicycle have been crashed in the truest sense of the word. A serious accident left him with some bones and muscles still to fully recover, but nonetheless Peter took off, while he took his bike along he bought a VW van and his now touring on six wheel, partially on four of the VW and partially on the two of his bike. I knew his van before I knew him; I have met Martin Bloch from Switzerland in the Volkswagen listening to the name Florina in Cusco Peru.

Martin and Sarah from Switzerland are touring in white VW T3 synchro. We have met the young couple from Basel in Salta on the Municipal Campground. They have started their trip in Monte Video, Uruguay and are planning to work their way north in several portions with working stops back home in Suiza while the Synchro stays in South America. They have started a large project to consolidate over-night locations for overlanders, check it out and become part of it:

We haven’t had the chance to talk much with Philippe and Natalie Ryan while Camping in Mendoza at Camping Suizo. But their beautiful black Jeep with roof tent and all kind of clever equipment pulled up to Uspallata in the shade of Evelyne and Cédric’s large RV. The Canadian couple shipped their vehicle south and is now northbound on their way back to Québec. They are on a rushed schedule as they want to be back home in six month.

During the Argentinian heat wave we were camping at the campground in Barreal. Chili, her mom, her grandma, Fabricio, Beto and Angy were passing by looking to cool off in the pool on December 30, 2013. All cool in the heat, only that there hasn’t been any water in the only pool in town. Instead they came spontaneously by our site chatting with us for a little while. Before long, Chili and her mom invited us to spend New Year’s Eve with them; they were renting a cabin not far away. Very quickly we agreed and Chili came to pick us up by car on the 31st. We have spent a fantastic time with the Argentinian family; Chili had prepared mouthwatering Empanadas and everything that has to go into the Matambre (a big stuffed piece of meat). Ursi and Chili were sewing the Matambre together while Beto would not stop putting meet on the grill. Later Beto pulled out his Guitar and we were dancing and singing well into the New Year. Beto and Chili brought us home and we were having some last Fernet Branca with Coke until the sun started rising. THANK YOU to the entire family and friends. What an unforgettable New Year’s Eve.

Mario and his wife were among the ex-Camping Suizo team that was heading up to Uspallata for the Dakar Rally. Another night with one of Cédric’s wonderful Beef filets off the grill. Everybody prepared something or sponsored a nice bottle of red. Mario and his lady were spending the night in a Hotel nearby and joined the street-camper again in the morning and for the day at the race.

Rafel and Cristina were our hosts at beautiful Boutique Hotel Villa Floreal at Asuncion in Paraguay. We did not just enjoy their fantastic hospitality while the Toyota got serviced we have also found some friends for very interesting conversations. The history of the French-Paraguayan couple was as interesting as inspireing. We have spent our last night together at a paraguayan restaurant enjoying more grilled meat than it was really good for us. But with a reasonable vine and the digestives afterwards it was nothing but outstandingly good. Thank you for the wonderful time at your little paradise in the middle of a capital city. 

Osacar from Buenos Aires is a medical doc, a surgeron actually. However he had enough of the 80 hour weeks at Buenos Aires hospitals and traded his regular life against the life on the road. After having toured Europe in the RV of a friend he is now on the road in his own and other South American Countries. We have met Oscar at our very first night stop after having entered northern Argentina from Paraguay. 

Mike, Lisa and the girls. Mike and Lisa where visting their daughter who is studying for a year in Buenos Aires. For the summer vacation they have set off with a friend of their daugher in a rental RV. The well experienced travelling family has been sailing the west coast of the US, toured down to Baja California in a Lexus 80 Series and I am sure the Californian Family has done many more interesting trips we did not get a chance to talk about yet. We have met in the North of Argentinas wine regions a couple of times, unfortunately not yet again. Thank you for the comfy times with fine wine and excellent people.

The Girl on the bike is Martina, together with Ruedi and Marcel she is leading a whole group of Swiss off-roaders that we meet without knowing about them on the Campground in Barreal. Ruedi & Martina run their own business in Switzerland and their Land Rover TD5 is a beautiful showcase of what the can do. Marcel is a car mecanic and runs his own workshop as well. He is also travelling in a TD5. Further part of the team is another Land Rover, a Toyota and the Bike. Check out this link to see fantastic off-roading of the Swiss-Team. By now they are all back home. 

While heading to towards the ferry to cross over to Tierra del Fuego we are picking up Fabio. He is hitchhiking is way around the Southern Part of South America for a couple of week. Fabio is from Italy and his home is in Bergamo, just a few Miles off the Swiss Border. Later we meet Fabio again and give him a ride to the "end of the world", Ushuaia. Fabio is back hom in Italy by now.

We have been meeting the two French-Men on the Carretera Austral in Chile. Oreillon and Emanuel have been coming from the South and did the hard way a long the lake and over the pass to O'Higgins. Only possible by bike or foot. I am sponsoring some patches to get their flats repaired. I don't know where they currently are, some where heading North.

We have met Sarah and Nate only twice and both times way too short. By now they are back home in the USA and their 4x4 Dodge truck is enjoying a nice little overhaul after the long haul. They have travelled all the way from the US, North to South. We meet in Chile. Read more about their adventure and why her mom is tougher than yours on their blog.

I doubt that I need to spend to many more words about a man who built his own, two engined Citroën 2CV, read all about Walter on the blog post about him in German or English.

Lucas is another tough guy. He had just crossed Brazil from the coast up into the Andes at El Bolson. The weather was cold and wet and he decided to hang around in the area and to find himself some work through the winter and continue on in spring with his tour further South. His home is near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thanks for the valuable tipps, Lucas.

Thomas is a Berliner. We have met the teacher who is taking off one year from school at the Thermes of Araqay in Uruguay. Ursi cooked up a nice dinner, I opened a bottle of wine and we had a fantastic evening together. Later our paths are crossing once again, literally crossing, we see him on the other side of the road, turn around and have chat. Thomas admitted, that he has had a bit of a hard time after the evening with us, not because of the wine or actually yes, because of the wine & beer. Overlanding on a bike is tough, you have so little space and none of the amenities a vehicle offers, like lots of storage space for food, a fridge for meat or fresh icey beer. The ability to carry heavy bottles of wine and all. Usually Thomas is riding some 100 to 150 km a day but for the next couple of days after we have met him the 2nd time he planned a couple of resting days, weather has been unusually cold and wet. All the best Thomas, looking forward to seeing you again in Europe. Follow Thomas' adventures HERE!

This is Joaquim and Deni, our neighbours on the camping club de Brasil campground in Rio. Like most folks in beautiful Brasil, they are super friendly, the short time we camped next to one another was enough for them to become friends with us and the other way around. Not even talking about that we could not be talking... due to the lack of speaking portuguese, lack on our part that is. The shared all their phone numbers and insited we should call them with any problems we might run into while on the road in their country. I really hope I can take some of the South American Hospitality back home to Europe. Thank you Joaquim and Deni!

NANA e NADA, we are meeting the two ladies, Katja and Myriam just a couple of nights to late. The two performers come spontenaously to our table when they hear us talking in Swiss-German. Katja is Swiss as well, but has been living in Buenos Aires for years. To late because we are bound to leave the beautiful capital of Argentina the next morning and will not have time to see the Swiss-French ladies perform. All the very best. Want to know more about them, visit their webpage or facebook page.

Gerda & Lud from the Netherlands. We have met them in Paraguay, they have come down from the hot and humid North of Brazil and where glad to find a spot where it was not as hot and it had not as many mosquitos. Thank you for the comfy night in your beautifully self-built MAN Cabin. Lud & Gerda are well experienced travellers and have been around the block a couple of times. After having explored the world in even larger trucks such as large Magirus in Asia i.e. they appreciate the cosy home on wheels that is actully so well made and compact that it almost fits on a standard parking spot. Travel safe!

We have met Marcelo and his family on a campground on Ilhabela in Brazil and watched the first Word Cup games together. Marcelo sponsered beer, we sponsered the wine and together we shared the food we cooked. It was a pleasure spending time with you. Thank you for speaking soooo much better English than we do Portuguese.

Monika and Ursula are long term friends. They have met long before Monika decided to leave Switzerland and move to Rio de Janeiro. Ursi has been meeting up with Monika once again in Rio since, years ago but before I met Ursi. And than Monika met Marcelo and if that is not enough meeting one another for you yet, we all have met in Rio de Janeiro in June. Monika and Marcelo let us live in there Botafogo apratment for the time we were visiting the City. And all over again when we came back from the North heading South. THANK YOU very much. We enjoyed Rio a lot and meeting and spending time with you even more. Looking forward to seeing you in Switzerland next.

Now this is a story! We were heading from Chile to Argentina crossing the deserted Paso Roballo. As we were cruising down the Argentinian side of the mountain pass I have noticed a large motorbike lying in the desert about 8 meters off the gravel road. Next to it stood a man. I slowed the truck down and we stopped. The man we have found was in trouble. Francesco a solo traveller on his heavy BMW 1200 GS flew off the road somehow. When we found Francesco he was kind of under schock and even more under a lot of pain. After some questioning, some painkillers feeding, we loaded all his bags into the blue truck. And finally after a very, very painful process for Francesco we loaded him up onto the blue truck's passenger seat. This was just the beginning of a long story until Francesco finally found a bed in a Hospital many, many hours later, 6 broken rips, a broken shoulder and... was the diagnose. Francesco invited us to meet to his home and his family when we got into Brasil. We have spend a couple of wonderful days with Francesco and his wife Paula, we shared our stories and we've listend to Francesco's Odyssey from the road side emergency post until he was finally home, his bike still in Argentina. To get that back was another story. So we stayed another day... We have not found a man with an accident on Paso Roballo, we have found a new friend.

Early on when crossing into Brazil we have come across this fantastic rig. Our Portuguese was as poor as their spanish, english or what ever. But nontheless, they drove a extemly cool, loud and antique 4x4 four truck. It is as it looks, a former Brazilian Army truck, built in Brazil with Mercedes components. It does not only look very tall it really is, check out the camping chair next to it.

Meet the Band. When you visit Brazil's Capital, Brasilia, there is only one place to camp. That is at the International Youth Hostel. So that was were we were heading to. And since it was still FIFA world championship, we were not alone. And on the campground we've met this bunch of young Colombian fellows, the band. The are touring through South America making music with, apart from a guitarre all improvised instruments. They are playing in Restaurants, Bars etc. and earning the money they need to keep travelling.

Fabio and Camilla. A Pilot and a Flight Attendant at TAM. We have met on a campground in Ubatuba. Together with Nelson (sorry no picture) who they have met the night before on the same campground we had a wonderful night with Risotto, BBQ sausages, lots of Wine, more wine and lots of fun and even more fun. Thank you very much for the wonderful time we could spend with you.

Angelika and Michael have just set off from Paraiso Suizo to head up the coast of Brazil. The funny, friendly, interesting German couple is having the Land Rover here in Southamerica, spending the European winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, while they have a VW Camper back home in Germany to spend the summer with, not a bad idea. The Land Rover is a 130 TDi double cab with a pop-up cabin installed on the pick up bed.

Steinor is, I believe the only Norwegian I have met on the entire trip. His journey from New York to Deadhorse in Alaska and through Central and South America has come to an end, nearly anyways. He has been preparing his VW T3 synchro here to ship it to Bremerhaven. The 72 year young gentlemen has travelled the entire trip as a Solo traveller, living in his T3. Steinor had many good stories to sell and he has impressed us all here at Paraiso Suizo, we are already missing him. Have a safe journey home, Steinor and all the best for all that is awaiting you back home.

Michael and Natascha have travelled all the way from the far North of Canada to Ushuaia and than back up here to Uruguay within some 18 months. They have been our neigbouhrs for over a week while they were preparing their Land Rover TD5 to ship RoRo to Bremerhaven. They themselves are headed north again, speding some weeks in Norther Canada before flying to Germany to pick their beautiful green metallic Land Rover up at the port, to drive it home to Switzerland. Just about Christmas is when they plan being home.

Birgit und Florian. The German couple has been driving North, Central and South America for the past 18 months. The sweet couple is working at Audi and therefore it could only be a VW group product to travel with. Their T3 synchro is a former austrian Army vehicle. They have up-graded for a more powerful Diesel engine. Though Florian still thinks it is a bit slow. They too are at the end and we've met them as well here at Paraiso Suizo in Uruguay. While the T3 is shipping home they are flying over to Cuba to spend some weeks there before getting re-united with their fourwheeled travel companion. Enjoy Cuba and have a safe trip home back to Europe and a safe ride through Germany back home to Ingolstadt.

We have been all sitting here comfortably outside, when this Monster pulled up at the gate of Paraiso Suizo. The 6x6 Mercedes Truck of the French couple Georges and Claude is something else. The monster truck is a former Dakar Race truck. It is an impressive machine with a tuned V8 twin turbo Diesel, remote adjustable shocks, tire pressures and much more. Equally impressive is its fuel consumption as Georges shared with us, that the high torque Diesel truck easily swallows about 100 liters of Diesel for 100 kilometers (for my US readers, that is just a little over 2.3 mpg!) of distance when driven in Sand or seriously off-road. On pavement the truck is capable of topspeeds over 120 km/h. The French couple has a wealth of travelling experience mainly in Europe, Africa and Asia and it is the first for them to be on the American Continent. Follow their trip here.

Thomas and Anke have just set off from Paraiso Suizo in their dark blue Toyota Hi-Ace 4x4 van. Unfortunately I have missed to take a picture of the Swiss couple who is normally running the International Youth Hostel in Gstaad, Switzerland. They have stationed their Toyota here in Southamerica for quite a while and are heading down here once in while to give it a ride and explore some more of the Southmaerican beauty.

Christina and Kölbi are a well experience traveller couple, the Swiss team have been travelling by motorbike to Australia years ago. Asia again in their Toyota Land Cruiser, Africa too and now South America. They had the car in storage here in Uruguay and have just set off a couple of days ago.

Christian who is German and lives in Rio de Janeiro has invited us to his weekend "Alm". We have met hime through Monika and Marcello. Christian has vaste knowledge about travelling in Brazil since he has been touring the country and other countries of South America many times in one of his Land Rovers. He has just now been switching to Toyota after his Land Rover let him down twice in row. Thank you Christian for all your support and the nice time up in the fresh air of your Alm.

Heinz and Silvia are running Paraiso Suizo here in Uruguay. The Swiss couple is just super friendly, the food is great, the place is need. Overlanders can store their vehicle here while travelling home or somewhere else and coming back to pick the vehicle up within a 12 month period prior to leaving.

William Sanders is Brasilian, he had been staying at the same Hotel in Ushuaia. The Brazilian gentlemen was travelling with his wife but still spared some time to share some news and recommendations with us once we would hit Brazil. Thank you William.

Claudia Heinze is a german lady, she has just knocked at my window while I was waiting in the car for Ursi who was getting us some bred. Claudia is living in Ubatuba, Brazil for many years and running a Day Spa. Thanks for the nice, though short chat.

We have met Euler and his girl friend at the campground in Toque Toque, Brasil, Euler is a professor at the Universidaade de São Paulo. Despite me speaking nearly no portuguese and him speaking about as much English we had a nice conversation. Euler found it very inspireing what we, overlanders are doing and he immediately listed it on his bucket list.


  1. ach thomas, da kommt reisefieber noch und nöcher auf. nach knapp 10 tagen im gemieteten klapprigen RV von las vegas über bryce canyon und yosemite park nach san francisco sind wir schon infiziert. weiter so!

    1. Merci, Nina! Ja, man kann irgndwie nicht genug bekommen... Tönt nach einer tollen Tour im Westen der USA.

  2. hey thomas this is so great...keep having fun, life is too short...g

  3. look at all the friends you have! Its hard to be lonely out there with so many road warriors.

    1. So true James, and you and beautiful Lauren (o.k. James, you're not bad either... but...) are all part of it. Even though we've met so short - a none the less important part of my trip. Thank you! We will meet again! Have to. Keep on trucking Toyoteros!

  4. Your`meet and greet` is providing me with tons of entertainment and a bit of envy. Totally enjoying your pics and your writing.
    I don` t post often enough, but here is a slice of Mulege life. Http://

    Keep having too much fun!

  5. Great list...this blows our list of fellow travelers out of the water! It's very cool to see on this list, some of the very same friends we've made along the way. Thanks for taking the time to put this post together!

    1. Shannon & Brenton, thanks for being an important part of my trip. Hope to see you again soon. Thanks for sharing my link, the latest up-date of Meet & Greet is already overdue... ;-)

  6. so tolle Geschichten - aber eines habe ich allen voraus - Du wart meine erste grosse Liebe :-) (o.k. ich wusste es nicht offiziel, aber ich habe Dich als einzigen Jungen an meine Kinderparty eingeladen)
    Weiterhin, viel Freude auf Deiner Reise und geniesse jeden Moment !

    1. ...jaja, das ist natürlich auch ein ganz tolle Geschichte, wie der kleine Tomli da mit lauter Mädchen am Kindergeburtstag war, wo er doch gar noch nicht wusste was anfangen mit ihnen, den Mädchen...

  7. Hallo Thomas ich habe gerade Deine meet-greet Seite gelesen. Ich lebe jetzt auf meinem kleinen Resort, wie Du vorhergesehen hast unter einem festen Dach. Total off grid. Schau mal rein, Facebook: Villa Linda Mar, Loreto. Bald werde ich auch eine website haben. Weiterhin viel Spass und alles Gute.

    1. Hallo Johannes, Wow das sieht ja alles super toll aus. Ich freue mich richtig, dass Dir alles so toll gelungen ist. Ich habe unterdessen "Meet & Greet" up to date gebracht und auch noch ein Photo von Dir vom Facebook geklaut. Hoffe das ist o.k. für Dich. Weiterhin alles, alles Gute mit Deinem tollen Projekt.

  8. Excellent list! It is very important to meet and stay connected with other travelers. I do not think we have met yet, but I am sure we will at some point.

    1. Hello Zebra Landy! Thanks for your comment. Hope to meet you soon, where abouts are you? Greetings from Asuncion (where even a Toyota likes to get some mecanic's love... ;-)

  9. At the moment I am in Uruguay, awaiting the arrival of my slaves. In March 2014 or so we will be in northern part of the continent. We too hope to meet soon. We will keep an eye on your website for your location.

    1. Sounds good, we will be heading to Argentina towards the end of the week. And are generally southbound with not too much of a plan. Looking forward to meet you.

  10. Hi Thomas
    We just came across your website... Quite impressive!
    We are currently in Punta Arenas, Chile stuck in a garage since 3 weeks (cylinder head repair)

    Hope to see you again down the road.

    Mathieu, Pascale and the boys
    (last seen in Cusco Peru June 2013)