We spent the our last few days in Jaco at the Kangaroo Hotel prepping the truck for 11 months of storage, and our spare time was spent surfing in the Pacific and swimming in the hotel’s pool.  It took us about two days or so to do a full clean out of Little Red, including washing all of our dishes and utensils, vacuuming out the cab and the tent, packing up the stuff that would stay, and organizing the stuff we would take with us on the plane back to Vancouver.  It was a very strange feeling to spend that last night in the tent.  Our rig signified home for us, so it was sad to know we would be spending only a few more days driving in it, and that our tent wouldn’t see the light of day until our return.

We chose to park at the government-bonded El Coco storage facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica.  Heather and Scott’s Adventures have a great blog post outlining the location, contact person, and storage process at El Coco.  Everything went smooth for us and Andres was a great help.  He speaks English so the whole transaction was easy and relatively stress free.  The only problem was that at our time of arrival the vehicle area inside the warehouse was full, so they had to move some things around before parking the truck inside.  This meant that we had to leave the truck parked outside of the warehouse and hand over the key for them to move the truck inside later that day.  It was a good thing Ash had her fake Ray Ban sunglasses on, which were perfect for hiding the wee little cry she was having about the whole situation.  Richard just happened to get something stuck in his eyes, and that’s why his were watering…

The next day and a half waiting for our departing flight in Alajuela was a confusing daze.  We drank at the hostel’s rooftop bar to drown our sorrows, looked forward to seeing friends and family, reminisced about our time our 8 months on the road, and started thinking about the next leg of the trip down to Ushuaia, Argentina.  The conclusion after all that, was that this trip was the single greatest thing either one of us has ever done.

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A seemingly long airplane ride took us from Alajuela to Houston, Texas, where we arrived at our gate to board our flight to Vancouver.  Another 4+ hours later we touched down at YVR Airport just after midnight.  After being stamped back into our home country, we gathered our things and set off for the Arrivals Gate to meet Richard’s mom Louise and stepdad Barry.  After some big hugs, we stepped out of the airport and into the clean, amazing smell of Vancouver. Here we were, in the same place where we decided to leave, where we hatched our plan, and where we finally started our journey south.  We were entering into what seemed like our former lives, but now everything was completely, utterly and totally different.  We had changed.  Nothing would be the same, but in the best possible way.  We are better, stronger, more grateful, more at peace.  And ready to start the next 10 month adventure here at home.

5 comments

  • sardinetaco

    You will be back on the road before you know it.

    Reply
  • Heather

    Congratulations on your first leg. There will be more, si? Thanks for the shout out, I’m glad our documentation could help someone else. Enjoy the deliciousness of the great Northwest! Maybe we’ll see you in South America in 2015???

    Reply
  • Rhonda

    Can’t wait until you’re back on the road so we can follow along once again. Sadly, we can’t make it to NW Overland Rally but if you make it down to Portland let us know and we can get to know you over a beer.

    Reply
  • Tyler

    What journey, thouroughly enjoyed the read. Did i miss how you intend on getting the truck back home to canada?

    Reply
    • Rich and Ash

      Hey Tyler,

      We’re working in Canada for another 10 months before flying back, picking up the truck, shipping to Colombia, and then driving to Argentina. We’ll ship the truck back from South America eventually 😉

      Reply

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