Panamericana 2013

… somewhere between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego


Overlander Oasis – Craftsmen @ work


Calvin @ work.

We reached Santa Maria del Tule and drove to Overlander Oasis to camp. Jan parked in front of the Camp and met Leanne, the owner if the place. I was still in the car to get Lissy on leash and find my shoes. When I was done I jumped out of the car and carried Lissy in my arm. Suddenly, a big brown dog, with bared teeth ran towards me.

I understood that he/she belongs to the Campground but I didn’t know if he/she was good or if he/she will eat me or Lissy up first. I really screamed while calling Jan and I was not keen at all. I let Lissy down and still wasn’t sure if the dog will be okay with her. I already make up a story in my mind: “We can’t camp here and need to find another place for tonight.”

Well, that’s how everything started but it quickly changed after we got to know the other dog – her name is Morena (= it’s spanisch and means brunette) – and Lissy and her got friends. Morena is really good, she is just excited when new people arrive. Her bared teeth are not bared teeth, she only has an overbite 😉 – what makes her look “angry”, if you don’t know her and cute if you know her.




Uff, that was exhausting.


Friends! They also share their drinking bowl.


Morena in her “dog house” which is not more than a cardbox.


It’s Morena’s dog house but Lissy is allowed to sleep in there, too.


But Morena needs to find another place to sleep 🙁

Well, this was only the doggie story so far. Morena doesn’t live here on her own. Also Calvin and Leanne (and 4 cute kittens) live here and host the campground. They are really nice and apologized for the “bad start” directly. They live in Mexico sind several years and traveled a lot, too. They build their own “camping bus” years ago -an old Greyhound bus- which is now their home. The bus parks on their property now and they build a living room, a kitchen and (of course) a workshop around it. The garden area around their home is the camp for Overlander from all over the world.


Our Camp @ Overlander Oasis

We met Neli of “Nelis Big Adventure” and her “parents” Victoria and Jason. Unfortunately they left the camp the next day already and we did not have much time to talk. We saw their camper and I got jealous because they have space to “live” and a kitchen inside. That was when the trailer idea was born. First we thought about getting a new car. But No! We are very happy with our Landcruiser. But we do need to have a “living room” – a place for the evening when mosquitos are bad, a place for rainy days, a place for Lissy and just a place to “live”.


Neli’s Big Adventure

On sunday we went to the market in Tlacolula. It’s a really nice market – a little crowded but still nice. Only Lissy doesn’t like the atmosphere. She is still to small to walk that much and because of all the people she was a little scared.


Market in Tlacolula.


You get used to the fact, that also kids sell food and stuff.


Do I wanna taste this? No not really. Grilled crawling “animals”


Lissy does not have that much fun…but she’s doing well.


Fruit and Vegetable everywhere…


…and it’s very, very cheap.


Unknown spices.

Okay, back to the trailer story: The weather in Alaska had pressed on our mood already and we thought about ending the trip. The fact that we are now in Mexico and still have “problems” with the weather does not make us happy. The constant wind on the Baja or the rain in the last days made us think about ending the trip in Mexico. But…yes. Would be stupid and sad. And then one thing leaded to another.

We had already heard that Calvin can fix anything and that he is a very good craftsmen. He offered us to build a small trailer so that we can live inside. ” Yes!!! ,” good idea – I did not think twice. Either that or our travel is at an end; (
Jan was a little more skeptic but the idea to have a new project did not let him go. That’s why we picked up a trailer some days later – luckily a friend of Calvin had one which he did not need anymore.

What did we expect from our “living room” ?
– a bed
– a place to sit and relax
– storage space

But…what Calvin and Jan build is far more than that…
We spent hours planning and shopping and took a lot of time of Calvin and Leanne – as you can see here .


Here we go…


Let’s dismantle the trailer.


Leaking spots get fixed.


A drive in the “Kübelwagen”…. let’s go shopping!


Which paint? Why do they have so many..?


The timber yard…you can get EVERYTHING here.


The “Kübelwagen” is just perfect to carry to wood.


Sure, we are hungry now…


…at ate the BEST BURGERS ever (except our own ;))


Well… somebody says that the “most important” has its place already.


We have to celebrate all successful days.


Cabling jumble…


What’s he doing here?


As this is an american trailer, we need to get separate flashing lights.

We’ve had a nice time here. Calvin and Leanne are great hosts and helped whenever we needed them! Without them, this project wouldn’t have had started and our trip might have had ended earlier. Thanks by now.

If we did not focus on the trailer we -for example- roasted yummy coffee beans, had dinner together or met other Overlanders on the campground – or gave Lissy a bath.


Beauty knows no pain.


Lissy doesn’t know yet.


Lissy is not that pleased…


…but at the end she did very well.


How to roast coffee? In an old popcorn machine.


That worked pretty good.


If you do no have a popcorn machine, you just make your own BBQ coffee roasting machine 🙂


After the 2nd Crack we get them out quick.




“The Next Adventures” @ Overlander Oasis – well only Kaleb on the pic.


Kaleb, Lissy and Morena having fun.


“You me and the dogs” @ Overlander Oasis. Tiffany, Mike with Barley and Peanut.


Peanut 😉

Work is calling !!!


Drawbar is too low – let’s just lift it…


Also Calvin welded a box for cable, propane bottle and heating system. Amazing work!


We also get an oven! 😉


I can also do something…. the wood has to be waxed.


What’s he doing now?


Yeah!!! The windows.


Sure – it fits.


And we can also open and close. 😉


Leanne sews our our curtains and a bed linen.


Focused @ work


F* ! The buzzsaw is defect…


After Calvin and Jan fixed it – Calvin could continue.


Nobody was in a mood to cook – so we had Pizza delivered!


One part of our bed…


Lissy already found her place;)


Our first housewarming party 😉


Insulation. Jan “LOVES” this stuff :):):)


Wow! We get a super-duper Sideboard…


Sure, Lissy has to check if Jan does a good job 🙂


Again: Shopping


Vollbepackt mit bunten Sachen die das Leben schöner machen 🙂


Looking forward to sew.


Wow! That’s a lounge! 🙂


Oh! I nearly forgot – because of all the trailer pics – that we also celebrated New Year’s Eve here and had a perfect BBQ.

We arrived at the end of 2013 and had three weeks to finish this project as we had to be in Cancun on January/ 28 to visit my sister. But as always… everything took much longer as expected (and we’re in Mexico so everything happens mañana!!!) 🙂
We did not get the trailer ready in time so we had to get a new plan: Drive to Cancun and back to El Tule to finish the trailer. Well, it’s only 3.000km there and back. It’s annoying but we decided not to leave with an unfinished trailer.

We said goodbye and drove towards Cancun.


Leanne, Calvin and Marie. THANK YOU !!!


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