Pan America to Brazil

Hey everyone,

The butterfly is going to take off again and this time from Los Angeles all the way to Florianópolis, Brazil….BY CAR!
Floripa, the nick name of this beautiful island in southern Brazil, Florianópolis, is where I was born and raised. It has changed so much but still holds a special place in my life. Most of my family lives here. Aside from the white sand blue ocean beaches Florianópolis has an unique heritage, culture and history.

Downtown Florianópolis

Drawing by Franklin Cascaes

One of the traditions brought from Azores.

I’ve been coming often to the island and this time I’ve been spending 3 plus months here to follow closely my mom’s treatments for depression. She is 83 now so I need to be close. I also came to take care of my 4 dogs and I was planning to take them back with me to California but I changed my mind.

My 4 dogs Gallega, Pretinho (2 in the front) Pingo and Chiquito.

I’ve been researching and thinking about driving from California to Brazil for quite some time and almost gave up because of the risks, time consuming and costs of driving almost 13000 km (about 8000 miles). I recently converted a short school bus to a motor home and this is what I intend to drive down.


I wasn’t sure I wanted to come back and live for a while in Brazil again because of the economy and the politics (very irritating to say the least). But one day I was enjoying a gorgeous warm day in the water on a calm beach of the south part of the island and I asked myself: what is the thing I like to do the most? And it came to me: “To swim in calm salty waters while observing and enjoying the nature around me. So I thought, this is what I want! And where is the best place to do that if not where I have family ties and a home and affordable pieces of land near the beach? I can have a boat, I can fish, I can live of the land.

Praia Mole Sunset

Lagoinha do Leste Beach.

With that decision made (although with me nothing is final until it happens) I continued my research and I found out I can send my bus from Costa Rica to Equador by Ro Ro. It is better than sending it from Panama to Colombia. It will save a bit of driving and money.
Let me explain why I need to send the bus. It is possible to drive from Alaska to Argentina except at Derién Gap. Wikipedia explains what the gap is:

“The Darién Gap is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest within Panama’s Darién Province in Central America and the northern portion of Colombia’s Chocó Department in South America. The gap begins in Yaviza, Panama and ends in Turbo, Colombia, and is 106 km (66 miles) long.[1] Roadbuilding through this area is expensive and the environmental cost is high. Political consensus in favor of road construction has not emerged. Consequently, there is no road connection through the Darién Gap connecting North America with South America and it is the missing link of the Pan-American Highway.”


It probably has more to it than difficulty and cost of construction. A lot of people make a lot of money due to this gap. Example of that are the shipping companies that charge around $800,00 USD per regular car to be transported from Panama to Colombia.

Anyways, as long as the gap exists we have to use the services of companies to transport the cars and fly to the place where we are going to pick them up.
If you want to know more about this part of the trip here is a good source:
They give a lot of tips about driving through the Americas and you can read about other people’s experiences.

With all that in mind I thought that it would be a great idea taking my school bus converted in motor home to sell to someone in Brazil, or other country, who desires to travel back to the US (or wherever). I can make much more money this way because vehicles, specially motorhomes, are very expansive in Brazil. I’m hoping to get a good price for it so I can buy a piece of land to make a mud house and cultivate my own food while enjoying the beautiful ocean on my backyard with my dogs, friends and family.

There are a few goals in this trip besides the obvious awesome adventure and I’ll be sharing with you in the next posts.
If you have tips, suggestions, questions, whatever, leave your comment bellow.
Thanks and happy travels…

Sunset Lagoa da Conceição.

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