Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to the End of the World
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On an afternoon just like many before it, Brad Van Orden sat at his desk. When a coworker meandered past his window, Brad succumbed to an impulse and blurted out the most outlandish thing he could think of—"Hey Steve, let's drive your hippie bus to Tierra del Fuego." This prompted Steve's halfhearted response: "I don't think so." But this got Brad thinking. What if we just dropped everything and left? Isn't there more to life than this? He messaged his wife with a question: "Want to do this?," to which she immediately responded: "Yes!" They clearly had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Drive Nacho Drive tells the hilarious and sometimes harrowing story of what happens when Brad and Sheena Van Orden trade in the American Dream for a year on the roads of Central and South America aboard "Nacho," their quirky and somewhat temperamental Volkswagen van. As a result of questionable decision-making skills and intermittent bad luck, Brad and Sheena repeatedly find themselves in over their heads. Whether negotiating cliff-hanging roads in rebel territory, getting caught illegally smuggling a transmission in a suitcase over international lines, mounting a stealth mission to steal Nacho back from a deranged Colombian auto dismantler, or clinging to the side of a vegetable truck while descending a 16,000 foot Andean pass, there seems to be no limit to the predicaments that these two can get themselves into. With Drive Nacho Drive, the Van Ordens deliver a thoughtful, hilarious, and mouthwatering depiction of adventure and misadventure on the Pan-American highway—one that will leave you simultaneously shaking your head and holding your sides, while asking yourself, isn't there more to life than this?
your song! And maybe I didn’t hold you All those lonely, lonely times And I guess I never told you I’m so happy that you’re mine He pulled my empty glass away and set down a fresh one. I held the glass in my hands, just as I would have held her had she not slipped away into the darkness, never to be seen again. No parting glance, no chance to say goodbye. I again retreated into my mind, where better times awaited. Better times, like when we camped on the Rio Quillen. In the morning we had
island and onto the beach, where the wind whips sand into an ominous dynamic painting. We spend the night here and are nearly swept out to sea. The Carretera Austral dives south into Chile's southern fjords; hundreds of kilometers of rutted, bumpy dirt roads into some of the most remote landscapes on the planet. It's also some of the most beautiful scenery we experience all year. A typical campground along the Carretera Austral in Southern Chile. This one is along the Rio Futaleufu—an
get worse; my date would spend the entire night hanging out with her choir friends instead of me; Brandon's date would leave him the moment they arrived at the dance, preferring the company of others to his exclusive company; Brandon would get bored and inform me that things weren't working out as planned, and that he was driving home. The icing on the cake would come later, when it would emerge that most of my high school classmates had split their vote amongst the popular Prom King nominees,
three it was about time for Nacho to break down. After all, we hadn’t broken down in a few hundred miles. Lo and behold, as we topped a mountain on the edge of Chicamocha canyon, our oil light started to flicker. Usually it only flickers when it gets wet, because the water causes the decomposing sensor wire to short against the engine. This time it wasn’t raining, and I pulled over to discover steam pouring out from under the van. We hastily removed our belongings from the back of the van – shoe
DIAN will deal with you now.” 41 Bogotá, Colombia — July, by Brad “What are these car parts?” I had been sitting at the DIAN office for hours as Alicia tirelessly entered information about my illegally smuggled goods into her computer. One should expect nothing less from a Colombian version of the IRS. Sheena still sat outside on a concrete island in between two lanes of traffic, studiously reading her e-book. “In the one bag I have a transmission. The other suitcase has wheel bearings,