Phoenix Pop Up is proud & excited to follow Victoria, Jason and their dog Neli on a tour headed to Central America, which began 79 days ago. Oct 8th the adventurers left Venice Beach in Southern California. “So, we’re in Mexico! Mexico is a “country,” and apparently we used to live in country called America, but now we live in a truck and are going to be visiting a bunch of countries after Mexico”. This is the story as told by Neli, and that’s what makes this over landing expedition so different, the narrative is from a dog’s perspective.

Check out their blog: Neli’s Big Adventure: The true story of a small dog over landing Mexico and Central America.

AND SO IT BEGAN Neli-RV Bliss Island

The family left Venice in Southern California and first headed north a little on their first week: Sequoia National Forest, Kernville and Lake Tahoe. The second half of their trip through California took them through Mendocino, Sonoma towards San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge, then Monterey, Big Sur, Cayucos, Santa Barbara, Topanga and Carlsbad for a visit with Jason’s family and from there South of the border into Mexico, where they have visited Tijuana, Ensenada, San Quintin, Catavina, Guerro Negro (on the border between Baja Norte and Baja Sur) past the dessert into Bahia Concepcion, Loreto, Sierra Giganta and Ciudad Constitucion in less than three days!
From there “it took quite a long time to get to the next destination, a big city called La Paz.” They visited the beautiful Playa Tecolote, which Neli called “dog heaven“, and then into a town called Todos Santos, and past it towards Los Cerritos, drove on from there, quickly passing through two big beach towns and into Cabo Pulmo National Park.

Neli- Playa TecoloteThe adventurers headed up to Los Barriles, where they stayed for about a week, before they visited a cool beach nearby called Balandra and after a few days finally toward Mainland Mexico. Neli was on a sixteen hour ferry from Baja to Manzatlan where they saw dolphins, fish and even some shark. Once on Mainland Mexico they  headed to Miramar and then Sayulita for nine days, a place “full of nice people, great beaches, better food and super colorful sunsets”. But the day they left Sayulita a big parade in town was blocking all the streets, as Neli says she learned from her mom: “we have to get used to things taking longer than they did back in California”. Their Phoenix Pop Up custom made camper  eventually headed out of town towards the Highlands. Next, Lago Chapala, the largest natural lake in Mexico, after which they arrived in Guanajuato an old city with narrow stone streets and tall stone buildings. The altitude of the hills and the countless hours of travel, exotic foods and adventure made Jason feel sick, but he quickly started to feel better and the family was able to volunteer for an organization called Do Good As You Go. Afterwards to San Miguel de Allende, which is in the mountains also, they loved the nice people, the beautiful buildings, the delicious food and the incredible art.  Victoria and Jason found somewhere that was serving Thanksgiving, which isn’t common in Latin America,  but there was this really fancy restaurant, with a beautiful view of one of the town’s big churches and “every dish smelled amazing”.

Neli-Mexico Neli-Bahia Concepcion Neli-Lago de Chapala

On their most recent post, almost two weeks ago, Neli says “I know that Victoria and Jason really loved San Miguel de Allende; they even said they could picture themselves staying there long term.”

Now the over landing family has been posting on Facebook from Santa María del Tule in Oaxaca.

“We’ve spent about a week at Overlander Oasis but with Victoria being under the weather and Jason trying to get in as much work as possible before Christmas, we’ve been pretty much glued to our camp chairs! We’ve gone out for a few meals, wandered around town a couple of times, even made it to the market, woot!”

We’ll keep you updated on their travels every month. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Neli closes every post with this reminder… PS: If you want to see some of the photos My Family took you can find them here!

Neli Santa Maria de Tule-Mexico