Category Archives: usa


well, i ran through some of my expenses. although i did save most of my credit/debit card receipts, i didn’t keep very accurate records (…i still have to go through my shopping bag of balled up papers). it seems that during the 6 month trip, i spent about $15,000. about 1/3 of the total was spent on transportation:

1) shipping the car (panama to ecuador): $1500 + another couple hundred in bribes to expedite the process
2) two flights: last minute from Panama to Ecuador ($500) & Sao Paulo to San Francisco ($450 + 35k frequent flyer)
3) gasoline: $3,000 spent on 900 gallons of fuel

fuel prices were more or less stable throughout the trip, with the obvious exceptions being Ecuador and Brazil. In Ecuador, I used super (high altitude caused engine knock), which brought up the average price (even with super, it was still the cheapest). Brazil, on the other hand was very expensive:


note: mile counter is wrong

over the next few weeks, i’ll hopefully be processing data gathered from the trip and posting it on sentradiaries…..stuff like the timelapse pictures (taken every 30 sec) or detailed gas mileage.
also, i may be having a sentradiaries reception in san francisco. if you want to attend, shoot me an email at & i’ll be sure to include you in the invitation (if it happens).
in the meantime, here are a few stats from the trip:

MILES DRIVEN: _________ 27,395 miles (172,673 – 145,278… another 50ish miles, when I drove with a broken odometer)

FUEL EFFICIENCY:______ 30.9 mpg (27,395 miles / 886.8 gal)

AD REVENUE:___________ $10

BRIBES PAID:__________ $60 and half a bag of granola


note: mile counter is wrong

this morning i took a bus from curitiba to sao paulo. ironically (or perhaps not), it is also the first time that i’ve seen the brazilian highway patrol do anything. as in most latin american countries, instead of driving around, the officers simply have checkpoints. however, i’ve never seen them stop anybody…in fact, before today, i’d never even seen them!

well, they stopped the bus for over an hour…..looked through our luggage and interviewed all of us. once, while traveling back from a case study at my medical device job, the airport security asked me what i was transporting…..i kept thinking ‘don’t say biohazard, don’t say biohazard’….and, of course, i said ‘biohazard’. today, the police officer inquired that i had entered through foz do iguacu. i was thinking ‘just say ‘yes”….but, because i’m stupid, i told him that i had driven there and then had to spend a few minutes describing the trip and how i had given the car to the receita federal the day prior, show him the papers, etc. it could have been worse, though, since four of the passengers on our bus were apprehended by the police for further questioning.

the rest of the trip was pretty routine. as sara said, the airport bus is very overpriced ($20 for a 20min ride….whereas the 6 hour ride from curitiba to sao paulo was $40). the airplanes all left on time and customs was ridiculously easy (i thought i would be stopped and interrogated by homeland security). air canada seems to have friendlier staff, better service and owns nicer planes than united (air canada: sao paulo –> toronto, united: toronto –> chicago –> san francisco). at one point the stewardess described the ravioli dinner as ‘actually, quite nice’. i don’t like when people call food ‘nice’ — it’s a meal, not a person or the weather outside. also, the pasta was not nice….if anything it was pretty rude.


pretty bold anti-smoking warnings on the packs for sale at sao paulo duty free. at what point do the warnings go from scary to ‘cool’ (as if to say that a normal person couldn’t handle smoking)

this wifi logo is trademarked (see the ‘tm’?). they also had these in argentina. are they associated with a certain provider?

air canada’s 1st class is pretty nice. coach wasn’t too bad either.