After yet another week of painstaking mechanical problems and another blown differential, we're ditching the Dolphin. We bought our old girl because she was built upon nothing but a Toyota pickup. With this knowledge we knew as long as there were never any problems with the rear differential, the only part not shared in common with an average Toyota pickup, we’d be able to fix her with ease. But, Murphy’s Law struck and we are simply incapable of buying the parts necessary to fix the Dolphin in this country.
A moment of silence for our fallen comrade…
I don’t think anyone can say we gave up on our Dolphin without trying. This past week has been especially brutal since we spent several days sleeping near a mechanic shop while sorting out the issues with the differential. Each night, since the neighborhood was too dangerous to leave the car, the people from the shop would tow us in front of the house of the boss, and each morning they'd tow us back. When the shop finally concluded there was no way to keep the differential from blowing again without getting a whole new case, our friend Dani came and took us to every yonke around to see what we could buy: to no avail. It's finally time we cut our losses and move on. The Dolphin isn't going to leave Stone Island on its own power.
It’s funny, from the moment we bought our Dolphin until now, hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars have gone into her. Yet today, we walk away feeling relieved. I think that speaks volumes about the amount of stress the past two months have carried. Going five days without showering this week is enough to make anyone want to blow up a car and walk away. However, Jacqui and I are far from deterred when it comes to completing our trip; in fact, I wouldn't even say we’re winded. We’re taking everything we've learned from our 4 months on the road, and applying it to our next adventure vehicle.
After countless problems with low hanging trees, maneuverability in any urban situation, and realizing the unbelievable beating even the smoothest of dirt roads put on a motor home, we’re making a major downsize. Smaller, maneuverable, fuel efficient and durable are the new desires.
I think the best example I can give of our thought process is a puppy. A puppy is something both Jacqui and I would love to have right now, but we’re crossing borders and adventuring into unknowns, so it would simply hold us back. So too goes all the luxuries of driving a motor home. With it’s bathroom, shower and space to spread out, it’s an absolute pleasure to have around, but it’s all the space, bulk and weight that’s holding us back from the true purpose of this adventure, adventuring!
Possibly as early as Monday we’re going to be crossing stateside in search of the ever-infamous Westfalia. A tried and true rig that can be found anywhere in the world, which is important, because I’m always thinking about parts availability. It’ll be a quick hunt while we scour California for our perfect next home. Then it’ll be a busy couple of weeks while we drive back to Mazatlan for all our possessions, finalize dealing with the Dolphin, and head North once again so we can regroup near family in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ll take a little time to outfit our new rig, perform any needed repairs, and earn a little dinero. After all, we’re not made of money.
If things go the way I’m thinking, which they seldom do, we should have some interesting stories regarding our trip back to the U.S. very soon.