A taste of an overland truck tour
This video gives you a taste of what it’s like on an overland truck tour. It’s different to the usual tours, as it’s about getting off the beaten track, travelling in a basic converted truck and saving money with plenty of cooking, camping and hostels.
I went on an Oasis Overland truck tour in South America through Chile, Argentina and Brazil for two months. The truck had already travelled through Equador, Peru and Bolivia, before five of us joined in Santiago. When I left in Rio, the truck carried on to do a full circle of South America. You can travel for 31 weeks on the same truck!
Pros of an overland truck tour
- A lot of the sights are hard to reach, but we just drove straight there.
- Public buses are expensive over those long distances in Chile and Argentina.
- I didn’t need to worry about my belongings and where I was going to sleep after a long days ride.
- Food is also surprisingly expensive in Chile and Argentina. We made a lot of our own meals.
- My Spanish was terrible and my theory was to slowly learn more – but I never was very good. I relied a lot on hand gestures and pointing. I had been warned that most locals didn’t speak English, but I met more than I expected who were better with the English language than I was with Spanish.
- I instantly had travel buddies to share the experiences with.
- I could relax and let someone else worries about the practical issues – like figuring out the border system.
Cons of an overland truck tour
- The tour’s on a fast schedule – if I loved somewhere, I couldn’t stay longer.
- Hopefully you like your travel buddies, as you’re stuck with them!
- Some of the camp sites were rough with cold showers and sometimes no toilet. Sometimes we stopped in the middle of nowhere behind a petrol station with the truck drivers. It’s part of the experience.
- Camping during a thunder storm was an interesting experience.
- After 2 months, I was keen for some ‘me time’.
- I didn’t meet as many locals as I do traveling solo.
The dummy game
One of the games on the truck was to wear a dummy around your neck all day if the group thought you had done something silly. You can spot the dummy in this video! I got the pleasure of wearing it twice.
The first time was for trying to defog my underwater camera while floating on my back and dropped it, out of the case, into the water. After putting it in a bag of rice for a week, the camera actually started working again. But I couldn’t remember where I put the Micro SD card for safe keeping!
The second time was for drinking too much and throwing up multiple times. The next day, the whole group went to the Iguazu falls, while I nursed a terrible hangover, and went on my own the day after. I learnt a valuable lesson – never try to keep up with the tour leader.
Overall I’m glad I went on the tour, as I travelled solo for two months afterwards, and felt it was a great way to start. Plus I saved money on food and transport as everything was more expensive than Peru and Bolivia.
Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer about overland truck tours? Have you been on one? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.