Aventura Alaska Brasil
Bill and Renee Carroll's "Aventura Alaska Brasil" proved to be a lifetime's journey of pleasure, disappointment and achievement. For an unprecedented 24/7 durability test, their car's engine was started in Anchorage, Alaska and ran almost continuously for 125 days and nights. At the same time they drove the brand-new Mercury coupe 24,876 miles south to Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. A highlight was transiting the Panama Canal and three days of cruising the Caribbean Sea because there was no other way to travel from Panama to South America. Overnights ranged from tiny hostels welcoming every traveler with old-world courtesy to magnificent chain edifices that routinely failed to know of verified room reservations. The variety of food included chocolate-coated ants in Columbia and gourmet dinners in Venezuela. Gasoline was usually available except when a town had none, or the only pump was on the far side of a barbed wire fence. Multi-lane pavement soon became a desired treat, cobblestones rustic backbreakers, landslides in Costa Rica a dangerous hurdle and road rocks in Ecuador ripped a hole in the gasoline tank. Later, between Chile and Argentina, their route involved following rails and bouncing over ties through a railroad's "Tunel Internacional" deep in the Andes. Press conferences arranged by "Aventura" sponsors Ford Motor Company, Morton International, STP and Firestone Tire and Rubber were great fun. Most difficult was entering Brasil, where a senior Customs Inspector thought the Mercury's documents were forged, and restrained the Carrolls in his tiny border town for days. All, and more, is part of this exciting "Aventura Alaska Brasil."
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