Nissan Finds Its Way Home After 65,000km

The phone call came from our shipping company, our truck and camper would arrive in the port of Vancouver on January 23rd 2012. Tom flew to Vancouver to pick up the Nissan, wondering in what condition the Nissan and camper would be in after being lost at sea for a month.

First, there was the Canada customs paperwork, then the soil tests, the sniffer drug dogs, the demands for more money and finally 4 days later the Nissan was ready for pick up from the shipper’s warehouse. Huge sighs of relief, the Nissan looked exactly as we had left it; the camper had a little damage and had moved back about 4 inches towards the back of the trucks cargo bed. We suspect that either, the camper moved when they damaged the container in Panama or the ship hit a huge wave. The Nissan securely tied down in the container, did not move much, but it must have swayed breaking the exterior lights and damaging the roof. A Vancouver Nissan dealer checked out the Titan and all it required was an oil change.  Not bad after 65,000km on the road and a month at sea.

Vancouver Port

Nissan Back on Canadian Soil

Broken Light on Camper

New Snow Tires Ready for the Rocky Mountains

The Nissan was equipped with snow tires for its trip across the Rocky Mountains and the anticipation of winter driving conditions.  On route, Tom spent a delightful evening visiting with fellow Canadian overlanders at Abbotsford, and then it was time to head home.

Farewell Vancouver

It is a Long Way Home

Travelling east, first through the beautiful Fraser Canyon and then across the Rocky Mountains the highway was closed at Rogers Pass due avalanches and 22 feet of snow which makes for great skiing but challenging driving.

“The most treacherous drive since I left Calgary in June 2010!” Tom declared. You mean we could have had off road fun in our backyard I asked. He also declared it was the most beautiful drive since he left Calgary. You mean we went to the Andes when we could have just driven down the road to see stunning mountains.

Road Closed Avalanche Ahead

Calgary and Nearly Home

Nissan and Camper Back in Calgary

We Have Come a Long Way

Yes it is great to back in Canada surely one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The home comforts I love are our wonderful comfortable bed, the luxury of soaking in a clean bathtub, and having a washing machine to use at anytime.

Travel adventures off into the exotic worlds of foreign cultures, strange sounding languages, weird food, ridiculous toilets and friendly strangers. It is the lifestyle we both love and already the maps are once again out, even before we have finished unpacking.

We bought a house with the criteria, “easy to sell or rent.” I think we will travel until as long as we are physically able. There is still a lot more world out there waiting for us.

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13 Responses to “Nissan Finds Its Way Home After 65,000km”

  1. Detlef says:

    hi Tom & Janet.

    good to read you’re back home well.
    It was interesting to follow ur blog.

    Right now we’re back from a russia tour:
    very interesting, different from anything else.
    Will ship to BA in the next weeks, hope to spend
    Xmas in Ushuaia.

    Barbara & Detlef (Brunswick)

    p.s.: last time we met in Boulder Lake NV

  2. Anton says:

    Hello Janet,
    thank’s a lot for this very extensive and helpfull replay!
    We will surely contact Remssa.
    Unfortunatedly the shipping is not for me, but for some friends which have their expedition vehicle in Chile for some time. But who nows, maybe in the future we will also try Africa.



  3. AdvSprtJanet says:

    Hello Anton,
    We used agents Remssa in Chile, their contact details are below

    REMSSA S. A.
    M. Eugenia Rojas
    Vice President Import Division
    Lope de Ulloa 1885, Quinta Normal
    Codigo Postal 8500 0000
    Santiago – Chile
    Tel.: (56-2) 775 9990 mobile 56-9-82996218
    Fax.: (56-2) 773 6724
    Mail: mer@remssa.clremssa@remssa.cl
    Mail: Miami Office: remssamia@aol.com
    Skype: meguembes

    Proud member of:
    RIM Certified Mover

    We found them to be an excellent agent in assisting us finding a shipping company to ship back to Canada. I am not sure which shipping companies ship to Namibia but I am sure they would be able to assist you. What we usual do is find the agent who then advises us on shipping companies. The agent also will book the container for you and arrange for customs on their side. You will need another agent in Namibia who will assist you with unloading the truck. It was our agent in Canada who advised us to use the agent REMSSA in Chile.

    The issue we had with shipping back to Canada was due to Panama Port workers damaging the container and as a result they had to move our truck camper to another shipping container. Fortunately we had left the keys in the truck as we know that sometimes issues happen and port officials have to move the truck. We have heard horror stories of trucks being removed from containers without the keys and as a result causes damage to the truck. The shipping company we used was Mediterranean Shipping Company MSC. They were helpful in tracking down our container when the switch was made. Again the problem was caused by Panama dock workers not the shipping company or agent.

    We also had no surprise costs once in Canada. The quote we were given was exactly what we paid.

    This was our 6th shipping experience and we really believe getting a good agent is key.

    The issue we had in Panama was that the Panama port we were scheduled to ship out of did not allow non port workers into the loading area. They were to load the trucks into the containers themselves. However the port dock workers refused to load the trucks saying they would not fit and we were officially not allowed to load them ourselves. So we had to go to another port which allowed us to load the trucks into the containers. This was complicated by the fact we had gone through customs in the other port and the trucks were officially no longer in Panama. Yet we had to take them out of that port and drive to another port. I believe there are 3 ports in Colon Panama complicating issues because each has their own rules.

    Once we got to the other port we were allowed to load ourselves which we did. Our agent again in this situation was amazing and really worked hard to get things sorted out and get us permission to load it ourselves. We did have to change shipping companies as well as the original shipping company did not dock in the port we loaded the trucks. So you can well imagine all the complications, our shipping agent saved the day.

    Hopefully that is some help. Shipping is never boring, and does challenge even the most experienced. Every agent, every port, every shipping agent, every shipping company and every country has different rules.

    You are going to love Africa and especially Namibia. It is one of our favorite countries. We have now traveled through 34 countries in Africa and it is a continent that is truly wonderful, exciting and the people the friendliest. The best!!

    Good luck with shipping and if you have any other questions please let us know.

  4. Hello Janet,
    I was following your posts about the shipping with great interest. Glad your vehicle is back home and ready for new adventures.
    I have to ship a vehicle from Chile to Namibia in an hicube container. What company have you used for the shipping, and can you recomend them?
    What was exactly the problem in Panama?
    Your comments will be of great help for me.



  5. Jim Tamarack says:

    Howdy, Tom and Janet, We met early in your travels at Chobe in Kasane. Probably 06 but maybe fall of 05 as I past there with my son on the way down and you guys on the way up. I see you made it through Angola something we have yet to do, I just wanted to send along Cheryl and my congratulations for a track well taken. We have soft spot in our heart for the Defender my Special son named Turdle as it carried us from the Equator to Capetown and back 4 times before we donated it to Kasanka National Park at age 25. Today we turned over the keys of our 10 year old North American Jeep Cherokee only 2 days after our last stop in Hawaii. So welcome back Titan, many adventures ahead and maybe our paths too shall cross again. All the Best, Jim Tamarack and Cheryl Chip ( sons Dai Mar and Special)

  6. Miin says:

    YAY!! Lots of love to you guys and glad you are enjoying every moment of life, wherever you are! xox

  7. Daniela says:

    When we drove back through the mountains, after arriving in Canada, I actually got tears in my eyes. We truly live in an amazing country. We should appreciate it’s beauty everyday! Where is the next trip to?

  8. Glad to see the whole team is finally reunited! Congrats on the successful trip and hope you have fun presenting at OX12 ! Can’t wait to follow your next adventure!

  9. mashoud says:

    It is rather strange how we have been fixated on your safari and your progress releases and it was an awry feeling when the Titan went astray…and all went silent…

    And so, once again, it is an end to a suspense thriller…The Titan is alive and Le Capitan gets to ride it once again over the mountain passes to a short hibernation until the next itch.
    Many thanks, Tom and Janet and keep warm.


  10. AdvSprtJanet says:

    HI Christian, yes we are coming to Overland Expo we are actually presenting. Are you going to be there? It would be great to meet you finally.

  11. Christian says:

    Glad to see that the Titan made it back home safely! You are making me seriously considering this option for our next trip. Our BigFoot camper is awesome, but unfortunately too big to take in a container.

    Are-you guys coming to Overland Expo?



  12. Rodrigo says:

    Great news!
    No place like home!
    Lets get ready for more!


  13. heather says:


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