torsdag, november 19, 2009


Just being there is like a dream, we had to pinch each other a few times to make sure it was true. There was some new cars, hadn't it been for those you would believe in time travelling. Lots of old cars, big Cadillacs and Chevys. I have never seen so many Ladas in my life either.. hehe... We heard that they have done a lot of restoring in Havanna, and they buildings are amazing!

The American writer Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time in Cuba, and we of course had to visit his favourite places! Talking about writers, just before we left for Cuba we came over a book by a Norwegian author, taking place in Cuba. We enjoyed recognising the names and places, as well as the differences, since this story was happening in the 70s. Fictional book, but had a lot of interesting facts.

No where else have we been at more museums. The Museo de la Revolucion is mandatory, and we also visited a museum with colonial furniture, churches and the Havanna Club rum museum! The last one gave out samples.. ;)

We visited another town in Cuba as well, Trinidad. Here we stayed in a privat house. The house was in proper colonial style, very nice - and cheap. The land lady made really nice food too. Her sister and niece went out with us one night, fun. We got to practice our Spanish as well, hardly anyone spoke English there.

Being in Cuba you have to dance salsa! so we had a two hours lesson, just for fun. but our teacher didn't do it for fun, so we were sweating big time. A lot of fun!

The beaches in Cuba are absolutely amazing, wish we had more time there...

for the third time on this trip we went horsebackriding. This time through the jungle to a waterfall. Not all that after seeing the Iguazu, but a nice trip. I got a lazy horse as usual, but the guide kept whipping it. It was also really scared of being last, so when ever Kristine tried to ride past it sped up and mad it impossble to overtake.

The thing I could really do without though, is the Cuban machoism... tsk, tsk, kiss kiss wherever you go...

tysdag, november 03, 2009

Costa Rica - Pura Vida

Wherever we go, there's never enough time. In Costa Rica we did a trip to the Nationalpark of Tortugero to see the turtles and the rainforest. It was the end of the season for the big green turtle, so we were quite excited when we went to the beach at night. We were not disappointed!! We saw to huge turtles, probably around 150 kg. One of them we saw laying her eggs... While waiting for the turtle to get ready, at least 20 baby turtles hatched from their nests and ran for their lives towards the Ocean. The Caribean one it is, as Tortugero is on the east coast of Costa Rica. Baby turtles are tiny and sooo cute. I did restist the wish to pick up one of them. of course!

Was well as turtle watching we were driving around in boats, as there are no roads, but channels in the national park. We saw lots of different birds (the tucan was the definite high light, if only they weren't so shy), caymans (small crocodile), monkeys, poisonous frogs and snakes! This yellow one is just a baby, but if you get bitten and don't get the antidote within a couple of days, you'd die. There was also many different lizards.. not always easy to spot.

On the way to the national park we stopped at a banana plantation. Kristine got to hold one of the pets there.. :)

The last days we spent in Montezuma on the Pacific Coast. Stayed at a hostel with hammocks and lots of monkeys! We went snorkelling one day, but the sight wasn't the best...

fredag, oktober 16, 2009



As a small, tourist city it had a lot more charm than one can expect. But it had enough of small girls in national costumes carrying lamas asking if you wanted to take a picture. Only one soleeeees...

We stayed at the Point Hostel, where you find a variety of people. Compared to other places we have been there were actually people from Peru staying here too, and we had a good time with the Peruvians! Funny and well oriented people. A lot of people in Europe wouldn't know that Norway isn't a part of the EU for example...
Machu Picchu and the Lares trek

Being the main thing in Peru and one of the biggest attractions of our trip we were really excited when we started the trek. The first day was spend in the Sacred Valley where we saw a lot of old Inca ruins. We stayed in a small town called Ollantaytambo. The trek itself lasted for 3 days, and on the first day it was hailing! We have to admit we didn't expect that and was wearing pants that stopped way over the ancles... I have to admit I asked myself why I was doing this the second day. The hills were steep and the air thin... breathing like a damp engine... Getting to camp was so nice, every time! Went to bed early, because it was so cold. Glad I had invested in an alpacca jumper in La Paz... We also had rain, fog and sunshine on our trip. The highest point was 4450 m altitude!

On the 4th day we were finally going to Machu Picchu. Getting up before sunrise... When we got there we couldn't see anything because of the fog. That made it more interesting, now we saw it bit by bit... AMAZING!

On of the things that really made the trip was the nice group. As well as the two of us (known as the Weegie Weegies), there were 6 English and 8 Canadians, the eldest was over 50, what a lady!

After weeks in the mountains in Peru and Bolivia it was great with some city life. Lima is a huge city, with almost 8 million people. We stayed in a part called Miraflores. It's nice with shops and cafees. We even found a mall!! OF course most of the shops sold things made of alpacca... but they had a cinema and Starbucks:)
We went paragliding with crazy Marco, fun! Not as scary as expected, and I think my mother and grandmother would have liked it. We got to look into people's homes.. hehe... Wouldn't mind having one of those apartements...


We were planning to go to Arequipa, but decided we needed some beach and sun. In Mancora we found both, and the Point Hostel is even at the beach. We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and friendly staff to the max! We achieved another goal as well, we went surfing and both of us stood up at the board! Maybe we should mention we had an instructor each helping to paddle, chosing the waves adn telling us when to get up.. ;)

fredag, oktober 02, 2009

Tupiza to Uyuni

We decided to do a 4 day trip from Tupiza to Uyuni. This was the easy option. Wish we had been a bit luckier with the company in the jeep though... While everyone else was in groups of 4-5 in the 20-30s we ended up with a 65 years old lady from Switzerland. 4 days in a jeep is quite a few hours...

The trip started by climbing from 2950 m altitude and to around 4-5000. Most of the time we had the heart in the throat, with a gravel road that goes straight down into rocks and nothing. seat belts? never heard of! Just as we were thinking "what if we meet another car now", we met a huge truck/lorry loaded with kids... Solution: he had to back down a bit and then we could drive off the road and past.

The scenery is amazing! Mountains in all colours, stones shaped by millions of years sand and wind, and multi coloured lagunas with flamingoes. Not to mention all the lamas. They are cute and taste good too.

The highlights of the trip were the salt flats, of course, and the hot springs! The funniest thing is to use the optical illusjon the salt desert makes...

In Uyuni we tried pizza with lama at Minute Man Pizza. very good!

Thank heaven, no sickness due to altitude. But running, or moving about here is a lot of work. At the highest we have been at almost 6000 m altitude.

tysdag, september 29, 2009

Salta, Argentina y Tupiza, Bolivia

Salta is the typical place to stop on the way from Argentina to Bolivia (or the other way), and is an 18 hours busride from Mendoza... It is a small town, but very nice. In Salta we went horseriding for a day with to crazy guides, Ramiro and Augusto - loco!! (chiefladeras???) Really nice horses, obeyed every little wink. Which is good since this was Silje`s first time. Me gusto Salteño! Had a very fun day with about 5 hours on the horseback, with a lunch in between. That`s when we met our first Argentinean grandmoter La NOOONI!! We ate traditional Argentinean food, and in the evening they took us to a traditional gaucho (cowboy) place where we ate some more. (After watching so you thing you can dance I have always wondered what a tamale is. Now I know.)

From Salta we took a guided tour through several small towns and ended up in Humahuache. The trip was a waste, not too please with the guide... In Humahuache Silje didn`t feel too well, and we later found out that the altitude is about 4000 m... But it only lasted the afternoon/evening, so hopefully she`s ready for the trip to the salt desert and sorroundings where it get´s up towards 6000 m altitude...

Lonely Planet says that the best way to avoid sickness because of altitude is to walk slowly, eat only a little and sleep by your poor little self... Which means that Kristine has put Silje on a diet. Here she is shopping fruit and vegetables.

If everything had worked after our plans we would be on our way to the salt desert in Uyuni by now. But... this is not Argentina, we`re in Bolivia now. The bus got stuck, everyone had to get out...

Anyways... from Humahuache we took the bus to the Argentinean/Bolivian border. Getting anywhere else was a bit more problematic... We didn`t have any bolivianos and the only ATM was closed... But thanks to captain Jon (thank you!!) we had 20 $ which was enough for the bus to Tupiza and a night for both of us at the hostel there.. Since getting to Uyuni took a day more than expected, we decided to do the trip to the Uyuni desert from Tupiza. Which means we haven`t got time for the mines in Potosi or the jungle in Rurrenabaque, it takes time in Bolivia, but we don`t want to spend most of the time in a bus...

We spend a day in Tupiza on horses, the landscape was specatular! Didn`t enjoy the riding as much as I (Silje) did in Salta, but Kristine is crazy and had a bit more control over the horses..

laurdag, september 19, 2009

Colonial de Sacramento, Uruguay

Kristine and Silje Cathrin picked the best day for a boat trip to Uruguay, for sure! It was raining and windy, so the boat was delayed several hours. We had to take the 3 hours in stead of 1 hour, but then we could sleep a bit, so that was ok.

When we got there a woman with a minivan was hijacking tourists, so we went for the easy solution.. and it was worth it! It was freezing, so we would never have gotten anywhere without here.. Historic lessons and proper guiding was a good idea in the end. We saw the old town and the newer areas, and had still time to walk around (read: run around and take pics) before we drank chocolatas calientes (hot chocolate).
Colonial is a Portuguese-Spanish city from the colonial time, and this is the eldest church in Uruguay.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Buenos Aires we were ready for some big city life, and shared room with girls from Holland, Luxemburg, Ireland and Brazil. Vi tried our first parrilada, with a lot of meat! Guess if Silje was happy... Later we went to Cafe Tortoni, one of the eldest cafes in Argentina. Famous writers like J. Borges used to go there.

Later we went to La Cabrera, the best steak restaurant in Buenos Aires! Heaven!!! Silje had a 500 gr steak, and after that she tasted some of Kristine`s steak too... It came with all sorts of things, but it obviously normal to have meals with only meat.

There are a few others sights in BA too, like the cemetary at Recoleta. That is where Evita has her grave. A lot of money spent on dead people... but a very interesting place.

This day was for walking, think we walked for 9 hours... Palermo is a colourful part of town, with great shops and restaurants.

The last day we went to La Boca. That is not the best neighbourhood, so better stay on the more touristy paths. All the houses are painted in different colours. The inhabitants got left over paint from ships, as this is close to the harbour. The brilliant ending was to watch Boca Juniors on home ground, even though they got beaten by Godoy Cruz from Mendoza.

Iguazu Falls

After parting the the crew from sailing, Silje Cathrin and Kristine took the bus south west, to the border between Brazil and Argentina. That took only about 20-30 hours in total...

We decided to go straight to Argentina, to check out the waterfalls from there. It was a lot of water!!! and many pretty butterflies.. :)

torsdag, september 10, 2009

Seiling i Costa Verde


Sailing along Costa Verde, The Green Coast, in Brazil is pretty amazing! even though the weather havent been the best... Silje managed to get sunburned, so we are not complaining =) As you can see, she is a very consentrated Captain Morgan.
Kristine is assisted by Captain Jon.

The people on the boat are really nice, we are four Norwegians and three Aussies, so it had to be a success. At the moment we are in the city of Paraty, which is one of the gems from the colonial time. we say: Watch out for the cobble stones!! Small and cosy, we had just enough time to charge our mobile phones, eat a great burger/sandwich and get new Hawaianas. You know, thats what we will need for the next 7 months... most of the time.. ;)

The coast is amazing, green and palmtrees everywhere, small islands scattered along it. After a day of sailing we anchored up in a small bay and swam ashore. The guys found oysters, nice!
After sunset it is amazing just to sit in the boat and listen to the sounds from nature and watching the fireflies...

After a few ok days, where the weather wasnt too good, the last day was fantastic! Blue sky and sunshine all day! Finally.. :) The combination of sunshine and saturday brought out a lot more people, of course a few who showed off all their horsepowers... We looked for the blue lagoon and did some snorkelling, lots of fish. Very small, thank heavens! ;) Later we moved to another bay where we relaxed, swam to the beach and really enjoyed the sun .

ps! if we dont respond to messages the battery might be flat or out of reach. some messages have been delayed too.