Galapagos Islands

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Galapagos Islands was one of our must see destinations when we planned this trip. And Galapagos did not let us down. A very different place to where we have been before. Being a volcanic island group and being separated from the rest of the continents for 5 million years(the oldest islands), have made the flora and fauna very different from anything we have seen before. The first day we arrived we traveled to Santa Cruse were we were going to stay the 4 nights on the Galapagos. After getting settled in our hotel in Puerto Ayora, our guide took us to Charles Darwin Research station in Puerto Ayora. They breed Giant Tortoises here and release to their habitat when they are about 5 years old. When the first people came to the Galapagos Islands, pirates and whalers, they brought with them species like rats, cats, dogs, horses and cattles. To the Giant Tortoises this was a treat to their habitat and their eggs. And the specie was on the break of extinction. This is why they have several centers that breeds Tortoises in Galapagos. So far it has been a success. In the Charles Darwin Research Station they also had Land Iguanas.

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One of the Giant Tortoises at Charles Darwin Research Station.

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Land Iguana.

Day two we had a day trip to Isla Isabela 3 hour boat ride west of Santa Cruse. So much wildlife to see there, Galapagos penguins, Blue footed Bovine birds, sea lions, sharks, Marine Iguanas, Pelicans and Lava Lizards. The animals are not afraid of people so you can come close to them. It is not allowed to come closer than two meters to them, but sometimes that is really hard. Especially when the sea lions sleeps on the boardwalk. It is winter in Galapagos now and the water is quite cold. (20degrees C), but Bos snorkeled in a quiet laguna Lucas tried but thought it to cold. AE did not even go close..

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3 Hour boat ride on with Lucas on Bos lap.

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Galapagos penguine

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More penguines on Isla Isabela.

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Blue footed Bovine bird. Funny looking guy

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Male Marine Iguana out swimming.

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Red crab, not the best camouflage..

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These guys have their camouflage sorted.

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Heron looking for Marine Iguana eggs.

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The sea lions played with the reef sharks.

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A family portrait

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Sea lions sleeping in a taxi boat.

After lunch we visited the Flamingo laguna and another Giant Tortoise breeding center. Altogether a 13 hour trip.

Day three we dressed for a day on the beach, but the agent had switced days so we went on another boat trip. This time to Isla Bartelomeo, one of the younger islands (only about two million years old). Not so much wildlife on this trip. But the guide took us up to a viewpoint and explained about the geology of Galapagos. Then more snorkeling for the viking. Lucas and AE stayed on the beach watching the pelicans and penguins. The Pelicans were diving for fish around the snorkelers.

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Hardt to stay two meters from the wildlife..

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Flamingo lake.

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These tortoises was born approximately 1850-1860.

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Lucas and Bos in one of the lava channel on Santa Cruise.

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Male toirtoises in the wild fighting for their territory.

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Lucas the tortoise.

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A huge thank you to Geir and Neomi from Vikinka Travel for a fantastic journey.

The Amazon – It´s a jungle out there.

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After a relaxing day in Cusco it was time to leave the highlands and head for the jungle. Off with the alpaca wool and into the shorts again. From Cusco our plane took us 400km east to Puerto Maldonado, almost at the Bolivian boarder. The temperature difference from the highlands in the Andes was huge. The guides from Eco Amazonia met us at the airport and took us down to the river Madre de Dios. 30km up the river by boat to the Eco lodge. We installed ourselves in our bungalow right next to the dense jungle. You could hear a cacophony of birds, monkeys and insects. The eco lodge had electric power from 18.30 until 22.00, no wifi and no cellphone reception. But some really nice hammocks, a pool and a bar with pool table and dartboard. So in between all the jungle trekking a nice book in the hammock was pure joy!

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Hammock relaxation, Lucas with a butterfly on his toe.

After lunch the first day we went to Monkey Island just a 5 minute boat ride from the lodge. After trekking trough the jungle for 15 minutes we came to the feeding station. Four types of monkeys inhabited the island and they all came for bananas. Brown and white capuchin monkeys, Spider monkey and a black one that I do not remember the name. Forgive us if we do not get all the names on the animals right..

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White Capuchin

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Brown Capuchin, greedy little fellow.

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Spider Monkey, a bit more shy.

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Maybe you know the name of this one?

The guide gave the monkeys the bananas and we came really close to them. On the way home from Monkey Island we got to se the most beautiful sunset. It get really dark fast in the jungle and we had to pas a river delta with quicksand. The guides put out branches to step on but Lucas tough it was a bit scary. Walking on quicksand was a new experience for all of us. Good thing we had rubber boots on.

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Shuffeling through the quicksand.

The second day we went hiking in the jungle. 6 people and a very skilled guide, named David. All together we walked 8km in the jungle. Lucas managed the hike very well. The hike involved a lot of stops to smell a tree, or fish for a tarantula, og listen to a red howler monkey. Very entertaining and educational. The guide told us a lot about the different trees and what it could be used as. Different trees for curing malaria, prostate problems and rheumatism.

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Tarrentula fishing with a straw.

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Two Hoatzin birds

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A 500 years humongous Saba tree.

The destination for our hike was The Lost Lake, Cocha Perdida. Cocha Perdida is a swamp that is the home of caimans, turtles, and a lot of other species. On the Lost Lake David took us rowing looking for turtles and caimans. We saw both up close. All over is big clods of beautiful butterflies and a lot of birds.

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A squarl monkey on the way to the lake.

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Drinking water from a liana.

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On the board walk

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Can you see the Caiman?

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On the Lost Lake.

We climbed a watchtower to get an overview of the huge jungle. Lucas made the top without any fuss. Not afraid of heights at all..

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The Watchtower

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On the top.

On the way back from the Lost Lake we got to try our paddling skills. Not likely that any of us will join the olympics any time soon. But we manage to paddle 3km without any mayor incidents.

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Padeling down the swamp.

After lunch we had a stroll in the botanical garden on the lodge and visited the parrots and orphan baby monkey that live behind the restaurant on the lodge. The baby monkeys were just too cute. Before we left we got to hold them and cuddle them.

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Parrot kissing.

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Baby Red Howler monkey.

After dinner we went on a night safari to watch the magnificent night sky and to look for caimans. I have never seen a more spectacular starlit sky; southern cross, the lima eyes and the scorpion… There was also a lot of caimans to be seen. Caimans are the alligators in the Amazon.

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Caiman in the dark.

Next day was fishing day. We went up a little side river to Madre de Dias and went fishing for piranhas and catfish. We did not get any piranhas but David got a catfish. Fishing was entertaining still and we got to study the butterflies while doing it.

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Fishing for piranhas.

After we finished fishing we visited a native family on the riverbank. They showed us how to use bow and arrow and how they made fire in the jungle.(I bet they use a lighter now, but they demonstrated how they used to do it anyway). Lucas was trilled to hold the parrot the family had as pets. (Until on of them bit his finger that is).

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Feeding the parrot with papaya.

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Do we have a volunteer for trying bow and arrow?

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Old fashion way of making fire in the jungle.

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The kids in the family.

After lunch we went hiking again this time only for one kilometer behind the lodge. David brought chicken meat to feed the caimans living in the lake. From a viewing platform we could see the baby caimans up close as they came to eat chicken. The big papa caiman came as well, but it seemed like he was only a bodyguard for his young one. He just sat there on the shore and watched as the kids ate.

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Tiger Heron

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Flock of parrots

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Baby caimans

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Papa caiman

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You Tarzan, me Jane.

A Tiger heron also came to visit and ha huge flock of parrots flew over our heads. A lovely afternoon by Caiman Lake. We were in the same group of people the whole time and got to know Georgio from Peru and Catie and Laura from Chicago. Always a pleasure to meet new people.

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Yesterday we had a new travel day. From Puerto Maldonado to Lima to Quito in Ecuador. Tomorrow a new adventure awaits us at the Galapagos Islands.

Machu Picchu

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Hard to find words to describe places like Machu Picchu. Go see!

When we started planning our journey Machu Picchu (MP) was high up on the wish list. That is why we chose Peru as one of our South American destinations. The journey to MP started with a very beautiful  train ride from Olleantaytambo to the little village, Agua Calientes, on the foot of Machu Picchu. The train ride went trough the Sacred Valley and was a one and a half hour scenic train ride. It was not so easy to get a decent photo as the train was moving.  Agua Calientes is only serving as a tourist village, with a lot of hotels and restaurants. Still it is rather cozy. We stayed at a hotel close to the train station, and close to town. In the evening we went swimming in the hot springs in Agua Calientes. Our guide Haime picked us up at the hotel at 06.00 so we could be at Machu Picchu at sunrise. From Agua Calientes there are shuttle busses going up a steep serpent road to Machu Picchu. That is if you are not walking the Inca trail. Haime took us up high over MP to have the best spot for taking pictures as the sun rose over the mountains and lit up the Inca ruins. A magnificent view from where we stood. While we waited for the sun to come up. Haime told us what the different buildings in the ruins had served as. Really amazing how the Incas manage to build the city high up in the mountains with irrigation systems and water supply to the city.

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Train ride trough Urubamba Valley.

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Hot springs in Agua Calientes.

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Lucas and Bos in the hot springs.

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The village of Agua Calientes.

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Waiting for sun rise.

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At 06.50 the sun comes over the mountains.

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The Inca placed the city so it would get the first sunshine in the morning.

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Some of the terraces used for farming.

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The houses where the farmers lived.

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Farmers houses.

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Lucas liked the lamas that grazed between the ruins.

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They were quite friendly.

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Badboy Chinchilla

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And a hummingbird.

It is always harder to write about places that makes an impression on  you. You feel that words do not describe the experience . Extra hard when you write in you second language.. Our best advise is to go see for yourself. Machu Picchu was magnificent!!

Sacred Valley

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The last two days we have been spending in the Urubamba Valley and the surroundings, the valley is also known as the Sacred Valley and is in the heartland of the Inca Empire. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire’s main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and one of the most important areas for maize production in Peru northwards from Pisac. (Wikipedia)

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The Sacred Valley

It is winter in the Andes and we had to buy some more winter clothes. The temperature drop below zero in the evenings. Yesterday we went for a full day of sightseeing with a guide and a driver. First stop was the Inca ruins of Olleantaytambo.

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At the top of the ruins.

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Lucas orked as a photographer.

Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters (9,160 feet) above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night hike known as the Inca Trail.(Wikipedia)

Next stop was at the outlook over Sacred Vally were the guide explained why it was called the Sacred Valley and what they grew there.

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At the outlook

Our driver was on the fast and furious side, so Lucas got a bit carsick. To cure his carsickness we mad a stop at one of the native houses, so he could have some herbal tea. (It was a house where the natives showed the tourist how they made their handicraft. Along with the tea we got a demonstration on how they treated the alpaca wool. Some of us even got a dance lesson.

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They used lice from the cactus to make red color.

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Different colors from the nature.


Bos got a dance lesson.

Last stop before lunch was Chinchero, the place became part of a higher-rank Inkan administration centre. It is located on an Andean plain at an elevation of 3762 m and 65 km from Ayacucho. During colonial time the Spanish tore down the Inca buildings and set up a Catholic church there. The foundation of the church is still original from the Inca period. Walking stairs in an altitude of 3762 m gets your hart pumping..

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The square of Chinchero.

Last stop of the day was the Inca ruins of Pisac. The Inca constructed agricultural terraces on the steep hillside, which are still in use today. They created the terraces by hauling richer topsoil by hand from the lower lands. The terraces enabled the production of surplus food, more than would normally be possible at altitudes as high as 3352 m.With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least a triple purpose. Researchers believe that Písac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, while Choquequirao defended the western entrance, and the fortress at Ollantaytambo the northern. Inca Pisac controlled a route which connected the Inca Empire with the border of the rain forest.(Wikipedia)

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The terrasses of Pisco.

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Cold at the top.

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5 year old girl who wanted money to take her picture.

Our hotel the last two nights is located in Urubamba Valley, San Augustin Urubamba is a very nice hotel with a beautiful garden. The day we arrived we walked in to the center of Urubamba to see the market.

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San Augustin Hotel

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Fruitmarket in Urubamba.

Next on our itinerary is a train ride to Aguas Calientes close to Machu Picchu. Tomorrow at dawn we will ride a bus up to Machu Picchu with a guide. Have a nice day!


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Arriving in Lima airport we were greeted in Norwegian by Noemi Andersen from Vikinka Travel. Vikinka Travel have put together our next 17 days in Peru. Everything from guides, drivers, hotel, flights, trains and boats is already booked. We can just lean back and enjoy. We checked in to a lovely hotel(with free fast wifi) in Miraflores in Lima. This is our home for the next two nights. The afternoon on the arrival  day we had time to explore Miraflores on our own. The whole family was suffering from jet leg so it was more about getting something to eat and relax in the room.

The morning of June we were picked up by a guide and a driver to take us on a tour in Lima. We visited Parque del Amor, love park, drove by the archeological sites in Miraflores and went for a walk in Downtown Lima. Since we did not prepare much for the Peru visit we learned a lot about the history of pre-inca Lima.

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Parque Del Amor

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Plaza de Armas

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Iglesia de San Fransisco

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Colonial style houses

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Colonial style house museum

In the afternoon we had lunch in Larcomar, a fancy shopping center by the sea. We also went shopping for some some wool clothes.

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Lunch at Larcomar

Going from 32 degree Celsius in Thailand to winter in Peru is a challenge clothe wise. Even if it is about 19-20 degrees during the day, the evening gets quite cold. Cusco where we are heading next is even colder.

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Local handycraft market

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Local bus, no metro system in Lima

Los Angeles

Going from Tokyo to Los Angeles we crossed the dateline. We left Tokyo June and landed in LA on the evening on June Traveling back in time.

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Doing math at the breakfast table.

To ensure that we did not miss our plane from LA to Lima on June 5 we had a whole day in LA. We rented a car and headed from our LAX hotel in to town in the morning. Lucas had a plan to visit a store on Hollywood Boulevard to get a minecraft night lamp. We found the lamp at the Hollywood and Highland center and the day was saved. Once we were at the Hollywood Boulevard we walked the walk of fame and visited Hollywood Wax Museum. Hard to tell who enjoyed it most, adults or child.

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The hero on a star..

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and in person..

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The name is Bond..

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Lunch at Santa Monica Pier. After visiting the arcade and the amusement park.

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Santa Monica Beach

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Nice weather

Before we went back to the airport we had a road trip in Beverly Hills. A very efficient transit day in Los Angeles.

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See you in Peru!

The South America itinerary


It is time to get ready for the Peru and Galapagos journey. We have not thought much about this trip until now. Mostly because we travel with a travel agent so the details is already laid out for us. We just have to tag along, a whole new way of travel for us.

We are not sure how often we will have access to wifi while in Peru and Ecuador so to let you guys in to what we are going to do there, here is our itinerary:

05.Jun 2013

Arrive Lima and are met by a guide. We stay in Lima for a couple of days.

07.Jun 2013

We fly to  Cusco and are going to stay in the Urubamavalley. Urubamavalley is on a lower altitude that Cusco.

08.Jun 2013

Guided trip in the Urubambavalley and visit to the market in Pisac and the Inca ruins Olliantaytambo. One more night in the Urunambavalley.

09.Jun 2013

Train ride from  Ollantaytambo down to Aguas Calientes where we stay the night. The train ride is considered one of the worlds most beautiful train rides.

10.Jun 2013

It`s time to visit Machu Picchu one of the highlights of the Peruvian trip. We get up early and take a buss to the ruins. We have a private guide with us. In the afternoon we go back with the train to Olleantaytamob and are transported back to Cusco where we spend the night.

11.Jun 2013

We have the whole day on our own in Cusco. Cusco was considered the center of the world during the Inca period. It was Manco Capac that was the first Inca, and that founded Cusco. We spend the night in Cusco.

12.Jun 2013

Jungle time! We fly from Cusco to Maldonado and travel by boat down the river Madre De Dios for 2 hours. We are staying in a lodge in the jungle for the next three nights. In the afternoon we go on a boat cruise to look for caimans and other animals that live by the riverbed.

13.Jun 2013

After breakfast there is another boat trip going up a little side river. The plan is to fish for piranhas and go swimming apparently. Strikes us as a rather odd combination.. If we have any leg left after swimming with the piranhas the plan is to walk in the jungle in the afternoon. The destination is a small lake where we can go rowing.

14.Jun 2013

Canoe trip on our plate today. We are going to paddle trough a swamp area to look for different birds, butterflies, and if we are lucky we might spot an anaconda. After the canoe trip there is a 5 km walk trough the jungle. (lets just cross our fingers that Silje is up to it). In the afternoon we will get a guided tour in the jungle to learn about different fruit plants and medicine plants.

15.Jun 2013

Transport back to the airport. Fly Puerto Maldonado to Lima. Lima – Quito in the evening.

16.Jun 2013

After a long travel day we have a day of in Quito, Ecuador. Planning to see the old town.

17.Jun 2013

Fly Quito to Boltra on the Galapagos islands. The Galapagos is 1000 km out in the Pacific. We are taken by bus from Boltra to the Itabaca strait and are going by boat to the island of  Santa Cruz. On Santa Cruz we are staying in the port town Puerto Ayora. After lunch we are going to the Charles Darwin Reserch Center to learn about the studies Darwin did on the islands. We also get to meet the giant turtles. A rather busy day in other words.

18.Jun 2013

After breakfast we go down to the harbor and travel to the island Isabela, where we visit Laguna de las Tintoreras. The plan is to look at sharks, sea lions, lizards, penguins,  turtles, birds and a lot of different fish. Off to Laguna de Perla to snorkel. After lunch the boat take out to Muro de las Lagrimas that was used a a work camp for prisoners that built a huge wall from lava stones. Next stop is Cerro Orchilla to have a look at the volcano Sierra Negra. Better charge that camera..

19.Jun 2013

A new adventurous day lays ahead of us. We are walking down to Tortuga Bay about an hour from our hotel. We are going snorkeling in a lagoon where a lot of sea iguanas live. After lunch we head for the highest point of the island to see some more giant turtles and to explore one of the many underground tunnels made by the latest eruption of the volcano.

20.Jun 2013

Today we are going on a cruise with a yacht. First we sail to Seimor Norte to see sea lions, more iguanas and frigate birds. Lunch on board the boat before we head for some more snorkeling.

21. Jun 2013

Fly from Baltra to Quito, and than strait to Miami to board our Caribbean cruise..

Quite a change from our hammock life on Koh Lanta. Hope to make some blog spots along the way so stay tuned..

Tokyo 東京

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First time in Japan, what did we expect?

First of all we had heard that it is very difficult to be a tourist in Japan, since the Japanese don´t speak any English. All signs are on Japanese and the Metro you can forget about. You will get lost. And that the Japanese people do not speak to you or help you if you are lost.

In our three days in Tokyo, we have experienced a different story. First of all we have been talking to a lot of locals in restaurants. They ask us where we are from and how we like Tokyo. Very friendly people. Since we live in an apartment, we did get a lot of guidance in writing  from our host before we came. Detailed information on how to find the apartment (almost like a treasure hunt),   where they accept  foreign credit cards, and  so on. The apartment even have a portable wifi device that we can take with us everywhere. Nice to use with the map function on our iPhones. We did not get lost  once! The apartment is really central in Shibuya area but still in a quiet side street. We even figured out how to use the trains and the metro system. A very proud Lucas are now able to buy tickets on the vending machines on the metro, all by him self. A skill that can come in handy later in life. We figured out that after the metro system in Tokyo, every other city will be a walk in the park.

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Bos and Lucas waiting for the JR line.

Originaly the idé to go to Tokyo was Lucas’s . He wanted to go to Tokyo, because of the cartoons and the fashion here. And boy did he love this city! We have been roaming the streets of Harajuku (the hip part of town) for days and to Lucas the dreams came true. Hair chalk, new clothes and new shoes. A whole new style.

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New boi in town.

Tokyo feels very safe, (specially when you go to bed before 11pm),  and clean. Since we have been here on a weekend there have been a lot of people in the streets. But since the Japanese is very organized it has just been fun to walk around and watch the many different characters in Harajuku and Shibuya.

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Nice to have a hand to hold in the crowd.

In Harajuka there is small streets with cute little second hand stores and a lot of cloths that are way to spaced out for the fossils but that is spot on for Lucas .

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One of the stores in Hakajuku.

In the food department we have had some amazing meals. Sushi is a no brainer, but we have had breakfast in some of the local restaurants that have been a really nice surprise. We did not know what we ordered but it was very nice and very cheep.

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Dinner at a local sushi joint. Lucas talking with one of the nice local people. Everyone we have talked to know a lot about Norway. They mention the salmon, the midnight sun and the fjords.

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On Friday we went to the Yoyogi park. There was a Eco fair there. Spot on for some world schooling for Lucas . Here he is trying out how fast he have to rid the bike before the lights come on. He even manage to switch on the TV. Maybe an idea for home? Wanna watch TV? Hop on the bike..

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Since we have been mostly in Harajuku and Shibuya, we wanted to get a better overview of the city. Today we jumped on one of the trains going around the city for an hour. Still could not figure out how big Tokyo is. (Saw mostly different train stations). Then we got of the train in Ebisu, south of Shibuya and got up to 39 floor of the Yebisu Garden Place. Then we got a better perspective. The photos shows Tokyo stretching out in one direction, imagine the 360degree surrounding with more city.. Huge city!

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In between all the sightseeing there is time for  an ice cream, a coffee and a test on the multiplication table..

All and all, Tokyo have moved up on our “best city” rank and is way up there with New York and Copenhagen.

Now we are getting ready to pack up again and head for Los Angeles. Arigato Tokyo, hope to come back some day!