Tommy Tuppence


Tommy Tuppence

Two Intrepid Adventurers
Tommy: artist, student of science and accomplished Lego builder. Previous travels have included Europe, India, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Thailand.
Tuppence: social worker, book worm, animal lover and horse person. Dreams of seeing the world and leaving it a better place. A new adventurer with previous travels to New Zealand and India.

A note from Tuppence: Tommy and Tuppence are pseudonyms inspired by Agatha Christie's adventurous couple of the same name. (book worm remember!) We thought this adventure would be something they would enjoy doing. Much of the inspiration for going to South America lies in literature, particularly in the work of Gerald Durrell a naturalist who traveled throughout South America extensively as part of his work with Animals.

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa January 7th 2016

After 4 nights of bus travel we finally reached Arequipa. Tired and exhausted this desert town was an oasis of white coloured buildings, churches, monastry´s and a truly spectacular central plaza. As we explored the cobbled streets we felt a growing sense of ease and familiarity. After days of constant onward travelling, finally being still in such a beautiful place felt like luxury. We made the culinary discovery of Tommy´s lifetime in the form of Queso Helado (cheese ice cream) topped with cinnamon. This of course isn´t Tasty chedder cheese, this is South American cheese which has a similar texture to Halloumi without the squeak and a taste more like a soft mozzarella crossed with riccotta or marscapone. After each day that followed Tommy sought out this delicious delicacy. For Tuppence the best discovery in Arequipa ... read more
Monasterio de la Recoleta Library
Spanish Inquisition tampers
Mountains surround Arequipa

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa December 31st 2015

After an overnight bus ride from Guayquil to Latacunga, we arrived 04:30am. It was rather cold and the hotel we booked was closed until 7am. We curled up at the door step under a sleeping bag and wearing coats using our backpacks as pillow. After about 45 minutes Tommy decided to let Tuppence have the sleeping bag and pace the block instead, keeping close watch all the while. Thankfully at 6:30am the owner came out for a morning bike ride, upon seeing Tuppence curled up, he immediately invited us in organised our room and arranged breakfast to be ready at 8:00am giving us time to nap. Latacunga is a rather unremarkable city, still we both enjoyed wandering around the markets and parks. It is rather interesting to observe how people of different cultures live, despite the ... read more
Chugchilian Marching Band
Come and join the dance
the merry makers

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island December 25th 2015

My excitement as we flew into Santa Cruz Airport on the Galapagos Islands meant that I could barely stay in my seat. Visiting Galapagos was the culmination of childhood dreams fed by naturalists including David Attenborough. My mind was racing through hopes and wishes. Would I see the Giant Tortoises? The Blue Footed Boobies? What would I make of the landscape? I hoped against hope that I would not be disappointed. The flight landed then it was a bus ride, a ferry and another bus and we arrived in Puerto Ayora where within moments of arrival we saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans (completely different to home pelicans) diving beak first into a bay where sea lions played. I was speechless. We wandered from tour agency to tour agency in search of the best ... read more
Handsome Pelican
Highland View swing
Highland View Camping

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca December 22nd 2015

There is a very good reason for Cuenca´s reputation as being Christmas (Navidad) Central. Nowhere greets the festive season with greater enthusiasm. The city seemed to be completely infused with the Christmas Spirit. We arrived in Cuenca in the early evening to find a bus terminal with a helpful tourist office which was able to provide a map and public transport information. We quickly found the bus that could take us to the historic centre, taxi charge successfully avoided thank you lovely tourism lady! Cuenca is a beautiful colonial city with all the mod cons that the daily lives of Cuencanos demand (eg. Anime and comic stores) We couldn’t help but admire the colonial architecture juxtaposed with Honda, Superman and advertising. The location of our hotel was perfect. With a roof top terrace that overlooked the ... read more
King for the Dance
Colourful and high enery twirls
The star over Bethlehem... Cuenca

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 19th 2015

After another long bus ride (this time comfortable thanks to a recommendation made by Walter our Cuybeno guide) and a fairly unpleasant encounter with a taxi driver who charged us a taxi fare and dropped us nowhere near our hotel we felt that Banos may not be the best place to be. How wrong we were!! Our hotel room at Backpacker Balcones was fantastic and beautifully situated within earshot of the river which soothed us to sleep each night of our stay. After we cleared our minds we bounced into Banos centre to see what activities were on offer. The short answer being if you love adventure sports then Banos is the place to be. Bungy jumping (called puenting here) tick! White water rafter double tick! If you can imagine it then in all likelihood there ... read more
Playing with the candles
Tuppence boldy takes the first swing
Half Sloth

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve December 15th 2015

The lead up to our adventure in the Cuybeno Reserve was nothing short of painful. After enduring a late night (made bearable by the hospitality of Gina, her husband and his delicious spiced tequila) we rushed onto an overnight bus to Lago Agrio which we reached earlier than expected (3am) in a location that was definitely not their central bus terminal as we had hoped. We staggered down the street eventually finding a bus stop right next to the Hotel where we would later meet our tour group. Now Lago Agrio is not somewhere any sane person wants to be during daylight but sitting at a bus stop in the dark pretending to wait for a nonexistent bus in an effort to look less conspicuous and therefore less of a target, all the while hoping that ... read more
Branches of the 2nd largest tree in the world
Tuppence, first to swim in Laguna Grande
Beautiful laguna Grande

South America » Ecuador » East December 13th 2015

Part of me selfishly wants to keep Baeza a secret from you dear readers as I have fallen hopelessly in love with this place. I am sitting here wondering to myself whether “if I share this place will I lose something from it?” nevertheless I promised to blog and blog I shall maybe you will see why I so desperately want to keep Baeza for myself. The bus ride there presented us with turn after turn of mindblowing scenery. The mountains rose up to meet the road as far below rivers pounded around seemingly every turn. Eventually around another corner and a small bridge we arrived in Baeza central. First stop for us was the convenience store, water on our thirsty minds. The owner was incredibly helpful offering to assist us with absolutely anything we needed ... read more
Cloud Forest
Humming Bird Garden
San Rafael Cascada

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo December 10th 2015

We arrived in Otavalo exhausted by the bus ride but excited for the markets on the following day. We quickly found accomodation in supurb hotel with a stunning view of the surrounding volcanic formed mountains. After a short rest we eagerly ventured out into Otavalo eager to get a feel for this well known town. We enjoyed some outstanding mexican food, discovered where the local panderia's were. Important information as fresh bread has quickly become our favoured breakfast when on the go. We walked through the market area full of questions about exactly what these famed markets would be like. We realised the following morning that our imaginings could not possibly have prepared us for the chaotic fiesta of the market. We hesitantly ventured out into the neighbouring street to our hotel which had almost by ... read more
Volcano Cayambe
Shoe Shine
Ice drinks

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 9th 2015

After 35 hours in the air and 11 hours of airports in general as the sun rose we caught our first glimpse of Quito. Snow capped, forest draped mountains like islands in a swirling sea of gold tinted clouds the sun rose as we touched down jet lag momentarily forgotten in the wonder of Green. A short walk through the terminal where Passport control and customs officers made great conversation partners upon whom we could practice our apparently dreadful Spanish skills. (I believe that they were very happy to see us leave!) Baggage claim was simply and Tommy was thrilled to see our taxi driver standing with a card with her name on it waiting for our arrival. We sat silently in wonder as we were taken to our hotel. Mountains, trees and winding roads. “es ... read more
First sunrise in Ecuador
Plaza Grande
Viva Quito

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney November 29th 2015

Our last day in Australia was quite a whirlwind. Along with attempts to find things on our ever expanding list of necessary ítems Tommy also decided that we should make the most of our time in Sydney by showing me all the attractions on offer. After all she said “Sydney is the tourist capital of Australia.” So tourist I became. For me the Opera House and harbour bridge had always seemed somewhat over rated, over marketed tourist traps unworthy of the attention they were given. How wrong I was. I was spellbound as we rode the ferry (the Alexander) from circular quay through Darling Harbour. (We had been there the previous night on foot, the whole place lit up like the many christmas trees scattered throughout the city. Two words: pure magic) I have to say ... read more
Sydney Opera House
The Alexander
First view harbour bridge

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