Page 5 of Tutkimusmatkailijat Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil October 23rd 2013

Our stay in Guayaquil certainly had less than a perfect start. We had booked our accomodation via AirBnB as usual, and everything seemed smooth up to the point when our host came to open the door seeming confused at our arrival. Lacking a common language (despite our preceding Spanish studies), we weren't at first sure what the issue was, but pretty soon it turned out that our booking on AirBnB was for one week later. The night before I had sent the hosts a message saying we will arrive at 1pm, and they answered they would be waiting for us then, and I even got a booking reminder message from AirBnB that night, so I certainly didn't suspect we were about to arrive one week too early. Quite embarrasing. But, no problem, their room happened to ... read more
one of the many iguanas
representative of an unknown species among all the iguanas
view to the Las Peñas hill

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López October 19th 2013

Our initial plan was to leave Ayampe behind us on Saturday, but during our stay we heard several persons talking about an island called Isla de la Plata. The island is know for its birdlife, it is even called the poor mans Galapagos for that, so we decided to stay one more day in Ayampe in order to visit the island that lies 40km outside of Puerto Lopez, the closest city north of Ayampe. We had already visited Puerto Lopez earlier for some shopping, it is a small town with a lot of fishermen and whale tourists, and also the closest supermarket to Ayampe. Our hostel booked the trip for us and we set out from Ayampe early on Saturday morning. The weather was even grayer that usual, and it was drizzling, but we were hoping ... read more
Isla de la Plata - Boobies!
Isla de la Plata - After a crashlanding
Isla de la Plata - What are you looking at?

South America » Ecuador October 18th 2013

Ok, here we are at the place that was supposedly a tropical paradise. We spent pretty much two weeks here, and how many times have we seen the sun peak from the midst of greyness - maybe twice. Not only the constantly grey skies, but also the temperature has persistently stayed in the lower 20s, if even that. We have slept with woolly socks on, and once I considered wearing my technical underwear when going to the beach to watch the sunset! When you know a place is basically on the equator and on sea level, you just assume it's all hot, sunny and nice. Now we know that September to November are the coolest months in this area, and citing the owner of the Spanish, yoga and surf school we are attending, this area has ... read more
view to the village
going to school in rain - we actually surfed on that day!
our new doggy friends

South America » Ecuador » West » Ayampe October 6th 2013

We have just arrived to Ayampe, a small fishing village were we will stay the next weeks for a two week long crash course in Spanish. Even though we have managed to get by without basically knowing any Spanish, we feel we will get out more from our time in South America with some basic knowledge of the language. Ayampe should also have one the best beaches in Ecuador for surfing, and we are planning to also try to learn to surf during our time here! On our way north from Chiclayo we went through several cities, Piura and Mancora in Peru, and Guayaquil in Ecuador. There are not that many buses going from Peru to Ecuador, and we didn't feel like taking any chances, we read several warnings about tourists being drugged while taking an ... read more
Mancora - How we will be surfing soon!
Mancora - Enjoying the beach life
Mancora - An opportunistic street dog

South America » Peru » Lambayeque » Chiclayo October 4th 2013

It was early afternoon when we arrived in the city of Chiclayo, the fourth largest in Peru. We figured one afternoon would be enough to take a look at the city center, and to find a tour to see the ancient sights the next day. We were right. Rather than nice and picturesque, the city seemed tiring with its dusty streets full of holes, constant honking concert and generally rundown feel. The main square had some nicer buildings, but that was pretty much it. I had been looking forward to the Witches' Market mentioned in our guidebook as the main point of interest in the city center. Of course I was expecting a decent sized market full of quirky stuff. Hah - it was just one corner of a huge general market. Or actually, even that ... read more
Holding on to a knife with Sicán symbol of god
Pyramid valley

South America » Peru » Trujillo September 30th 2013

After an all day long bus ride from Lima to Trujillo, and arriving 2h late when it was already dark, we were happy we asked our host to arrange a cab to pick us up. He actually came himself as his taxi driving friend was unavailable, and even gave us a small sightseeing on our way to the apartment. We had our own small apartment this time to the great price of only 9€ per night, and this was within walking distance of the centre of Trujillo. The bed was good, and wake up service was included in the form of the honking of cars that started at about 8 AM in the morning. In Peru honking seems to be an artform. Honking is of course done like in Finland, when someone is doing something dangerous ... read more
Trujillo - The landscape on the way to Trujillo
Trujillo - The landscape on the way to Trujillo 2
Trujillo - Colonial houses 2

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores September 27th 2013

Our first week in South America, Lima to be more precise, is nearing its end. We have not been robbed, and we don't even have any stomach problems so far- could it be that our prejudices of dangerous South America were just a little bit exaggerated, if not downright false? Even though, it does seem like you do have to think about where you go and when in this country. We are staying in a good part of Lima called Miraflores. According to our local host Fanny, in this area it's ok to walk to a bar in the early evening, but to come back later at night, a taxi is required. She also adviced us to return from Lima city center by 5pm. The other day we were walking in the city center and wandered ... read more
Centro de Lima
Here we were warned to hide our cameras and not to proceed further
Pacific Ocean seen from Miraflores

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Hollywood September 21st 2013

Our last stop on the west coast of North America was LA. On one hand we were expecting the glamour of Hollywood, and on the other hand a city with long distances where you need to have a car to do anything at all. In order to not have to drive too far to see the glamour part we found ourselves an accommodation in East Hollywood, a few miles from the stars, footprints and the Chinese theatre. Alexander, our host, used the proud name "Gemini Manor" for his house. It was a house filled with collected oddities, made even more into a labyrith by Alexander renting out every available space so that you needed to circle around certain rooms. We had our own bathroom, although the bath tub was filled with a clown and a creepy ... read more
LA - Too big shoes to fill
LA - Beverly Hills
LA - Venice Beach

North America » United States » California » Death Valley September 14th 2013

Road tripping in Southern California Our plan was to drive from Mini’s place in Fallbrook all the way to Sequoia National Park during one day, but Mini and Kristin told us about a camping site along the way, which would be right by the sea, so you could sleep next to the waves. As it turned out later, we had also once again underestimated to required travel time: it would have been impossible to reach the Big Sur scenic coastal road in daylight and get to Sequoia during one day anyway. Well, we could not camp on the beach, since we would have needed a 4WD car to drive to the campground along the sand (seems we are that much americanized by now that walking the one mile there with our camping gear did not even ... read more
Tarantula in the bathroom
Hugging trees!

North America » United States » California » San Diego September 8th 2013

We arrrived to LA by bus and continued to the airport for lodging and for pickup of our rental car the next morning. We had planned to drive north from LA to visit some national parks, but due to an unfavourable weather forecast we changed our plans and went for sunny San Diego instead. We had initially reserved 3 nights in San Diego via airbnb, but already when we saw Gaslamp quarter, the shopping and restaurant district of San Diego, we started to think about extending our stay. The city had a really relaxed atmosphere with well preserved buildings and lots of nice stores and restaurants without being overly touristy. After our brief first look on the town we continued to our sleeping place where we were entusiastically greeted by our host Mark, and especially by ... read more
San Diego - Jumping Killerwhales
San Diego - Splash
San Diego - Splashed

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