A Travellerspoint blog

My life is full of exitement!

It must be because Ross left.

semi-overcast 18 °C

Saturday I left Cuenca, my longest home during this trip - a whole 3 weeks! I learned some Spanish, danced alot (and got some hands placed where they should`t be) and did alot of exiting things. Let me prove that I did other things than homework:

Sunday 13th it was Mothers Day in Ecuador. It`s a bigger deal than in Europe, some kids even rent bands to serenade their beloved Mothers!
I was taken to a family party with about 40 people ! And that wasn`t even everyone. Insane. It was nice though. We had roasted pig ...

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...and a 4 year old tried to undress me because he wanted to "see my bellybutton". Right. The latino men are womanizers already at that age!

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My host sister showed me around Gualaceo. She`s getting better at those jumping pictures.

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we passed a playground

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and some people doing their laundry. IN THE RIVER! Must be cold.

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One day I had nothing to do so I took a ride with the doubble decker tourist bus. WOOOOO!

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We saw loads of things in the pretty town

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and we drove all the way to a lookout point

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On the way they told us to watch our tall heads for wires and ...shoes

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Since I was already so into being a tourist that week I decided to go to Ingapirca. An inca temple two hours from Cuenca. On the way there I sat next to a lady breast feeding her baby pretty much all the way. BOOBS. Don`t have a picture of that, sorry. But here`s the temple!

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the guide spoke Spanish, and I understood almost everything. WIN!

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He told us these flowers make some kind of drug, so now I know what kind of business I`ll do while going to Uni. Always good to have some income!

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I SAW LAMAS! and i did sing the song.

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this skeleton was lying around.

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but most impressive was this Incaface in the mountain! Check out those eyelashes!

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Thursday was 17th of May "Norway day!" and I had put up posters and asked almost every gringo I saw if they were Norwegian. Or at least Scandinavian. They weren`t, but it was still a good day and alot of people pretended to care!

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Of course I cared the most

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But my friend Andres was a close second - he made an almost Norwegian flag AND attempted to write something in Norwegian

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My host brother and sister were wawing their flags proudly

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and in true Norwegian style Andres and i had Kebabs after the party was over

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Before leaving Cuenca I had a last stroll around. It`s very pretty!

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and they have alot of cool street art

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I found a Panama hat museum/factory. I got to make one! Kind of...

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This is an interesting tradition btw. The indigenous women clean out all your bad spirits by hitting you with herbs for a few minutes and then rubbing you with an egg. When they crack the egg open your bad spirits are gone! And they spit holy water on you. And all that for only one dollar.

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Oh well. It`s now my last week in Ecuador, then I head back to Europe. TOO SOON!
Many thanks to my Ecuadorian host family for taking me under their wings for 3 weeks! I`ll miss you.

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Posted by LinnSailer 08:26 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Ross left me

Woop!

overcast 18 °C

The 27th of April Ross left me to go back to the boring real world. He left me this picture so I won´t forget him.

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But the image I have of him in my head is more like this

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Bye Ross! Finally alone and free!
Finally I get all the compliments and whisteling from the sexy latino men I´ve missed out on. Some of them have quite the pic up-lines:
"Hello, you speak English. Baby, I love you"
I can hardly resist.

The bus ride from Guayaquil to Cuenca was nice

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and luckily Jesus is in every bus watching out for me

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Cuenca is a nice little town. My room the first few days was on the top floor and I could hear the rats running around in the attic at night. A couple of babies and some really big ones. Always nice to have some company!

Cuenca has some nice street art

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One week ago I moved in with an Ecuadorian family. The view from the shower is nice

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The family has a mum and two kids (12 and 5). There was also a maid but she left a note that she´s pregnant this weekend and ran away without saying goodbye. That was a bit akward. Here are the kids, I need to teach them how to make better jumping pictures.

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This weekend I went to two towns nearby and checked out their markets. I feel like a giant. People here are tiny! I like that they wear hats to seem taller though.

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They had roasted guinepigs! I tasted a bit but felt bad because it just made me think about the guineapigs I had as a kid...

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I ate roasted pig instead! NOM

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I also went by this place. Did you know Panama hats are actually from Ecuador?

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My life at the moment is actually quite uninteresting. I´m studying spanish every day and hopefully learning something!

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The cafés here have munnskyllevann in the bathroom though. Is that a hint?

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And they also had a 10k marathon that I didn´t run. I had some chocolate instead.

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That´s all. Bye.

Posted by LinnSailer 14:47 Archived in Ecuador Comments (4)

Galapagos islands...

sunny 30 °C

This blog contains a lot of photographs. I won't apologise for that. I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as we enjoyed the trip to the mighty might amazingly awesome crazy Galapagos Islands.

We had been planning to visit the Galapagos Islands ever since we were in Cuba, and after much research, we decided to book our trip at the last minute to get the cheapest deal possible. Visiting the Galapagos Islands requires taking a cruise, there is no way to avoid it. To get to the best islands you have to get aboard. Booking late does run the risk of missing out on the better ships but as we were visiting out of peak season we were confident we would get a good boat at a great price. I contacted a agency in Quito before our arrival in Ecuador and informed them of our requirements - and they delivered a fantastic boat at a fantastic price. But I wasn´t quite happy enough with it so I bartered for a better price and better cabin... Total saving... Over $1500 per person for a 6 day cruise! Boost!

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Our ship was the MV Santa Cruz. With a passanger capacity of 90 but only 54 guests we enjoyed 62 crew to look after our needs. They knew what we wanted even before we did!

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Our home for cruise had a spectacular view all day, every day.

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Dinner was always good. We had everything from sushi to pork... All included in the price! Awesome!

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Our route was to take us around the southern islands of the group. We had done our research and these are some of the best islands to visit with the greatest variety of animal life.

The captain was a character...!

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Getting out into the islands was special. The views were spectacular.

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Kicker Rock and sea so full of life and colour you would not believe it...!

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So... The animal life... The Galapagos are filled with a selection of great, grand, amazing and frankly odd creatures. The Galapagos Sea Lion rules the beaches and piers. If you don't believe me check out this photograph of San Cristobal harbour!

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You wouldn´t want to ask one of these guys to move over for you... The big males can be over 500lbs!

The rest of the animals were pretty special too. They don't fear humans and sometimes you have to watch your feet or you could step on a land iguana, marine iguana, lava lizard, sea lion...!

Here are a load of photos of the animals we saw...
Firstly, the marine iguanas!

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Now the land iguanas!

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The Lava Lizards!

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Introducing, the Boobies!

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The nasty but huge and sexy, Frigate Bird!

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The Wave Albatros!

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The characters of the islands, the Galapagos Sea Lions!

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The hard to find, but I (Ross) did! Galapagos Snake!

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The lovely and friendly, medium billed cactus finch!

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The huge Galapagos Shark (as seen from the side of our ship hunting flying fish! - sorry about the night time photo... It´s the best we could do!)

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The world famous Giant Tortoise!!!

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And, he fires blanks and might be gay, Lonesome George!!!

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Everyone knows that the life of the Galapagos is great on land, but did you know it also is amazing below the waves. We did. So went snorkelling every time we got the chance, here are some of our pictures!

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BUT! We didn´t stop there. We used our skills of Scuba and got our BCDs on. Getting into the water was one of the best experiences we have ever had. The things we saw on our first dive blew our minds! HUUUUUGE manta rays, hammerhead sharks, reef sharks... Check our our photos and get jealous!!!

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Oh yea... The manta ray... BOOM!

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I hope you enjoyed our little blog about the Galapagos islands... They are a special place and I hope you all one day get to check them out. They are worth every penny. And if you do get there, get into the water!

Lots of love,

Linn and Ross

p.s. Linn had a birthday!

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Posted by LinnSailer 15:48 Archived in Ecuador Comments (5)

Linns card got skimmed

...but other than that Panama was great!

sunny 25 °C

Panama started off with lies to the border control about having an exit ticket, and A LOT of rain on the way to our first destination; Boca Brava, a little island filled with howler monkeys, snakes and who knows what else.

It was nice although there wasn´t much to do but hunt strange animals. So Ross was happy.

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We went to Panama City, and on the bus there we were lucky enough to watch a strange Jesus film "the Encounter" - I´ll definetly have to get that on DVD some day!

In Panama City we ate a lot of Fast Food, but don´t tell anyone. Pizza Hut, McDonalds AND Burger King. It´s not very easy to find places to eat in the bank district... We also went up this skyscraper although it´s still under construction - guessing the security guard was bored. All the way to the 47th floor!

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Pretty cool. The Trump Tower was not as cool because we could only get to the 35th floor although there are 70! Damn that Donald. Why is there no bar at the top?!

We celebrated Easter. Sadly the chocolate didn´t taste any good and the toys were disapointing. Guess the Easter Bunny doesn´t like Central America...

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Panama City is nice and very different to the rest of Central America. Look:

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We also went along the Panama Canal with the train, but we have no pictures because the city you end up in is very dangerous. But we went there! I have the ticket and a cup! We have some pictures from one of the locks. Ross liked it a little bit too much. It takes 24minutes to get this massive boat through one lock. Impressive.

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As the headline points out, my card got skimmed. Or so I thought until my bank figured out that the bank I had been in thought I was a thief and took all my money before I could. My mother thought someone had skimmed my card and blocked it. I went through denial, sadness, anger and hapiness in a short 12 hours. Now I´m only confused, but at least I got my money back and my card unblocked... Have banks gotten a bit too secure?

At the moment we´re in Ecuador, and we took this plane. Ross even got to fly. Almost.

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And tomorrow morning we´re off to the Galapagos Islands to check out some dinosaurs. We got an amazing last minute deal on this boat:

http://www.discovergalapagos.com/santacruz/index.htm

Don´t worry, we didn´t pay anywhere near the prices that are on that site. Woop!

...I forgot to tell about the rest of Costa Rica! We went to Bahia Drake. It is also full of animals, so Ross liked it very much. I liked it too. To get there you have to take a boat. It´s cool because it goes through Mangrove forest/jungel (?).

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We went for a walk to a beach one day, and the hostel dog & neighboor restaurant dog showed us the way.

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On the way Ross got lost.

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As usual, he also found a new friend.

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On the boat trip back to mainland, we saw dolphins and this huge crocodile!

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I know. It´s really cool.
These humming birds we saw on a bus rest stop in Costa Rica are really cool too. And small.

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Btw - this is how Ross entertains me on long bus rides. (it´s chocolate - don´t be disguisting)

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I like to flirt with police men and hide under giant leaves.

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Ross does have a strange relationship to animals.

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And I found the shop for me in Costa Rica.

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Thanks for reading!
x Linn
PS.

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Posted by LinnSailer 13:33 Archived in Panama Comments (2)

soggy volcanos

rain 35 °C

We´re now in Costa Rica, and the weather has been rainy for the first time since,,, Cuba
I guess we can`t really complain

we went toadhunting in Nicaragua before leaving

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and we also found a big bug

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Crossing into Costa Rica we found ourselves being asked to purchase an onward ticket to be able to access the country. A strange law I have not come across being inforced in any of my previous 36 countries. As we had no such ticket to show we were ushered across the road to the TicaBus shop. TicaBus is the Costa Rican national bus company, we believe part owned by the government. There we were forced to purchase a $37.50 one way ticket per person from San Jose to Panama City - a route we had no intention of taking. If you take this bus you miss one half of Costa Rica and two thirds of Panama... As we had no option we bought the ticket panning to visit the TicaBus office in San Jose to get our money back.

After a few days we arrived in San Jose and made our way to the TicaBus office where we met a lovely young man from their call centre. He informed us that we can get 85% of your money back- but only when we are in Panama City... We then found out that the bus we had no intention of taking was booked out until the 19th of April anyway so we wouldn´t have been able to take it even if we wanted too...

You have to love the governmental rip-offs!!!

While in Costa Rica we went to La Fortuna. It has a volcano we saw when we arrived from the bus. The next day we took a walk through the rain forest to see it. But in a rainforest it rains. All the f&&king time.

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See the volcano?

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We went with some friends from Austria. They were nice. After we all got naked. Thats a different story.

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We found some fun stuff though, like toucans, crazy angry ants and giant squirrels but other things were cooler and we took photos

Like this massive tree...

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And these bugs...

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(I was very proud of finding this one)

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After failing to see the first volcano we tried again at Volcan Poas. This time we couldnt see it even though we were standing on top of it. With a volcano you just cant win.

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But we stuck at it and we didnt give in. Well, linn tried a couple of times. In the end we were rewarded for sticking it out. This is what the inside of a volcano looks like.

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Posted by LinnSailer 10:11 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (1)

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