Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Photos from Havana, Cuba

Our first stop in Cuba - Havana!






























Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cancún, Mexico


Cancún was nice. We stayed in the 'hotel zone' which meant everything was extremely overpriced but still the beach was beautiful and the people were very friendly - all in all we enjoyed our month in Cancún! Can't wait to see other parts of Mexico.

But for now we are off to Cuba.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rat infested dump with Airbnb

Until this point, we have been pretty lucky with Airbnb.

We've done close to 20 Airbnb stays all over the world and never had any major issues. We've had some minor issues like unstable wifi or the hot water system not working for a day or so, but the hosts always fixed everything pretty quickly.

This time it was awful.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Six days in Panama

We've been so busy with our secret project that I have not had time to update our blog.

So here's the quick update on what we've been up to in the past couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Peru adventure

This is the route we took
We just returned from our two weeks adventure travelling around Peru - We had so much fun!


Here's what we did:

We flew in to Lima from Santiago de Chile.

In Lima, we stayed in a very touristy area called Miraflores (and played with bunch of cats!!).

After a couple of days in Lima, we took the overnight bus (21 hours!!) to Cusco by Cruz del Sur bus.

It wasn't as comfortable as our Buenos Aires to Mendoza bus but much better than our Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu bus trip!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cats everywhere - our favourite place in Lima


We found this park by accident. We were staying at the Casa Cielo and the Miraflores Central Park / Kennedy Park were just 5 minutes away. There are at least 100 cats in the park and most of them are extremely friendly.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Most scenic border crossing - Mendoza to Santiago

One of the reasons why we broke the trip from Buenos Aires to Santiago into two was that the scenery when crossing the Andes is spectacular (and of course for the wines in Mendoza).
Buenos Aires - Mendoza - Santiago, de Chile
If we were to travel from Buenos Aires to Santiago directly, we would be crossing the Andes in the middle of the night - i,e. missing the view PLUS we would be doing the border crossing in the middle of the night which we were told can be quite unpleasant.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Photos from Mendoza


Winery & Hot Spring in Mendoza

One of the things we really wanted to do in Mendoza was of course the winery tour.

We didn't book anything in advance because everything we saw online was quite expensive.

Once we arrived in Mendoza, we walked around the Plaza Independencia and visited a few travel agencies - to get quotes & compare.

Lots of options!
So here are some tours available (that we were interested in):

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Buenos Aires to Mendoza

So after almost 3 weeks in Buenos Aires, we were on the move again.

We took the overnight bus with CATA International - I have to say this was the most comfortable bus ride ever! We bought tickets for their 'Royal Suite' - because it sounded cool ....and it really was!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peeved in Caminito - La Boca, the street full of happy colourful buildings


We walked all the way from Plaza de Mayo to Caminito, actually we got a little lost and walked past it. We were on the wrong street, it didn't look very safe walking but nothing happened.. I was probably just paranoid but I did step on a dogpoo so maybe it was bad.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The most beautiful bookshop

Another really cool place we visited this week in Buenos Aires was El Ateneo, also known as the world's most beautiful book store (actually according to Wikipedia it's the second most beautiful book store but whatever)

Checking out the Chinatown in Buenos Aires

See? our cool neighbourhood with cool graffiti 
We are staying in a cool and supposedly hip little area called Palermo (with lots of cool cafes & shops) and about 3~4km away is a suburb called Belgrano C also known for its Chinatown.

Since I am kind of into cooking at the moment - we bicycled there to check out some Asian groceries.

I had more fun checking out this place than the Casa Japonesa (which is on Venezuela 2130, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal).

There are lots of shops with Asian groceries including Japanese stuff. Casa Japonesa is just one shop on Venezuela street and not that many selections - I was quite disappointed when I went there (maybe I had high expectations after going to Liberdade in Brazil).


Friday, October 3, 2014

Bombinhas to Montevideo to Buenos Aires

After a very relaxing week in Bombinhas, we were on the move again....
(we are getting a little sick of moving, can you tell?)


Waiting for our taxi before 6am
This is the route we took:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From São Paulo to Bombinhas

After a short stay in São Paulo, we headed South.

We caught an overnight bus to a little beach town called Balneário Camboriú.

It took us about 12 hours by bus from São Paulo (yes, Brazil is huge!).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Checking out the Japanese town in São Paulo, Brazil

South Africa to South America!
















After almost a month in South Africa. We crossed the South Atlantic ocean and arrived in South America!

This is my (Naomi) first time in South America so I am super excited! A lot to see and experience!!!!

Our first stop: São Paulo, Brazil.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Safari Trippin'

From the moment we arrived in South Africa, we'd been planning and looking forward to this:

A genuine African safari!

On Safari!!
It all started with a visit to the Tourist Information centre in Cape Town, where we got lots of good information from a very helpful lady who had been everywhere around Kruger National Park, it seemed.

Well, now we've been on the safari, and this is what we experienced..

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hiking in South Africa


So we were invited to this group called 'Slowly-up-the-hills' - you'd normally have to be above certain age (fifty to be exact) but we were made special exemption (maybe we look old enough or cool enough? who knows) either way, this is a really fun way to hike with group of people, take some photos and have some tea and snacks at the top.

We joined two Fridays.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Getting Brazilian Visa in Cape Town

Brazil is one of a small number of countries where I need a visa during this trip (among Myanmar, India and Nepal).

Online Form
First entry to Brazil needs to be within 90 days from the date of issue so I had to wait to apply for this visa.

I was a little worried as I was told getting Brazilian visa can be quite time consuming.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Our budget update

So before commencing our trip (seven months ago), we set a clear budget plan for our trip. We've been pretty good at the beginning - makes it easier to be under budget in places like Thailand, Myanmar and India.

......BUT as soon as we hit Western Europe, our budget went over.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cape of Good Hope and more.....

Fish Hoek Beach
Boulders Beach
Smitswinkel Bay
Cape Town has some amazing beaches..... 

We were lucky enough to get a beach house in a place called Sunny Cove. ('The Seahorses Sea View Apartment') It's just an hour train ride from Cape Town, along the east side of South Peninsula. 

To our north is Fish Hoek. It's about 15 minutes walk (along the beautiful beach) or 5 minutes by bicycle. It's probably the closest little town from our place here... we'e learnt that this town used to be a 'dry town' - Apparently, they serve alcohol at restaurants now but still no liquor shop in town - which means we have to walk (or cycle) a little longer for some booze! 

For this, we have to go south towards Simon's town, somewhere between Sunny Cove and Simon's Town.... a supermarket called SPAR (Not a 'spa' like we initially thought) or a liquor shop right next to it. 

If you go further South, there is the famous Boulders beach. And lots of cool old buildings along the way. 

If you go even further South, there is the Cape Point!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Animal Day

We've been settled in our little apartment in Sunny Cove, outside Cape Town, South Africa, for about two weeks now, with one more week to go.

The apartment is right across the street from the water, and the ocean here is full of marine life.
View from our apartment

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crazy HOT!

Dubai is HOT. I mean it's really hot..........temperature wise. I guess we never looked into the temperature (or anything else) about Dubai before coming here. Apparently, August is the hottest month - temperature range, the low 32°C - the high 43°C but it really felt like over 50°C (in fact, we were told by a taxi driver that one of the days we were there, it was over 50°C). We have never experienced anything like this... I mean Australia gets pretty hot too but it's always quite dry. But Dubai in August is hot AND humid which makes it unbearable, like you are in a sauna.


.....and this is a country where female should cover up so it makes it even harder. I wanted to walk around in my bikini but no, I was wearing "respectful clothing" by covering my legs and arms (although big malls where a lot of westerners are, this didn't seem to matter but inside the mall it was like -5°C so you would want to cover up anyway)




Friday, August 15, 2014

Is EuRail Worth It?

Is EuRail Worth It?

We purchased Eurail global pass which is valid for 3 months (continuous travel, first class "saver" - which means you need to buy two to get a little discount) for 1,330 Euro per person before we started this trip. I wanted to see if it was really worth buying the EuRail pass so I've kept records of all our travels, cost for train tickets with & without EuRail pass.......Here is the summary.

Feelin' welcome in Zurich

Zurich is one of the most expensive places for accommodation that we've seen!
For $200, you can get a very basic room with no breakfast included, out of the city centre..
Zurich

Given that our budget was already unhappy with us constantly exceeding our limits in Europe, this was too much!

It was time for something different!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Budapest Recommendation

There are a lot to see and do in Budapest. We only had a few days but we managed to do quite a bit! Here are some of my favourites!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ticket line terror

We thought it would be simple - all we wanted to get was a simple train ticket reservation, using our EuRail pass, to go from Budapest to Zurich.
Budapest is very pretty


So, being sensible, we decided to get it done when we first arrived in Budapest, since we didn't want to waste our time there going back to the station to do it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rip-off ridin'

Just a quick entry to warn others about the taxi experience we had in Bratislava, Slovakia, in the hope that others will be saved our financial pain..


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Packed with tourists - Prague

Beautiful city but this is too much!
No doubt Prague is a beautiful city. However the number of tourists here is so very overwhelming. It is exhausting to even walk around the old town.

So I have mixed feelings about this city... maybe I will try second tier cities in Czech next time....








Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fun in Berlin!

So I really liked Berlin. It is a very interesting city, it's too bad we could only stay for a couple of days... this is another city I definitely want to come back to! And we are so glad we were able to catch up with Carsten! Thank you for a fun night ;-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trippin' in Poland


We entered Poland overland from Lithuania, our first stop was the capital of Poland, Warsaw. We arrived on the 70th anniversary of Warsaw Uprising and the city was packed with Polish people with their flags.

Kraków album

Photos from the beautiful city of Kraków....


Monday, August 4, 2014

Auschwitz

Auschwitz.. just the name itself conjures up a vision of horrors.
Entering Auschwitz I
One of the main reasons we went to Krakow, besides to see the city itself, was to make a day trip to the Auschwitz museum.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Warsaw Uprising!

Today, when we were walking around the city, there were a bunch of people in Warsaw sporting the anchor-like logo of the Polish resistance..

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lightning tour of eastern Europe

We are crazy.

You probably knew that, if you've been reading this blog or happen to know us in real life, but here's the confirmation..
We are now in our "every day is moving day" phase of the trip through eastern Europe.

We just arrived in Riga, Latvia this morning, after visiting Tallinn, Estonia for a half day and night.

Next, we're off to Warsaw, Poland, then Krakow, also in Poland, where we intend to visit Auschwitz.
I can't say that I'm looking forward to that, but it should be an interesting/intense experience..

A quick time table, so those who are seeking our sparkling company will know where to look. Contact us, please, through the usual social media or comments on this blog, we'd love to meet up where we can!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fun weekend in Finland (Part 2)

So we headed off to Emilia's Summer House number 2 on the next day. We got onto another boat and off we went with Captain Emilia in charge! Meanwhile I was just hoping I won't get sea sick.

Onto a bigger boat
Captain Emilia
Yay
Almost there
Compost for the toilet
Boys relaxing while Emilia paddles!

Fun weekend in Finland (Part 1)

So Finland was amazing, thanks to Emilia and Mikke. After arriving in Turku, we drove to Pyhäranta which is about an hour drive north east of Turku. From there, we took a little boat out to Emilia's summer cottage number 1. It was simply beautiful! We got to experience Finnish sauna which was probably something I enjoyed the most in Finland. Finnish people are really big on sauna. Apparently they have sauna in their apartment houses in the city, if not individual ones then the shared one. How amazing! It's probably like how the Japanese people are with the bath.

Onto Emilia's little boat 
Out to the ocean again
The Summer House no.1
Sauna preparation
Wood stove 
Cooling down after sauna