View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Booked for Galapagos!

Yesterday, I finally received my ScotiaBank Passport Visa card with its 0% foreign exchange fee and six free airport lounge passes. For a traveler who is based in Canada, this is by far the best credit card available.

And that essentially completes our transition from TD Bank to ScotiaBank. The bank and investment accounts are all switched over, and direct debit and deposits are changed as well. Glad that's all done!

And, the very first purchase I put on our new credit card?

Flight tickets to the Galapagos Islands!

There are two different airports that you can fly to in Galapagos, and three different airlines flying to them. I researched all of the price combinations and chose Latam Airlines from Quito to San Cristobal and returning from San Cristobal to Guayaquil.

Total cost for each of us was $324 USD ($430 CAD). Tickets from the mainland rarely go on sale and I have read that most people pay between $300 USD to $500 USD, so we got in at the lower end of the scale.

We fly from Quito on October 20th, and return to Guayaquil on October 28th. So we have 7 nights, 8 days on the islands.

We have not yet booked any accommodation, but there is a lot of availability at this time of year. Still, I will be getting on that soon!

In the meantime, our time here in Ottawa area is ticking down. Two weeks from Sunday we fly to Ecuador. We've been puttering around here at Ruth's dad's house and every couple of days we go and see him and try to take him on an outing.

Out for a walk in the park.

The (Canadian) Mississippi River in Pakenham, Ontario.

The village of Pakenham has an ice cream shop that has been there for a long time. Ruth's dad loves his ice cream. "Ice cream is good for you, you know!" he says. Well, at 84 years of age, if it makes you happy then it must be good for you. 

Selecting a flavor.

Mmm. Ice cream.

Ruth and I shared some too. And this was before lunch!

Yesterday was mostly cloudy and overcast, but we still managed to get out for our power walk. We did get rained on a little bit, but it's only water!

Storm clouds!

This afternoon I am off for my weekend away with the boys! I look forward to this every year! This year is going to be slightly different because we are trying out a new location. The place we had used for the past three years is up for sale and no longer available for bookings.

I think we'll do okay though... the new place is more than just a shack in the woods!

Looking forward to lots of laughs, and a few shots of single malt!

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  1. Isnt there some famous train to guayaquil. One of the best train rides in the world?

  2. Looks like Scoops! My first job was at Nicholson Sundries just around the corner. Cute little village.

    1. Yep, it sure is! They are the great, I love their prices too. :-) Pakenham is a pretty little village. My dad always bought his bread at the bakery there.

  3. Whey did you just not get the new Scotia Visa and stay with your TD Bank? You don't need to change banks to change credit cards.

    1. Yes, we are perfectly aware that you don't need to change banks to change credit cards but like anything else we do we always want the best bang for our buck and TD Canada Trust was no longer doing that. I guess you missed our post a week or so ago where Kevin explained about why we are changing banks, you can read it here

      After doing the research Kevin found that if we have the Ultimate Package account with keeping a minimum balance in it that we would then get our new Scotiabank Passport Visa card fees waived each and every year, the debit cards only have a 2.5% foreign exchange fee when we use it in other countries, where as TD upped theirs last year to 3.5%, we also earn points for anything we purchase even with the debit card, we get 10 free trades a year, plus with the credit card we get the 6 free passes to airport lounges and 0% foreign exchange fees when we use our credit card in another country but you know about that because you have the Scotiabank Passport Visa as well.

  4. I ordered the Scotia Passport Visa card but refuse to pay $139/yr to use it! So gave it back. Did they waive the fee since you have an acct with them? We use BMO World Elite MC which gives us 2 complimentary lounge passes plus our BMO acct pays for the $129/yr fee :)

    1. Of course! I explained this as a reply to your last comment! We don not pay ANY fee and still get the six lounge passes and zero foreign exchange fees.

    2. sorry guess I forgot and just wanted to know after reading this blog

    3. Sorry for being blunt. :-) But my point was that you would have been better off keeping the Scotia Passport Visa card and getting rid of the BMO account and Mastercard. You would have the zero foreign exchange fees AND 4 more lounge passes.

  5. Mmmm, we love ice cream! As long as you stay active, it is part of a balanced diet. :) Glad you are getting Ruth's dad out and about. I am sure he is a happy man when you two visit him. My mom is 84, turning 85 in November, and I will be there for her big birthday. She loves ice cream too! :)

    1. We love ice cream too but rarely have it, it is definitely a real treat for us.

      Yes, my dad loves his outings and we try as much as possible to get him out. He really loves to go for a drive, especially now that the leaves are starting to change.

      Well done on your mom! I am sure that she will be happy to see you there for her big birthday. We flew home for my dad's 80th birthday back in 2015. Have a great visit with you mom in November. :-)

    2. Thanks! I am looking forward to some fall weather -- and some ice cream! :)

  6. Guayaquil has an excellent malecon that runs for several kilometers with one of the world's largest ferris wheels. At the end of the malecon is a wonderful history museum and from there a large hill filled with colorful houses called Las Peñas. There is a very small park near the malecon filled with giant iguanas that live there. Too much to do in Ecuador!

    1. Thanks for all the great suggestions Chris! I have copied them down so hopefully we will have time to see them all. :-)


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