Ruth, showing off the weird rock formations at Mexiquillo Natural Park, Durango, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Near Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Our trip to Ecuador is cancelled!

We've been closely watching the escalation of problems in Ecuador.

Ecuador does not have their own currency. They use the U.S. dollar. While this provides a level of currency stability, it creates other problems. When a country has its own currency, they simply print more of it. However in this situation, the Ecuador government was running out of money, so they went to the International Monetary Fund and took out a loan of $4.2 billion.

One of the conditions of the loan was that they stop giving the money away. The largest expense was a fuel subsidy they had in place for many years. Removing the subsidy meant that the price of fuel almost doubled overnight, and this has caused the unrest.

Yesterday afternoon, the violence returned to central Quito, and the government issued a full 24 hour curfew. Nobody is allowed to leave their homes. The Quito airport issued a news release saying...

The operations at the airport remain open, however we ask you not to come to the terminal, and those who arrive at the terminal will have to remain here until the curfew is lifted.

At the same time, the Canadian government changed their travel advisory to read "Avoid all unnecessary travel".


At this point, I called our trip cancellation insurance and confirmed that we are fully covered if we cancel.

I then called the airlines to see if we could simply make some changes. We were booked through United, but it was a codeshare flight with Copa.

United was really good, saying that due to the circumstances they would issue a full travel voucher for the entire cost of the flights to be used within one year. I called Copa to see if we could fly to Panama City, then stay there for a week and arrive in Quito a week later and immediately take our LATAM flight to Galapagos. But they wouldn't do it. They were willing to wave the penalty fee, but they would still charge for a new flight to Panama City. It didn't make any sense at all.

I don't like giving up so easily, but it left us no choice but to cancel. Fortunately, we will be fully reimbursed for all expenses so far.

But, we are not going to sit around Ottawa for another three weeks!

So I got right onto the Google Flight Search Map to look for somewhere else to go.

Looking for flights leaving from Ottawa, there were no deals to Europe at all. There was one decent deal to China, but that would mean arranging visas, and it would of course mean another really long flight.

The most logical deal at a decent price was to... Peru!

We leave Monday afternoon from Ottawa to Montreal, then Montreal direct to Lima, Peru. It's with Air Canada Rouge which is not the best airline in the world, but at least we're going somewhere new. The cost was $659 CAD ($500 USD) return. Not a screaming deal, but not bad. About $120 higher than what we had paid for the Ecuador flights to begin with.

We have already booked an Airbnb in Lima for our first four nights. Today, we will spend our day researching what we want to see in Peru.

Life is never boring!

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27 comments:

  1. Well, the one positive thing is that the timing was right. You could have left two days earlier and been stuck in the curfew.

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  2. We’ll I’d say that turned out well! Machu Pichu?

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    1. Maybe... we haven't had any time to make plans yet!

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  3. That's still a great deal! Looking forward to the details and pictures!

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    1. Yep, not a bad deal and we have always wanted to go to Peru, so we are happy with our alternate choice. :-)

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  4. Peru is a wonderful Plan B option! And Ecuador will still be there for you to return to at some point, of course. Making lemonade from lemons is just part of living a satisfying life, and you two do it beautifully.

    We depart next week for a 10 day hiking and wine tasting RV trip along our beautiful central California coastline. Truly, if we' are not gone at least one week out of every month I get positively antsy. Even as there is literally no shortage of wonderful things to do where we live. #wanderlust!

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    1. We think so too, seeing that it is another country that was high on our list of places to visit. And yes, Ecuador will still be there for another visit.

      You are going to enjoy your hike along the California coastline so much, especially when you mix it in with some wine tasting. Have fun as we are sure that you will. :-)

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  5. I love that you kept with a latin country :) Ecuador will be there one day down the road. Looking forward to your Peru adventures.

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    1. We are too because it just gives us more of a chance to work on our Spanish. We are so happy to be going to Peru, it was a good second choice. :-)

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  6. Good timing from Ottawa. What type of cancellation insurance do you use? Do you buy it for every trip and through which company? Might be a good blog post.

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    1. It is just the cancellation insurance that comes with our TD credit card. They will of course only reimburse you for what you paid for with that credit card and only under certain circumstances, like when I was sick back in May. You have to contact them first to make sure your cancellation is within their requirements and then send them all the proper documentation that their require and once they approve it they send you a cheque. Our Scotiabank credit card which is the same one you have, does the same thing.

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    2. Thank you. Yes we have that for a maximum of $2500.00 each. I am going to be researching for an 8 - 10 k cancelation policy for each of us for next fall.

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  7. Something tells me we will be seeing pictures of you two in the Park of Love!

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  8. I had 6 weeks in Peru, it was not enough! Machu Picchu with the connecting flights/train takes 3 days. If our time is really limited I did enjoy a 'The Cathedral' a massive pisco sour at the Gran Bolivar, a Hemmingway hangout.
    Looking forward to how you will spend your limited time there.

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    1. Three weeks is definitely not going to be enough time. We have no plans on going to Machu Picchu or the surrounding area, at least not on this trip.

      I am sure that we will be giving the Pisco Sour a try but not so sure it will be in the Gran Bolivar Hotel, although we will probably drop in there for a visit, just to see the interior of it.

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  9. When life gives you lemons...! Looking forward to your Peru adventures and glad you won't be stuck in an unsafe situation. Good for you for rolling with the punches.

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    1. Yep, that would be us and it seems this year we have had to make lemonade a few time, lol!

      We are also looking forward to our adventures in Peru.

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  10. Glad you are making something good out of a bad situation.
    Be Safe and Enjoy Peru.

    It's about time.

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    1. That is just the way we do things. I am glad that we are both so flexible, it sure makes these changes so much easier to deal with. Good thing that Peru is another country that was high on our list of places to visit. :-)

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  11. Rough luck with your Ecuador trip. Hopefully things simmer down there for an attempt later on.
    Did I read on your blog that you were looking into RVing in Europe?

    This blog has the most fantastic info on RVing and recently RVing in Europe.
    https://wheelingit.us/ . Nina is a wonderful writer and researcher.

    Good Luck.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a bit of hard luck but we know that Ecuador will still be there and we have no doubt that we will make it there one day in the future when we can really enjoy it to it's full potential.

      Yes, Kevin knows of their blog and does keep tabs on them. We have already done two months of RVing in Spain and Portugal back at the beginning of 2017 and we loved it, that is why we want to go RVing there for a longer length of time.

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