Five hours after I checked out of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, I was checked into my room at the Quality Inn Downtown Inner Harbour Victoria.

TransLink is your source for transportation around Metro Vancouver. A $4.00 CAD ticket takes you all the way from downtown Vancouver to Tsawassen Ferry Terminal, south of Vancouver to the BC Ferry terminal for the ferry to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. The fare is even less on weekends or after 6:30pm at $2.75 CAD.

Vancouver to Victoria for $23.20 CAD by Skytrain, bus and ferry

1. $2.75 CAD or $4.00 CAD Downtown Vancouver SkyTrain to Bridgeport Station, Richmond (about 30 minutes).

2. Bus 620 to Tsawassen Ferry Terminal (keep your Skytrain ticket for free transfer to bus) (about 45 minutes).

3. $16.70 CAD for BC Ferrys Tsawassen to Swartz Bay (about 2 hours)

4. $2.50 CAD Bus 70x from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Downtown Victoria (about 45 to 60 minutes). Bus requires exact change.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver to Quality Inn Victoria Inner Harbour

Read More…

British Airways has Nairobi, Kenya on sale for $800 to $850 from a variety of airports around the USA for travel in May or from September into 2016 dates. This is similar to the current airfare deal on British Airways to Cape Town and Johannesburg, but even more dates. This is the first Africa low airfare deal I’ve seen in the past month outside of South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.

These low fares are offered for departures from next month into late February and mid-March 2016 from several airports.

San Francisco SFO – NBO Nairobi, Kenya

British Airways $846.98 October 26 – November 7, 2015

SFO-NBO BA $847 Oct15

Similar to the Cape Town airfare deals, these low fare prices are available through British Airways only. The price is $200 to $300 higher to book on American Airlines.

Phoenix PHX – NBO Nairobi, Kenya

British Airways $872.48 October 26 – November 7, 2015

PHX-NBO BA $873 Oct15

Dallas DFW – NBO Nairobi, Kenya

British Airways $837.98 September 1 – September 14, 2015

DFW departures drop to $817 in November 2015.

DFW-NBO BA $838 Sep 1-14

You can check your own airport for a low fare. This deal is available from multiple airports around the USA, like the British Airways fare to Cape Town, South Africa I posted a couple hours ago.

Loyalty Traveler – Fare Alert British Airways to Cape Town $891 from California, less from other airports (April 24)

British Airways has an airfare deal to Cape Town as low as $891 round trip from Los Angeles and San Francisco and even lower from many other airports around the USA, like $836 from Dallas for departures November 2015 to March 2016.

Anytime airfare to Cape Town drops below $1,000 round trip is a good fare. This is an even better deal since British Airways flights earn 100% redeemable miles.

San Francisco SFO – CPT Cape Town South Africa

British Airways $890.67 November 16 – December 1, 2015

Earns 22,754 Avios points.

SFO-CPT BA $891 Nov15

This fare prices higher at $1,111 as American Airlines codeshares purchased on AA.com (O booking class).

Here are sample fares to Cape Town from other airports around the USA.

  • Los Angeles LAX from $891
  • Dallas DFW from $836
  • Boston from $840
  • Chicago ORD from $841
  • Orlando $850
  • Houston IAH from $850
  • Vancouver YVR from $850
  • Miami $883
  • Washington Dulles IAD $885
  • New York JFK from $885
  • Seattle from $941

Santiago, Chile is on sale for $708 from UA and AA hubs across the USA for travel from May 2015 into 2016 in a major fare battle. United has low fares from American Airlines hubs like Phoenix, Philadelphia and Charlotte, while American Airlines has low fares from United hubs like San Francisco, Newark and Washington Dulles.

Lowest fares at $708 are Monday to Thursday departures, available during every month into early 2016 with July 2015 low fare at $758.

Phoenix PHX – SCL Santiago, Chile

United Airlines $707.60 round trip June 23-30, 2015

PHX-SCL UA $708 June15 

San Francisco SFO – SCL Santiago, Chile

American Airlines $707.60 round trip June 23-30, 2015

SFO-SCL $708 AA June 23-30

SFO-SCL is a good miles earning ticket on American Airlines at 13,037 miles round trip. Route via MIA both directions for an additional 400 miles.

The Flight Deal United SCL and American SCL.

Low fares for peak summer travel from California to Scandinavia keep on coming. All three alliances, Oneworld, Skyteam and Star Alliance are battling it out in Los Angeles for the best deals to Copenhagen in July and August.

Los Angeles to Copenhagen at $698 is the highest of these low round trip fares, but offers the most redeemable miles earned, available for booking on American Airlines website flying primarily British Airways operated flights with July departure dates. 

Oneworld Alliance

Los Angeles – Copenhagen round trip $697 July 2-9, 2015

Read More…

San Francisco to Gothenburg Sweden $661 United Airlines July 2015 is a great price that is back today for a few dates. This fare keeps recurring over the past month, but for very short-lived periods of time.

San Francisco SFO – GOT Gothenburg, Sweden

United Airlines/Swiss/Lufthansa $660.60.

July 6 – 13, 2015

SFO-GOT UA $661 July6-13

San Francisco SFO – GOT Gothenburg, Sweden

United Airlines/SAS/Lufthansa $660.60.

July 1 – 8, 2015

SFO-GOT UA $661 July1-8

This deal is hard to beat for peak summer travel season from California to Europe.

Yesterday, on Earth Day, I walked through downtown Victoria, British Columbia along Government Street to Enterprise Rental Car. There were First Nations murals on the west side of the street along a long fence. The colors and imagery were intense and I crossed the street to have a closer look at the murals.

First Nations is the term used in Canada for people we call Native Americans in the USA.

First Nations murals 

The vibrant colors of these murals appealed to me. I photographed many of the images.

Victoria FN-1    Victoria FN-2

Read More…

TAME (pronounced tah-may) is the largest airline of Ecuador and provides nonstop service between New York JFK to Quito UIO. TAME also flies Fort Lauderdale FLL.

TAME provides nonstop service from JFK and FLL airports to both Quito UIO and Guayaquil GYE.

TAME Airlines Ecudaor

Nonstop flights between New York JFK and Quito, UIO are as low as $548 round trip in June. Airfare is between $540 and $580 most dates into early 2016.

Read More…

Travel wrinkles time and brains. We are able to transport ourselves vast distances in hours. Only a few generations of humans have experienced this kind of time travel.

Yesterday morning I woke up in a skyscraper at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. A few hours later I was on a train out of the city where I picked up a bus that took me to a ferry across the Strait of Georgia separating Vancouver city and the North America continental mainland from Vancouver Island on the Pacific Rim.

Another bus ride and I was in downtown Victoria, the garden city and capital of British Columbia. This morning I rented a car and drove 200 miles northwest on Vancouver Island.

At this moment I am gazing out the window at a sandy beach to islands in the Pacific Ocean from the Best Western Tin-Wis Resort, a hotel owned by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations. The view is one of the most serene I have ever seen from a hotel.

Tin Wis means calm waters in the local First Nations’ language. A big Pacific storm is coming onshore tomorrow with strong winds. All I see this evening are calm waters.

Tin-Wis

Earth Day 2015 Vancouver Island style

Today I propelled myself through time and space across Vancouver Island, British Columbia in a gas guzzling car with some stops to get outside, take in the surroundings of immense Vancouver Island, feel the earth beneath my feet and absorb the earth spirits around me.

Seagulls woke me up this morning. I live in a beach town, but these seagulls were the most persistent squawkers I ever heard.

DSC_0001

Victoria at Inner Harbour reminded me of Miami Beach with the Quality Inn Victoria Inner Harbour surrounded by white high-rise residential units and hotels.

A woman on the ferry yesterday asked me if I was going to Vancouver Island for birding. She told me where I could find several nests in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. I thought of that woman this morning as I watched the seagulls soaring by the hotel windows. I made the effort to walk around Beacon Hill Park. There were so many colors in the park with wildflowers and planted flowers.

Beacon Hill Park

Within minutes of arriving in the park, I saw a great blue heron in flight. The recognizable sound of another bird calling out loudly in Beacon Hill Park caught my attention. I followed the sound.

peacock-2

Peacocks are naturally cute, but not natural to Canada. I wanted to get out of the city and into the wild country.

After 90 minutes of driving I reached Nanaimo where I picked up Highway 4 and headed west. Cathedral Grove is a forest preserve of old growth Douglas firs in the middle of Vancouver Island. Most of Vancouver Island is second and third growth trees after 150 years of commercial logging. The sad aspect of today was hours of driving through dense forests with few trees of any sizable girth. According to a Vancouver Sun article I read in the paper yesterday, some old growth Douglas firs are still being logged on Vancouver Island in the vicinity of Port Alberni, a few miles west of Cathedral Grove.

Douglas fir tree hugger

This tree hugger is embracing the Big Tree in Cathedral Grove, an 800 year old Douglas fir nearly 250 feet tall.

Heading west from Port Alberni to Pacific Rim National Park provided glimpses of wild and unknown country and many areas of logged mountainsides. Logging is plain ugly.

Into the Wilderness

Close to western edge of Vancouver Island revealed mountains beyond mountains with no paved roads into the interior.

Western front

These are untamed lands where wildlife still dominates the land.

Reaching the western shore of Vancouver Island at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve just before the visitor center closed had me hiking a few minutes later with heightened anxiety due to a wolf activity advisory in effect at the beaches. The first suggestion to avoid a wolf encounter is “hike in a group”. Second piece of advice is make noise.

Since I was hiking alone, I sang UB40 Red Red Wine playing in my head from the radio earlier today. My singing voice will scare most anything away.

wildlife warning (2)

Two days ago a gray whale washed up on Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. A beautiful creature even in death.

Gray whale on beach

This dead gray whale is about 30 feet long. In the cycle of life we are born and we all die.

At the Best Western Tin-Wis I took a walk on the beach before sunset. Once again, I heard a loud bird somewhere nearby. Took me a bit of time to locate the bird.

Tin-Wis bald eagle

I’ve seen three bald eagles since arriving on Vancouver Island yesterday.

bald eagle

Today I was deep into the spirits of Earth Day 2015 Vancouver Island British Columbia.

IHG Rewards Club Share Forever promotion launched this week with what seems to be the customary IHG Rewards Club promotion enrollment hiccups. I finally got through to the registration page late Tuesday night to see my offer, after several attempts to login on IHG’s Share Forever page.

IHG Share Forever promotion is for hotel stays from May 1 through September 7, 2015 giving members 129 days to reach Share Forever goals and earn targeted bonuses.

Read More…

« previous home top