Man in New Zealand claims wild parrot stole his money ... Jaunt.ca Deal of Day
To paraphrase Monty Python, Now that's what I call a (not) dead parrot. Or maybe it will be if a guy who had his money stolen catches up with the bird.
Here's what Travelmole had to say: "Peter Leach, from Glasgow, said the cheeky bird stole hundreds of dollars from his campervan.
The Scottish tourist left the windows down on his van after stopping to snap photos, including one of an unusual bird on the ground near his vehicle.
"A Canadian couple walked by and said: 'We've just seen that bird take something out of your campervan'," he said.
"It took all the money I had. I was left with 40 dollars in my pocket."
Stuff NZ reported that the unsuspecting tourist had stashed his travel cash - aboot $1,300 NZ dollars (roughly $1,100 Canadian) - in a small cloth bag and left it on the dashboard, where the bird apparently found it.
The bird - a kea - grabbed the bag and flew off."
Guess campervans should come with hotel mini-safes. Or maybe windows you can, you know, actually roll up for safety?
As for the bird, I'm told by my NZ sources that he has some friends who are Norwegian Blue parrots and is saving all he can for a flight to the fjords.
HEADED OUT ON BUSINESS? STAY IN CANADA AND AVOID MOSCOW
We think we have it bad in Canada sometimes, don't we? High air fares for sure. High restaurant and alcohol prices, also for sure. But we don't pay much for hotels, especially for business hotels.
I constantly see good hotels in major Canadian city centres for $100 or so a night on sites like hotwire.com or hotels.com. And those prices are a JOKE compared to what biz people pay around the world.
A new report by U.K.-based Hogg Robinson Group says business travelers to Moscow can expect to pay a whopping $410 a night. Not far behind are Lagos, Nigeria (where folks seem to want five-star security) at $358, and New York City at $346/night. After that came Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Sydney and Stockholm.
The cheapest of the 55 cities surveyed was Hyderabad, India, which averaged just $138. Which means they either didn't survey any Canadian cities or that all Canadian cities average less than $138.
The latter would surprise me as the survey seems to be quoting rack rates. I guess some biz folks can still simply book without checking prices. But it's awfully easy to get big discounts these days and I think any business person who spends $346 per night for New York isn't working the old Internet too hard.
I spotted seven U.S. cities on the list. The highest priced was San Francisco at $300 (11th overall in the world), while the cheapest in American city in the top 55 was Atlanta, which finished 44th with an average nightly rate of $184.
As for which cities are seeing higher prices and which are better deals, Hogg Robinson said Rio prices jumped 19 per cent last year, followed by Sao Paulo (18), Tokyo (11), San Francisco (10) and Mexico City (a nine per cent hike). Prices fell 14 per cent for the year in Washington D.C., followed by Bangalore (12 per cent drop), Abu Dhabi (11), Istanbul (10) and New Delhi (a nine per cent fall).
THIS AND THAT
Westin is poised to open its 200th hotel worldwide this year. The hotel group says it will open 11 new hotels this year, the vast majority in fast-growing markets including China, India, Singapore and Panama ... They're calling it the world's highest skating rink. Folks at the John Hancock Tower in fabulous Chicago have opened an artificial ice rink some 1,000 feet above downtown. The rink features tempered glass wall boards, offering skaters an amazing view of Lake Michigan, Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Skyline from the 94th floor ... Congrats to Vancouver for winning rights to the prestigious TED conference, which attracts deep thinkers from all over the globe. It should provide a nice boost in publicity to the city and B.C. in general. And, of course, Canada in general, too.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a comprehensive, 15-day Ireland tour package on tap for $3,062, including $464 in taxes. Here are the details:
- 15-Day Shamrock Royal Ireland Tour, featuring coast to coast touring and visits to the Giant's Causeway, Malahide, Cahir Castle and more!
- Includes return airfare from Toronto to Dublin via Air Transat
- Includes all transfers in Ireland via first class motorcoach, services of a professional tour guide, and all sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary
- 14 nights' hotel accommodation in First Class 4-Star Hotels (based on double occupancy) in ensuite rooms
- Includes full Irish breakfast daily, 11 full course evening meals in hotels, and a farewell dinner with entertainment
- Enjoy a luxury coach and first class accommodations
- A hop-on hop-off Dublin bus tour is included
- Enjoy famous sites like Giant's Causeway, the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and more
- Valid for travel on the following departure dates: April 15, 29, May 6, 24, June 7, 14, 2013
- Pricing (Rates are per person, plus tax, based on double occupancy):
April Dates: $2598 + $464 tax
May Dates: $2798 + $464 tax
June Dates: $2998 + $464 tax
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada