boring safety question!!
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 11:41 AM Last Post By: dannyg12
Aug 8, 2012 9:05 AM
boring safety question!!my first time in latin america will begin in southern mexico taking a rough route of valladolid, merida, campeche, palenque, san cristobal d l c, and then on to guatamala. i would some times be keen to take night busses and will be taking in sites along the way using more local transport. also i would like to feel able to walk around at night in central areas, would you be comfortable doing this alone ( fairly confident male)?
i am aware of the trafficing\paramilitary activety in these areas but taking all normal precautions i think this is a safe route. i am aware the odd incident does happen yet at the same time many travel without trouble would just like peoples thoughts and or up to date info.
many thanks danny g
Aug 8, 2012 9:38 AM
Aug 8, 2012 9:55 AM
Aug 9, 2012 5:47 AM
Aug 9, 2012 11:06 AM
Aug 9, 2012 6:50 PM
6Here's one example: I walk around Oaxaca's streets in areas that I know at night...well, not late, late at night. One evening, a man was walking behind me. If I slowed, so did he. If I stopped, so did he. I arrived at a well-lit park, sat on a bench, and he went on. Common sense.
Years ago, for reasons I won;t go into, a friend and I were out VERY late and were approached by a drunk man. We were quite close to the gate (both of us women) into our apartments. However, instead of entering, which would have meant time to get the key out etc., plus then he would know where we lived, we continued one block and went into the lobby of a hotel and explained our situation. They understood. Common sense.
Edited by: geriande
Aug 9, 2012 7:01 PM
7Another common sense example:
One afternoon at a busy intersection, I was waiting to cross, with a group of young male foreigners (strangers to me). When the light changed, a motorcyclist whizzed through the red light, barely missing us pedestrians. The bravado male tourists yelled a swear word at the BIG Mexican motorcyclist who, stopped his bike, and when I looked back he was heading on foot toward the group who had yelled "pendejo." A young Mexican male, maybe about age 16, having seen the situation, walked alongside me across the busy highway and for a little ways afterwards. He said, in Spanish, Don't worry. I'll protect you. Common sense: Don't swear at motorcyclists who run a red light.
Anyone else have an example?
Aug 9, 2012 11:54 PM
Aug 10, 2012 1:33 AM
9Thanks, Geri, for real life, concrete examples of common sense.
Oaxoak, you have a vivid imagination, OR, what did they say or do to you when you did that? LOL!
Here's one that's hard to categorize: we were at the Irapuato bus station, outside waiting for our bus to Guanajuato. I was taking pictures of the food stands and the general surroundings including a parked bus. A guard told me that photos were prohibited. I told him, "Discúlpeme. No lo supe." and put the camera away.
Similarly, while having breakfast at a cafe above a group of gold shops off the Zócalo in Mexico City. Taking pictures again. Naughty me!
I have enough common sense not to take photos of military or police personell nor their installations.
Or, even further back in time: my wife and I were walking along the beach at San Blas, Nayarit. Walking walking. I suddenly realized that there were no other people around and I got an odd feeling. So I suggested that we turn back, and we did.
As a general rule, we don't tell our hotel name when chatting with "friendly strangers" I suppose that's common sense.
Maybe others will be encouraged from here on to give RL examples of common sense in action while traveling in Mexico.
Aug 10, 2012 2:52 AM
Aug 10, 2012 9:59 AM
11In San Blas, perhaps you had accidentally wandered into a restricted military zone. If I recall correctly, there is a naval base.
Aug 10, 2012 12:41 PM
12Great route you have chosen and one heavily traveled by solo travelers including solo women backpackers from Europe and North America. Valladolid is very safe with a well-light zocalo and many international visitors. Merida is likewise well-lit in the central area and a great party place on weekends. San Cristobal offers an illuminated zocalo. Palenque is not so well lit but the area of the Canada (Canyada) is well-lit at night.
The key to safety would be to not make yourself an easy target. Stay in lighted areas and head home early and sober. Thieves like an easy target. Don't flash cash, cameras, jewelry, or logo backpacks/luggage. Keep working cash in one pocket and bulk cash storage in another or several others so that you are not pulling out a wad of cash each time you buy something.
You are bound to meet travelers going in the same direction and it is often helpful to go as a group.
Stick to the first class buses when available. For the most part this will be ADO Bus or OCC. Night buses by ADO, (OCC) are a good option and at times the only option.
There are bus routes where you will take second class buses, to Uxmal for instance, but they are Sur buses run by ADO.
Guatemala will require some additional precautions. Group with others, don't stray far from lighted streets, and try to get local info about unsafe areas.
Aug 10, 2012 2:10 PM
No, we were off base, ;-) just walking the beach. No signs of a military presence. In fact, no signs of anyone else. That's why I got a weird feeling and we decided to walk back to our hotel.
Aug 10, 2012 2:21 PM
14It seems that over the last couple years most reported bus robberies seem to be the Acapulco- Puerto Escondido night route and the Campeche- San Cristobal night route. Sometimes saving the cost of a room for a night may not be worth it. Recent posts also report carry on luggage/ backpack stolen, and someone offering cookies/snacks have been known to have knock out drugs...I carry enough money for daily use,don't have a large camera and try to travel with others...
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