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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 9 May 2008
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Do not carry cash with you in South America!

Hey guys, I was just robbed of $500 US in Buenos Aires. I had $1000 U.S. from the deposit for selling my motorcycle in Paraguay. Unfortunately I decided to keep the money with me rather than paying 5% for Western Union.

I was keeping $700 US in my money belt which was inside my bag and resting in the corner of my girlfriends apartment. The apartment is in a nicer area of Buenos Aires and I did not suspect any of my gf`s friends to be thieves.

I checked the money today and $500 was missing with $200 left behind. Pretty sure it was an inside job. The doorman to the apartment is a likely suspect because he knew I sold my motorcycle, had a key to the apartment, and knocked on the door 2 times yesterday to ask where my gf was.

Do not trust any situation in South America! When you least expect it you will get robbed here. Even the developed cites like Buenos Aires still have poor people who search through every ounce of trash to recycle things. There is no escaping the poverty down here!
(That being said, this could have happened in the U.S. too but I doubt it.)
http://www.journeyrider.net Latin America blog (07-8)
Old 9 May 2008
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Location: Santa Marta, Colombia, South America
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What is it with you?

Stop "dissing" South America at every available opportunity. Did you survive your rather chaotic ride through SA? Yes! And to who do you owe your success to?

We have a phrase in Colombia for the act of providing so much opportunity to be taken advantage of; it's called "giving papaya" and if you give as much papaya in the US as you give in SA, then you are heading for a downfall.

By the way, I think you should be having a serious discussion with your girlfriend.
How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say “forever”? - Pablo Neruda

Last edited by Stretcher Monkey; 9 May 2008 at 15:53.
Old 9 May 2008
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Cool south america

hola gatogato,

everytime I come to the HUBB I see a new thread of yours, accidents, difficulties selling the bike, corrupt police and so on.

you know, if you are always negative, of course you will always attract negative situations.

your are on my favourite continent, and believe me, I have seen a bit of the world.

please stop telling everybody in every of your posts how dangerous South America is.

I spend two years, and 80.000km on the bike in South America. Two of the best years of my life. And I did not have any problems that I did not cause myself. Even when the police in Brazil handcuffed me, I was about to beat up a young stupid car driver.

BsAs is one of my favourite places, so dont be stupid and leave your money somewhere in a corner and than complain.


Mika from Finnland
Old 9 May 2008
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I have had far more positive than negative experiences in South America. I would do the trip over in a heartbeat.

The message of this post is ¨Do not get careless with your money in South America¨ and not that South America is a place not worth visiting.
http://www.journeyrider.net Latin America blog (07-8)
Old 9 May 2008
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It sounds like you attract the trouble you complain about - maybe you aren't cut out for this?

Just an observation. No offence meant

XJ600 Diversion
Old 9 May 2008
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Originally Posted by gatogato View Post
I have had far more positive than negative experiences in South America. I would do the trip over in a heartbeat.

The message of this post is ¨Do not get careless with your money in South America¨ and not that South America is a place not worth visiting.

Should read Do not get careless with your money ANYWHERE. after reading one of your previous threads about riding through a village at 'breakneck' speed I get the impression you consider yourself as some kind of Indiana Jones but without the brains.
'He who laughs last, was too slow to get the joke'
Never confuse the map with the journey.
Old 6 Jun 2008
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Pratt indeed

Please stop... You are a embarrassment. Many of us have travelled on bikes through SA and have had good and bad experiences, That is why we travel. Its called life. However, you live in a fantasy world, which, to be frank, we don't care about. I'm sure they stole your money so you would have to go home and leave them alone. I would have done to. One person wrote, "i bet you are an American". I know you are!
To all the "fantastic" Americans traveling out there, we judge you not.
To anyone heading to SA on a bike, i envy you. It is most likely going to be one the most wonderful experiences of your lives. Please don't listen to this complete MUPPET.
Old 7 Jun 2008
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Wake up and smell the coffee brother - it was your "girl friend". You seem painfully naive - but it's not your fault your from Des Moines.
Old 7 Jun 2008
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Just to wear a MONEY BELT is a sign of an inexperienced traveller. For me, it is weakness. Weakness smells - it makes you a target.

Why wouldn't you just carry the $$ in your pant's front pocket - just like at home?

Always carrying a nice sum of cash in your pocket (min. US$ 1.000) is an advice many "success gurus" will give to you.

It will give you a healthier attitude towards money - about MAKING MORE money, and not about LOSING LESS money. Money does have a smell - a smell of strength. Believe me, it works!

And a side-effect: If you really get robbed, you'd be happy to give away some $$ (give 200$ from the right pocket first). Or you may need to seriously pay your way out of big trouble - at a border, in an accident, ....$ For the tough traveller, there is still a lot of things, credit cards can't buy.

Giving away a lot of cash could make your life a lot easier - and longer.

My advice: ALWAYS carry cash with you.
Gentleman Adventurer
Old 7 Jun 2008
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Gato next time when you feel the urge for travelling... stay home, subscribe on the Discovery channel and stop messing up the HUBB.
Old 14 Jun 2008
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Hey Gato

You wouldnt want to meet these guys on a dark night would you? These are the type who would pass without stopping if they saw a biker broken down by the side of the road.

You've survived so far....well done! I see on your website that you're asking for money for your bike trips - can you send me some money for mine? Thanks.

Your posts are extremely skilfully done - are you a dryfly fisherman by any chance?

Last edited by Caminando; 14 Jun 2008 at 11:51.
Old 14 Jun 2008
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Hey Gatogato
Just read your ride report.Liked that..well done.
Bill Bryson says your home town is the most boring place in the world.You better start saving for your next trip.
Old 8 Jul 2008
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Be careful

If i have had to carry cash, i have always used money belt that sits on my waist.
I try and put this on under my cloth. iIt is best to keep your cash as close to you
as possible. I think the man was not happy in his life who theft your money,and
will not be happy in future. But in my opinion, you should be having a serious
discussion with your girlfriend.

Last edited by amonil; 9 Jul 2008 at 07:54.
Old 15 Jul 2008
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Originally Posted by tprata56 View Post
Wake up and smell the coffee brother - it was your "girl friend". You seem painfully naive - but it's not your fault your from Des Moines.

Because everyone from Cali is a brain surgeon, What a twat.
Old 15 Jul 2008
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Hey give the guy a break, I'm sure it came out wrong. I screw up a lot, I've been mugged 5 times in my life and had it all, had knives drawn, I've even had brick thrown at my head and my face kicked to a mess. I only ever had myself to blame for those situations... is the conclusion I gather in retrospect.

Anyhow the point this guy is trying to make is don't make the same mistake he made. Ignore all the other details of the porter or the girlfriend or the fact he's in South America.

Imprudence = will catch you off guard.

I was reading one of the great blogs on here and winced at the story of a few bikers, and a couple of bikers who had their rucksacks taken whilst in a cafe in africa (not sure which country... but not important). They had their wallets, passports, carnets ... well frankly everything taken. The restaurateur said it was their own fault for not being more diligent.

What more can be said? Be paranoid, until you get home.
Neil's in... (the website)
Also you can follow me on FaceBook, YouTube or Twitter.

And let's not forget: The Suzuki DRZ Repository (a side project I'm working on)
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