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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #31  
Old 30 Oct 2008
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Diesel

Diesel in truck stops, be very cautious anywhere near long distance truck overnight stops! When driving trucks and coaches I had no idea diesel spills were any problem to bikes. This is probably the same now. Also beware of the drivers' blind spots. I'd keep away personally. Linzi.
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  #32  
Old 11 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TT-Kira View Post
There's always been cases of gassing campervans & stealing things on offer afterwards. But earlier this year a friend of mine who drove between Italy & Spain parked up near Montpellier at an 'aire' & locked up for the night. In the morning he was feeling very woozy, found he was 600euros lighter & credit cards had gone missing!!! How they gassed the truck he's still not sure as he's a light sleeper, but they broke the door locks to get in!
It seems this is one of those 'urban legends' that just isn't true. There have been similar warnings on motorhome forums and despite motorhomefacts.com having more than 30,000 members there has not been a single incident reported, only anecdotes saying, "I heard from ..."

This is a formal response from the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Quote:
Thank you for your enquiry. I would like to inform you that you are not the first enquirer with this question. Professor Hatch, our Clinical Advisor, has given the following previous comments:

"I can give you a categorical assurance that it would not be possible to render someone unconscious with ether without their knowledge, even if they were sleeping at the time. Ether is an extremely pungent agent and a relatively weak anaesthetic by modern standards and has a very irritant affect of the air passages, causing coughing and sometimes vomiting. It takes some time to reach unconsciousness, even if given by direct application to the face on a rag, and the concentration needed by some sort of spray into a room would be enormous. The smell hangs around for days and would be obvious to anyone the next day.

There are much more powerful agents around now, some of which are almost odourless. However, these would be unlikely to be able to achieve the effect you describe, and the cost would be huge enough to deter any thief unless he was after the crown jewels. The only practicable agent is probably the one used by the Russians in the Moscow siege - I advised the BBC on their programme about this. The general feeling is that they used an agent which is not available outside the KGB!

Finally, unsupervised anaesthesia, which is what we are really talking about is very dangerous. In the Moscow siege about 20% of victims died from asphyxia, because their airways were unprotected. If the reports you talk about are true I would have expected a significant number of deaths or cases of serious brain damage to have been reported."

I hope this information is helpful to you.
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  #33  
Old 11 Jun 2009
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How did I miss this thread?

What's becoming more clear to me as I read is the extent to which I rely on my accumulated understanding of the unwritten rules which prevail over the written ones throughout the world. Here in the States, I find it ridiculously easy to sleep in or around my car, truck, van or whatever else I'm driving (contrary to Lorraine's experience). I do it all the time, and it's been twenty years or more since anyone's bothered waking me.

I think this is because I know where to stop, how to blend in, how to recognize the places where other folks are stopped, what sorts of places will feature loud teenagers and used condoms or syringes, and where a property owner is likely to take offense. Or worse, an over-protective parent who sees threat in every stranger's face.

Some of those posting on this thread have a similar experience--of their own home countries. But they might be as lost here in America as I am in, say, England or France....because as soon as I leave the USA or Canada, the same task becomes very difficult. In Europe I found myself riding my bike for hours after I should really have stopped, in all sorts of weather and on all sorts of roads, purely because I don't know how to read the unwritten rules. When I did stop--sometimes of total exhaustion--no one ever hassled me, even when I sacked out in plain sight. But I always did so with real trepidation, which doesn't make for a good night's sleep, and I was always aware of my own cluelessness.

This becomes far more urgent in places where bandidos of one stripe or another prevail--these might be fully uniformed police, or they might consider themselves vigilantes, or they might just be the usual sharks out cruising for victims. Whoever they are, I don't want to cross them. In America I can accurately weigh the dangers and act accordingly; in Britain (again, just the obvious example) I can't even tell which neighborhoods to avoid transiting at all costs and which are perfectly safe--much less which will allow me to park overnight.

Ok, enough words. I'm off to purchase one of those nifty backpack-mounted narcotic gas sniffer alarm systems on the internet. One can't be too careful these days.

Mark
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  #34  
Old 11 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TT-Kira View Post

2. Certain villages, like mine do NOT allow campervans etc to park up, it's a local by-law. Either go to the campsite & pay like the rest or park outside the confines of the village. To support each others businesses/livelihoods here we do go around knocking on campervans late at night to move them on ... sorry but if you knew the tax system in France you'd do the same!

Kira
OK, I may be getting the wrong end of the stick here but it sounds like you are simply harrassing people into using your services. No mention that these people are actually doing anyone any harm. That's pretty shameful IMHO.

Matt
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  #35  
Old 11 Jun 2009
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the gassing of vehicle occupants maybe came from the reports on burglars using it in spain[or france cant remember]. There was actually gangs doing this as they got a few famous folk if I remember right.
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