So, Did you get robbed yet?

Trip Start Apr 18, 2012
Trip End Apr 22, 2012

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Flag of Honduras  , Bay Islands,
Saturday, April 21, 2012

I find it interesting that people greet you with such negative statements.  Carla and I were getting in  our water taxi going back to our place on West End after spending a wonderful afternoon snorkeling . The sun was shining and the day was absolutely glorious.  We seem to have mastered how to keep all those pesky sand flies off by renting lounge beach chairs  that they sell everywhere on the beach . A definite  sign that maybe you shouldn't be laying in sand. So Carla I get in the boat, and we are questioned immediately  by a  woman  " So, did you get robbed yet? " we surprisingly answer to such an odd first greeting...." Ahh, No" Then the woman says " Well,  you will " Then she proceeds to tell us the story how she left her laptop, her phone and her money in her hotel room ( she was not staying in our hotel) and that someone came in the evening and broke in and stole everything! Her neighbors were robbed too, she explains, and that it happens to everyone......Everyone? I hardly doubt that, or people would not keep coming here! I love the "always" and "everyone" when people are telling stories. Its very unfortunate when you have things stolen. I could not help but notice her expensive watch that she was wearing at the time. Hmmmm, I wonder if the criminals might of noticed that on her and assumed that she probably has some fancy goods back at her hotel room as well,  as they noticed to take note of where she was staying when they were eying her while she was working on her laptop at the cafe close by her hotel. Yes, the bad guys are probably watching you...its what they do. Its their job! And to avoid being a victim, don't bring anything with you that you will be bummed if it comes up missing.....No  Fancy jewelry, watches ( why do you need one anyway on vacation?) limit your electronic use to your room, or your hotel, and use the safe if they have one while traveling abroad.. Or travel like me, staying in the backpacker places, usually steers the thieves away when you're paying very  little a night for your room, means you probably don't have much to begin with to support  your thrifty lifestyle. Backpackers are known to be smart, savvy travelers. Why would you rob someone with a Backpack when you could have the choice of someone carrying a Prada? It also helps to stay away from wearing a visor, knee high socks and a fanny pack :) It really cracks me up when I see tourists ( and hate to say but usually my fellow Americans with a few Germans thrown in) that seem to be a miss on the vacation attire to blend in a little bit more while away on vacation.  It really makes a difference if you wear clothes to blend into the culture and country that you are traveling in. Thieves notice, and they will target you if you stand out with "Tourist!" basically written on your forehead, or on that lanyard that you are carrying around your neck with your boarding, seriously people! Blend in a little more, and your chances of getting ripped off with decline significantly!
So from what we hear, robberies are pretty common here in Roatan unfortunately.  Some of them are targeting  tourists riding scooters around the island that have wandered off the main road or people walking by themselves late at night.  Its a tough call sometimes deciding to leave your valuables in your room, or carry them on you. I have been lucky to not have anything happen to me like this on any of my trips. But I try to be careful and not get too complacent, and it seems to work for me so far.
 Central America can be a fairly dangerous place, so you have to really keeps your guard up and trust your instinct.  We also were told by some people living here that the mainland of Honduras has the largest murder rate in the world! That is got so dangerous that even the peace corp pulled out recently. I have not read any warnings of such before I came down. That is a pretty scary statistic. Its a different world in Asia where I usually travel, robberies are alot less common there, and I hear very little of thievery from tourists there, other than the occasional items missing  from backpacks on overnight bus rides to popular places down south.
But  Carla and I felt at ease here , and the locals and the people who work here are so nice. Its such a beautiful part of the world.  Its got so many positive things going for it,  and everything can't be perfect.  I think the only downside would be the extra sense  of awareness in the safety department,  and those pesky sand flies. 
 Other  than that,  it's a perfect getaway!! Only 2 1/2 hour flight from United States from Houston and you're in this beautiful paradise that  still hasn't been overrun by commercialism and feels like you really are in another country,  and that's exactly how I want to feel when I take the time to get away.  I want to feel like I  truly am away from it all.  I want to  immerse myself into exactly where I am. It is a beautiful island and I will definitely come back.  I hate to wear a watch anyways.
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mike on

Im jealous! You look great Elizabeth:)

carla on

it was the most amazing trip...and i am so grateful to have been invited...let's do it again my good friend!!

Sarah on

I've learned from the best! Never bring anything valuable on a trip!

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