Crime - Margarita - Police is your friend??
The Police wanted to rape my girlfriend...
Sounds crazy? Well not for us after a night on Margarita Island - Venezuela.
“He can go, you get into the back of the car.”
Now what does that sound like???
We were on the way back from the beach at around 11.00PM . Yes, we had a drink at the bars along the beach. We had just arrived from Caracas and then walked along the beach, looking at the ocean, had some deep talks about life and were strolling back arm in arm to our Hotel, Costa Linda Beach. When leaving the beach road, heading towards the hotel, a big police truck stops behind us and flashes the lights. We stop, look at a young police officer jumping out, asking in Spanish what we are doing.
He is speaking fast to my girlfriend, who is from Peru. Something about what are we doing here, we looking drunk, our clothing being dirty (sure, walking at the beach, testing the water, there is sand on your clothing).
I ask in English, “what’s wrong? We are returning to the hotel.” He goes on about Passaporte etc. I say, “come with us to the hotel, 100m down the road.” Now the thickset older colleague is climbing out of the car. Building up their presence. I sense they are not here for jokes.
They stare dead cold, insisting on frisking me, looking for narcotics. Intimidating us with their complete presence – two guys in uniform in front of their truck in a side road of the beach, a stones throw from the hotel.
I do as told, they find 5 Bolivios, the rest of cash I took to the beach and my mobile as well as the key from the hotel. As “Costa Linda Beach” likes to keep their key on a big piece of wood, I had taken the it off the ring and had no chance of proving where we came from. When he started looking into my pants, the thought of a little white bag being produced from his pocket to frame me flashed through my thoughts. Luckily this did not happen.
Now they wanted to frisk my girlfriend. Her wearing a white long skirt and a tight top, there was obviously nothing to be hidden nor to be searched for.
Feeling intimidated, she said immediately “No way, we have done nothing wrong”. The older police officer came up to her and ordered, pointing to me and the car: “Ok, he can go, but you get into the back!” She again said “no”. I said, only understanding half of it: “What is wrong, what have we done that you want to do this? We just came from the beach going home to our hotel”
They insist again that they want her to get into the car and me leaving, - moving around restlessly. Needless to say, my girlfriend is very very scared at this moment. It now also dawns on me that they are out for something else than frisking foreigners. I keep on blabbering about the hotel, our passports and that there is not reason for taking us anywhere. She utters that we are here on our honeymoon. I am lost in regards to what we can do. I am not sure how to handle the situation. I sense something is completely wrong, but have no idea how to deal with the two officers.
Suddenly they decide to pull off. The older thickset officer puts on a big fake grin and tries to take my hand in a “cool” handshake. He says: “Ok, go….The police is your friend”.
Looking at him in amazement, I say:”If you are my friend, why you scare us like this?” He just smiles again and repeats, “we are your friend and again tries to give me his hand as if in reconciliation. I sense this is the only time they will listen to us at all and repeat “why you scare us like this??? You really scare us!” Did I ask for ID? No.Why? I was scared. We both sensed we were lucky, so incredibly lucky to get out of this situation.
The officer just smiles his ugly grin and gets into the car.
Needless to say, we were shaking to our bones! Up till now, we have been here for 3 days, noticing that this place is not like other holiday destinations. I have traveled a lot in my life through Europe, US, Asia, over the ME to the Caribbean and now South America. I travel for work, I see people, I see places, I talk to people, I am used to dealing with different nationalities. I have never experienced a situation more fake and more dangerous that this one.
What if my girlfriend would have gotten into that car as ordered? Where would they have taken her? What would have happened if she’d been alone? How should one react to such a situation, dealing with government officials?
We were stopped for walking the street back to our hotel for no reason at all!
I can only answer one thing: “This is a country that scares us!” If the police is already prying on you, what else can happen???
Crime in Margarita
I wrote this in a reply to someone's question else where but felt I should add it here too.....
Card fraud yes that does happen and it has even happened to at least 2 of my close friends and it just does here or anywhere. They just get reimbursed from the Credit card companies.
Robberies are *EVERYWHERE* ...be careful and cautious always. Does that mean you can't come here and relax ... NO.
I know what streets to not just walk around without paying attention....which ones you say ...Plaza Bolivar (keep eyes peeled) aka the Walking Streets as it's called, down by the Bella Vista area..only because it's become desolate over the past two years and it has gotten run down. The bad area I am talking about is once you are past the Bella Vista Hotel. If you continued to walk in the opposite direction NOT heading toward 4 de Mayo then that is the area that I am talking about.
Don't dress to impress especially in an area that's prone to have more theft Or wear lots of jewlery or tip high in front of others....wait til your leaving and then tip big to show your appreciation.
It's all alot of common sense to me and you know what if by chance it does happen to you ....it could of actually been the person right next to you or the person who just got out of the store right ahead of you that could of been robbed and not *you*. Sometimes things in life just *happen* so take the good with the bad and enjoy your vacations as much as you can. They only happen once a year !!!!
Yes I do feel safe here or else I wouldn't be here. I just watch myself and my kids when were out. I have one trusted taxi driver who will come to pick me up at my house so I don't walk up to the bus stop to get a taxi or bus. It's safer for me to have him come get me. If I'm late in town then he will come pick me and my kids up...sometimes he even brings his lovely wife along for a ride. I never think it can't happen to me..so just always be precautionary and *think*.
- Family Travel
Hikking in the rainforrest
If u walk up the highest mountain (El copey) on Isla margarita you will experience the rainforrest. The area is a nationalpark and only one man owns some land up there. He´s not happy about unexpected guests, so if you want to go there you have to do it as a guided tour. It´s a hard walk and you will know why it´s called the RAINforrest, so make sure that you pack the things that shouldn´t get wet in plasticbags. When all that is said it´s a really amazing experience.
On the left side of the Dunes Hotel, is the most beautiful beach, Zaragosa. You need to climb the little cliff (very easy to do) where the lighthouse is, go up & then down to the beach. It takes less than 10 minutes from the Dunes Hotel. There are so many sand dollars in the water at the edge you step on them with every step. There was a little lady walking with her pot of homemade empinadas for sale that are excellent. The pina coladas made by the "bartender" at the little stand are really good. You can rent a cabana at many sites. No tourists were there.
Between the Dunes Hotel and the Hisperia Hotel (I think that is the name) off the beach just a bit on a dirt road - on weekends only - is a man & lady who make empinadas & cook them at a little stand. Their seafood or cheese empinadas are REALLY good. 2 empinadas + 2 beers = US$2. If you are staying at the Dunes we highly recommend the walk to the cliff to your right & stopping to get an empinada on the way back. Climb the cliff & the view on my opening page is what you will see.
Birds , birds
One trip I would recommend is the trip to angel falls.
Check out the different trips that are offered.Some are more than one day.
Along this trip we got to take a boat ride through the forest/jungle and we got to see some of the local wild life. We got to see many different birds.
This is a full day trip, wear good shoes and bring some swim gear, for swimming in the smaller falls area....Oh don't forget the camera.
- National/State Park
- Adventure Travel
your own jeep safari...
I'll give you a jeep safari for free!
Rent a 4weel drive jeep (if you rent something you rent a jeep...)
Go to the second part of the island. At the top (around the town "San Francisco") there is a small road which is going north and pass 2 "towns" (read: 4 houses each) keep on drivig this road. If you see a lighthouse your at the middle of your trip of +- 2-3hours.
be aware: do this with 2 jeeps and good drivers!!! we did it alone, and I prayed for no broken tire or malfuntion ;)
But the trip was superb!
if I must rate the adventure-level 0 (soft) to 5 (hard)... i'll give it 4.99 :)
If you'll want to get a rush... JUST DO IT! (think later :P)
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
the pelican island.I was on...
the pelican island.
I was on the beach ( don't ask me where ) and suddenly a man came to me asking me if i wanted to have a tour to some island for scuba-diving.
He was a pirate ( look at the tourist traps ) but i didn't care. It was a very nice trip over and under water.
I saw dolphins in the distance.
The water was very clear, it was a great scuba-dive.
Drinking rum on a secluded beach
One of the many secluded, deserted beaches we visited on Walter's Swingin' Jeep Safari.
Plus the obligatory rum & coke of course!
Fun with Locals at Guacoco Beach
Every sunday local people are going to a beach with there familie to eat, play and rest...
Go to the beach and make some contact with them, I assure you... you end up with a mug of whiskey !!