“ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

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Glyn Kirpalani
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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:30 pm

Point taken Steve, quite right, and sorry if we got carried away (but for the avoidance of doubt, I was only joking* and I am 99.9% sure that Paul was just using ironic humour too, joshing and "lad's talk" about tasers etc for humour?).

*not that it is really a laughing matter, sorry, although it can be cathartic to laugh in the face of traumas.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:50 pm

Steve

I will stand or fall on this.

I am trying to encourage debate. If I have to put a provocative statement out to encourage ideas on what tourists do to protect themselves and to help maintain the credibility of the deserving businesses in Tobago then I will do it, whether here or somewhere else.

What we say should not compromise this forum ... theorism is not a crime.

I sense that we can all agree that the Tobago authorities are doing next to nothing to resolve this problem so, if that be the case, who is going to solve the problem (?) and that is exactly what the discussions are about, even if I, admittedly, make vigilante remarks which, to be honest, seems to be one favourable option, unless anyone else has any other bright idea? ... Anyone got any?

All I can say is thank you for allowing these discussions to be as open and as controversial as they may seem ... I hope that you do not shut them down and that free speech can eventually be delivered to the powers that be... who were democratically elected of course.

I am not scared of these attacks ... I am scared of the media repression and politics and if that happens again, coupled with the loss of being able to speak freely about the situation, I will not go back to Tobago again.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Glyn Kirpalani » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:31 am

Katy - what a beautifully written summary! Yes, since you "know how to move", you can survive in Tobago safely. This is the point that some of us were trying to make, albeit smattered with Boys Own talk of Deathwish style defence measures - which one could call gallows humour I suppose.

One point you made is debatable however, re Barbados - at least 20 times the number of people visit Barbados every year compared with Tobago, and the resident population is also several times the size, so one cannot realistically compare the statistics, if one wishes to analyse the theoretical risk to any tourist of an incident occurring when looking at holiday destinations to choose from - eg dozens of northern european British tourists are murdered every year in Spain, but tens of millions of Brits/Germans etc visit Spain each year, so statistically Spain is still a very safe holiday destination.

A more useful statistic for Tobago would be to compare these 2 figures: the % of tourists staying in guarded/adequately protected Tobago resorts, who also follow the sensible travel advisories when sightseeing, who suffer a crime; compared with the % of tourists who recklessly ignore (or miss) the travel advisories and stay in unguarded unfortified villas/guest homes, wander around laden down with bling, partying, wandering up and down isolated rural pathways alone, swimming in the sea while leaving bags alone on the beach, buying whaccy baccy off street hustlers (or sleeping with them) etc etc. I am no gambler, but I would wager that the % of victims in the latter category is many many times that of the sensible visitors to Tobago - in fact if one studies nearly every victim's report on the interweb, they have broken one of the golden rules. Even Mr Fishing Rod was not following UK travel advice (am unsure about his own USA advice without looking it up) since he was walking alone in an isolated area. Day or night, this must be avoided.

So Paul is right, we must at least debate the issues so as to educate the visitors, since the government is not doing it - while they spend $2 million + flying themselves and their mistresses to the world travel shows in Berlin and London each year to suck in more visitors, they do little or nothing to ensure that their stay is safe, and that they - like Katy - "know how to move" on Tobago for an enjoyable visit. The government is just creating more victims. What they should be doing is licensing villas and guest houses and outlawing unlicensed premises, with minimum security requirements to be met before a license is granted - they have been promising this for at least a decade, but as Steve said, it is all just "ole talk". Similarly, there should be tourist police all over the place plus crime warning signs (like the ones at some beaches, which are a welcome thing) behind the immilgration desks so folks can read it while waiting for an hour to get through - not too scary, just gentle reminders to be sensible, with some leaflets underneath containing the recommended common sense measures to be adopted - this may catch some folks who have not done their interweb research, and may assist them to avoid becoming victims.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:12 pm

Think I have said enough on this sad subject ... so I hope to read the debates as they arise.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Steve Wooler » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:05 pm

Hi Paul

Please don't take me wrong. I know that much of what was said was tongue-in-cheek and just banter, as Glyn has said, and the very last thing I'm wanting to do is to stop sensible debate. I'm just asking contributors to bear in mind that for every regular reader who understands the humour of our regular team, there are hundreds of unregistered readers (whose page accesses are therefore not recorded) who will read this thread and have no idea how to take it all. If we come across all Action Man and Ramboesque and encourage people to break T&T law by taking the law into their own hands, we do nobody any favours. :)

Sorry for my delay in replying, but Internet access is virtually nil and my computer crash lost me our last review. A week's work down the drain because the Internet went down in Castara the morning the files would have been backed up to the cloud. So, I'm busting a gut trying to re-write about the last property whilst staying (and supposedly writing about) another property.
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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:12 pm

No worries Steve ... I am annoyed with the suppression of information which makes me get provocative and I try to express myself in a kind of light hearted way so that I can reach out to people to respond.

Anyway, I think I have said enough and I hope there is some constructive debate on the issues and the ideas that have been put forward on this thread which I think is very positive.

I hope you are having a good time in Castara ... let me know what you think of the expansion to the Naturalist ... Ancle tells me he now has CCTV which means that I could get into a whole lot of trouble if I play too much with my taser toys :mrgreen:

Take care and enjoy your holiday.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Steve Wooler » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:51 pm

Hi Paul

Believe you me, it is good that I have had limited Internet access this last week or so because if I had given vent to my frustrations, I could really have landed myself in legal hot water.

Anyway, I haven't seen inside the new apartments at the Naturalist, so can't comment. The building itself is quite attractive - although I still get so angry at the total lack of planning and building controls that allow out-of-character buildings that so despoil the natural beauty of Castara's beach and coastline. Anyway, regardless of that, I did view several of Ancle's new apartments on the upper floor of his original building, last year, and they were surprisingly well furnished and equipped. In fact it created something of a marketing dichotomy for him in that his new apartments were very clearly “middle market” whilst the original apartments remained totally “backpacker” grade. There was a time when those old apartments were typical of self-catering accommodation on Tobago, but standards have risen dramatically over the last 10 years. It seems that Ancle has risen to the challenge.

Here is a view of the new building, taken from the lookout point as you drop down from Moriah. If you've got a large screen, click on the photo and you'll get a larger version so that you can see more detail.
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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:11 pm

Cor ... cracking photo ... it makes my favourite Blue Marlin Suite look like it needs a makeover :mrgreen:

Well ... if there is one positive thing I can say to all the concerned readers on this thread about the Naturalist ... I have been going there over the last 12 years and always left the windows open at night and never felt insecurity or threat. The only living organism that ever got into my apartment was an injured Fruit Bat that I had the pleasure to nurse for a few days before I let it go back to it's mates.

I am confident that I could say the same about security for the whole of Castara, parties aside, Castara sleeps well at night and it dozes by day :wink:

Enjoy your holiday Steve.

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Ninas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:51 pm

I didn´t have intention to write a post on this thread but after I´ve read the last Paul´s post I feel I have to write a few lines. Me and my husband are regular visitors of Tobago. We come twice a year for the last few years and we always stay in the apartment in Castara. During our visitis we made good friends with the locals and Castara is our home away from home. In all this time we never had any bad experience but a few unpleasant situations which ended well. We had the same carefree feeling about leaving windows open during a night as Paul does but a few events which happened during our last two stays made us more cautious about that. Since then we always close all windows when we are away and even during a night (believe me I prefer an open window over a fan but I really don´t want to see any uninvited visitors in my room during a night).

I have to emphasise that the events which happened during our last two stays were isolated events and we didn´t hear of any other during our previous visits although we know that a few similar events had already happened in the last years. The events which happened during our last two visits were two thefts and one attempt of burglary and they all happened at night. The attempt of burglary happened in the house with apartements nextdoor and it left an uncomfortable feeling of unsafety for a night or two. Regrading the two “successful” thefts: in one case it happened when people were away from the apartment and in the other case the thief climbed through the open window while people were sleeping in the next room. Fortunately, there was no violence and nobody was hurt but quite a few valuables were stolen in both cases. However they spent the rest of their time in the village with a bitter taste in their mouth. Therefore I´d highly recommend to close windows and lock the doors when you are away or during a night even in such a quite village as Castara which in general is a very safe place to stay. We talked with some locals about what happened and they all said they know who were the individuals which were involved in these incidents (actually the very well known villains). Interestingly they said that nothing will happen to them until they are caught in the act. Which in my humble opinion is never (and I don´t want to go any further in this discussion). One very respected local also told us that in the last year he started to lock the doors when he leaves the house which is something he didn´t use to do before. It´s not my intention to upset anybody, to scare or turn anybody away from visiting this special island. Tobago is a beautiful island with wonderful people. If you follow general safety instructions you will be perfectly fine and will be given an unforgetable experience of Tobago. I´d just like to encourage everyone to enjoy the relaxing feeling and at the same time use a common sense all the time. It´s our responsibility to take care of ourselves in the first place. During the years of traveling around the world I´ve noticed that many people just leave their brains at home when they are off to vacations. So use your brain all the time and your heart will be stolen by this island and it´s people.

Steve, enjoy your next holidays, unfortunately this time you wont´t have an opportunity to take a picture of our boat trip because we are not there :wink:

Also Paul, enjoy your next holidays! This thing on the picture certianly looks like a monster compared to your beloved "hut" in front of it. I´m amazed how quickly it was completed because they started with work the last summer. One could never imagine how big it will be when there was only the concrete foundation done. I´m sure the crown of the king of the big beach is still waiting for you :wink:

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Re: “ Attacked and Robbed off of Arnos Vale Beach ”

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:52 pm

Thank you Ninas.

Your are right there have been a few thefts in Castara over the years and the villains are known ... but when they get caught I think they will dealt with quite firmly by the locals and unlikely to end up in Police hands.

I have seen many children grow up in Castara and some have turned bad and then I have seen some of these bad ones come out of those phases as they join the crew on boat trips as reformed characters, probably having realised that it pays to provide a service and have fun with the visitors than to steal from them. In many cases I sense that sending youngsters to prison/hard labour could make them worse and there is a strong community spirit in Castara that works in many ways ... although like many communities it is not perfect.

I don't see these occasional thefts as a problem any worse than anywhere else and, as you say, as long as you don't leave your brain at home then you are unlikely to be targeted.

I look forward to my 'Hut' experience ... I lay booby traps and obstacles at the top of the steps, initially to keep dogs from using the sunbeds on the balcony, but an intruder would find it even harder getting up there and he will be in for an unpleasant surprise if he tried.

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Paul Tallet
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