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Thread: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

  1. #1
    Richard
    Guest

    Default SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Many visitors to the DR who stay at inclusive resorts ask. “Is it safe to leave the resort?” I would suggest that it certainly is and anyone who doesn’t could have been parachuted into almost any hot climate in the world and will miss so very much such as the mountains, the endless beaches. Most important you will miss the warmth and friendliness of the Dominican people who aren’t employed at the resorts. Here are a few suggestions, most, of which are common sense to help ensure one’s safety. Many of us overindulge when on vacation, if you leave a disco at 3a.m. It is not prudent to wander through darkened streets, parks and beaches in an inebriated state. If you rent a car keep in mind drunk driving has equally disastrous results anywhere in the world. Driving in the DR can be a real challenge so drive ultra- defensively. Should you rent a pasola (scooter) or 125 you will have a ball but guard it, lock it and keep your eyes on it all the time. Two men, a boy and a pickup and it’s history. Should you not feel confident in driving yourself, take a commercial tour, they aren’t all that expensive. When riding a motoconcho, watch the exhaust pipe, you don’t want a Sosua (Dominican) tattoo. They hurt mucho. Use ATMs during the day where there is a security guard. Don’t flash a wad or expensive jewelry. Fanny packs are great, but one slice of a knife and there goes cash, credit cards, passport etc. Avoid drugs, however soft, there is a 0-tolerance policy and Dominican jails are not Holiday Inns. Should you hire a rent-a body be careful, in the morning you may find your wallet has gone further South, and remember the high incidence of AIDS in developing nations so always use protection, there are some souvenirs we can do without. Drink bottled water. Fortunately the old West Indies expression, “get a cut, get a Band-Aid, get sick get a plane,” is outdated. There are many extremely competent physicians in the DR. So please, please leave your resort and see what the DR has to offer. You will be glad you did.

  2. #2
    Bob
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Que viva my man Rich !!

    Listen to this guy, Please.. This is truly sound advise!
    I've travelled most continents of this world, for work and pleasure. Learned to like all sorts of people, but have developed a sixth sense for trouble coming my way (have to, I'm a cop in Amsterdam) Even with all this travelling, the one place will consider living in is the DR. I've allways wondered why folks stay at all-inclusives. Get out there, experience the local man and women. eat at a colmado, travel in a guagua. I love it. Treat the Dominicans with respect, you'll end up with a bunch of new pals like I did, new amigas and a strong desire to return as soon as possible. OK, got to go catch me a bad guy now.
    Take care, Rich. Adios a todos

  3. #3
    Jim Hinsch
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Richard's suggestions are right on the mark. I personally am not resort bound, but when traveling with my girlfriend, she generally prefers to stay in the resort. Richard has actually pointed out exactly why.

    While it is good advice, his comments are not real conducive to getting someone out of the resort. But they are good safety tips and it illustrates that the Dominican Republic is not the totally safe Disney Land many people make it out to be, even if they "felt" safe, and "nothing" happened to them.

    Richard: ".. if you leave a disco at 3a.m. It is not prudent to wander through darkened streets, parks and beaches in an inebriated state..."

    Well, at 3am, most of the streets are dark or at least have dark parts, especially if the power happens to be out, which is frequent. If you've been at the disco for several hours, there is a good chance you are somewhat inebriated. Many discos don't even open until 11 or 12, so to leave at 3am is pretty common. Whether one is "wandering" or not is a matter of perception to the observer. So reading between the lines, one might consider this a warning that if you leave the resort to go to a disco, you will be in danger when you try to get back, even if it wasn't intended that way. Where I live (suburbs of USA), muggings are pretty much non-existent. No wonder she prefers to just go to the resort disco.

    Richard: "Driving in the DR can be a real challenge..."

    Many people do not want "a real challenge" while on vacation. And even if I don't mind, maybe my partner doesn't want to be part of my "challenge".

    Richard: "Should you rent a pasola (scooter) or 125 ... guard it, lock it and keep your eyes on it all the times. Two men, a boy and a pickup and it’s history."

    So if you rent a motor bike, you are essentially stuck with it - you can't let it out of your sight. If it leaves your sight, you are in great risk of it being stolen. That is not something one wants to worry about on vacation. I know. I've rented them and it's a pain in the butt to have to keep an eye on it when you stop for a bite to eat or drink or to check out an attraction or to stop at a beach.

    Richard: "When riding a motoconcho, watch the exhaust pipe, you don’t want a Sosua (Dominican) tattoo. They hurt mucho."

    That's part of the reason my girlfriend refused to get on one and insisted we take a taxi, even though we were only going 6 blocks. She had on nice shoes that were uncomfortable for 1/2 mile walks. I know one business owner that has lived in the DR for more than 15 years that refuses to ride them under any circumstances, and will walk. He has just seen too many accidents on them. I ride them everywhere, but there is never a moment when having an accident doesn't cross my mind, especially when I'm wearing shorts.

    Richard: "Use ATMs during the day where there is a security guard."

    Why? Are there lots of robbers? Tell people that and you might get them thinking along those lines. I've never had to take that precaution back home in the suburbs.

    Richard: "Fanny packs are great, but one slice of a knife and there goes cash, credit cards, passport etc."

    Gee, I never had to worry about that back home. Just how dangerous is this place?

    Some people just aren't up for the "adventure", and they'll be just fine staying in the resort. I don't fall in that category, but I do understand, and for those that don't want to venture out, I respect their decision. Just like the folks from New Jersey that refuse to go into Manhattan, except via door-to-door transportation service.

    Jim Hinsch
    JimHinsch@CSI.COM

  4. #4
    Richard
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Thank you Jim. I really do hope my comments will encourage people to get out of the resorts and see more of the DR. As far as ATMs go, it has been advised for some time that no matter where anyone uses these machines they should be careful, certainly not only in the DR. If memory serves me correctly even Janet Reno was mugged in the not too distant past after obtaining money at an ATM. in Washington. Whether it is 3a.m. or 5a.m. when one is staggering back to their hotel anywhere they should be wary. it is certainly not to disuade people from going to the discos and enjoying themselves. bikes and scooters do have a history of going missing the same as certain model cars in North America have the same type of history, but of course they are a joy to operate and if one is capable I certainly hope they will enjoy them. Personally I love fanny packs however what I mentioned is a shortcoming with their use often overlooked.In short, the gist of my message is to use common sense

  5. #5
    Debbie
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Thanks to on and all for the info-I am going to DR next week with a friend and my friend is paranoid! I'm printing all these responses!

  6. #6
    Sonny
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Excellent advice Richard.For those who stay at the resorts it's quite easy to arrange a taxi to drop you off in the heart of Sosua and prearrange to have them pick you up at a certain time too.Richard you mention the Pasola and to my Domincan friends this is comically refered to as the Charlie Davidson which is a great economical way of getting around,you soon become accustomed to the ways of the road as long as you keep your eyes open.Horns on cars,motos and pasolas are used not to **** the other person off as they are so frequently done in north America but are used simply as a way of telling you "hey I am here...watch out" so don't take it as a rude gesture.Simple things that you would'nt do in your own country apply to traveling in the DR as well so play safe and get out there.

  7. #7
    Richard
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    thanks Bob. We all know that many of us tend to relax and party often a little too much on vacation. it doesn't hurt to use some forsight does it?

  8. #8
    Richard
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    Charlie Davidson eh? That's great; never heard it before. we learn something new every day. For a long time I tried to find pasola in the dictionary and couldn't. A friend in Sosua told me it was the name of a scooter that used to be sold in the DR, sort of like the Brits hoovering a rug.

  9. #9
    Eddy
    Guest

    Default Re: SAFETY IN SOSUA!

    If you leave a disco at 3a.m. It is not prudent to wander through darkened streets, parks and beaches in an inebriated state..."

    (A TAXI USUALLY COSTS RD$40.00 FROM THE DISCO TO YOUR HOTEL)

    Driving in the DR can be a real challenge

    (DEFENSIVE DRIVING – People from all Island Countries are crazy when it comes to driving)

    Should you rent a pasola (scooter) or 125 ... guard it, lock it and keep your eyes on it all the times. Two men, a boy and a pickup and it’s history."

    (My advise is to return it to the people you rented it from at night. Who needs it at night anyway?)

    "When riding a motoconcho, watch the exhaust pipe, you don’t want a Sosua (Dominican) tattoo. They hurt mucho."

    (Yeah)

    "Use ATMs during the day where there is a security guard

    (Good advise but I’ve never heard of anyone getting ripped off in the daytime)

    "Fanny packs are great, but one slice of a knife and there goes cash, credit cards, passport etc

    (Leave your passport, credit cards etc. in the safe in your hotel room. Just carry what you need in your side pockets)

    This advice is good for every country in the world. The DR is not any different although I think safer than most. Have a nice vacation.

  10. #10
    Richard
    Guest

    Default RIGHT ON EDDY! DC *DC*


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