A good read
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    My comment on A2As  article about staying safe on international overland journeys:

    First af all it’s a useful read, since it clearly sets Overlanding apart from other types of traveling (even from those with some off roading build into them).

    So here we’re talking about adventure traveling in third world countries.

    While I agree with the general approach of the author, I can tell from my experience that in some cases things can turn out otherwise, or be driven differently depending on your and your team’s mood.

    In central Asia, northern Africa and eastern Europe (never been to south America) sometimes you have to bribe. Straight out. If you refuse to, you simply cannot get on with your journey. If you play it dump like the author advises, you’ll end up loosing much more than money. Police stations, public offices and the like are places you have to avoid as much as it is possible so, sometimes, you have to improvise and work your way through by less politically correct means (also, it doesn’t matter if the public servant you’re facing is skinny, fat or whatever, but I’m sure this was put into the text to lighten it up a bit 🙂 ).

    Yes, you have to be cool and VERY aware of your surroundings when driving but you can also use a little bit of aggression. If not, you won’t be able to progress. Respect the size of bigger vehicles but at the same time use the size of your own vehicle to intimidate all smaller ones. This is the way local people function so, if you go there and drive like you’re in Berlin, well, you’re gonna stay there for a long time.

    Another one:
    By staying in your base camp at night, you’re sure avoiding all shorts of potentially dangerous contacts. But at the same time you’re maybe giving away the best part of your journey. I’ve been through some night courses so intense and memorable, maybe not as safe as having dinner in the camp or hotel but hey, these are the moments I still favor and remember. All the magic and the tension of such a journey really unfold after sunset.

    At his point I must say that if the team consists of families with children, one has to be a million times more careful and conservative all the time. It’s really up to you and your team to decide. But it’s clear that there is life to be had out there at night.

    Points I agree with:
    Keep clear of alcohol and drugs at all costs / do not overload your vehicle or at least try to keep some common sense to overloading it / chances are you will never encounter any hostility at all but you have to be mentally and physically prepared / establish your priorities in an evasive situation and do drills prior to embarking on such a journey / always keep some cash and a copy of your passport on your body and away from your wallet / never, never give in to anger and arrogance.

    To sum it up, go do it. There’s no need to over-dramatize it. But go prepared. Don’t delude yourself that it’s like traveling to a western country. It’s different in many ways. After all, it’s the chance you get to blend in with cultures and ways of life so different than our own, what makes overlanding so awesome

    Mike Miskis

    Καλημέρα σε όλους 🙂

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