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Two cyclist in Peru missing

Old 02-23-13, 03:56 PM
  #1  
gdlerner
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Two cyclist in Peru missing

https://www.warmshowers.org/content/f...p#comment-6198
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Old 02-23-13, 05:20 PM
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Have put a note about this post in the forum for South America.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:32 AM
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Sure doesn't sound good. Hopefully they will be found safe.

Another incident involving American tourists happened in the same region a couple of months ago. Three tourists traveling around in a truck camper pulled off to camp in a remote area and were confronted by local villagers who assaulted them pretty badly.
https://www.today.com/video/today/50585772#50585772

I've been to Peru many times and have never had a problem there. But it's a place where you need to be aware of the political and social climate, as it tends to go through some pretty dark times. As to the tourists in the truck camper, it sounds like they just happened to park in the wrong place where the locals have a strong distrust of outsiders, and the language barrier no doubt didn't help. These villagers were apparently descendants of the Inca, speaking only Quechua.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:26 PM
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Turned up safe on a boat.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:49 PM
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https://news.yahoo.com/california-cou...032218405.html
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Old 02-26-13, 11:51 PM
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Same link as I posted
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Old 02-27-13, 12:19 AM
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The family should FedEx this young couple a SPOT satellite GPS Messenger ASAP. $120 bucks well spent! Anyone planning a trip through remote areas of the world should carry one. It's beyond me to think they were totally oblivious about their loved ones and friends agonizing about their safety after not receiving any kind of communication for over a month. I'm sure their search has already amounted into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the two governments, the media and everyone involved. Crazy!
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Old 02-27-13, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
The family should FedEx this young couple a SPOT satellite GPS Messenger ASAP.
You think FedEx delivers to that remote boat?

I also think it's very irresponsible of them. At least they should, before leaving, told their families of the possibility they would forgo communications with them and not to worry.
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Old 02-27-13, 12:48 AM
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Probably best to let someone know before you plunge headlong into the Amazon.
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Old 02-27-13, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
You think FedEx delivers to that remote boat?
Delivered obviously at their next urban location (hostel, fedex station, etc.)
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Old 02-27-13, 01:00 AM
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Two cyclist in Peru missing

Glad they turned up safe

Some of us grow up and leave home. Family isn't important to everybody. Nor is keeping in touch.
I can imagine that some parents and "loved ones" have a hard time accepting that they are no longer central in their adult children's lives.

"No news is good news" and hey, if you're out there living your dreams and adventures, then you've probably accepted the risks and dangers that may be encountered along the way.
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Old 02-27-13, 04:23 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Good news but not surprising.

There are a tiny number of adults who 'go missing', the rest just haven't been told that they are.
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Old 02-27-13, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Some of us grow up and leave home. Family isn't important to everybody. Nor is keeping in touch.
I can imagine that some parents and "loved ones" have a hard time accepting that they are no longer central in their adult children's lives.

"No news is good news" and hey, if you're out there living your dreams and adventures, then you've probably accepted the risks and dangers that may be encountered along the way.
+1. People shouldn't expect everyone to conform to their personal standards. Don't want others to think you are "missing?" Text them every 5 minutes. Better yet, stay home. But let these people live how they choose.
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Old 02-27-13, 07:33 AM
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-1

Here's the problem. This couple was keeping in touch with their families back home, then suddenly, without warning, dropped all contact for a month, including a cessation of bank account activity. Further, they had told the family they were biking from Cuzco to Lima, but then completely changed their plans by hopping onto a boat into the Amazon. Aside from any family issues, it is wise to let somebody know before you head off into a remote area, particularly if your plans have changed. Otherwise, if something bad really does happen, the authorities will start searching in the wrong place, and additional public resources will be expended to find you.

Last edited by Brennan; 02-27-13 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 02-27-13, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
-1

Here's the problem. This couple was keeping in touch with their families back home, then suddenly, without warning, dropped all contact for a month, including a cessation of bank account activity. Further, they had told the family they were biking from Cuzco to Lima, but then completely changed their plans by hopping onto a boat into the Amazon. Aside from any family issues, it is wise to let somebody know before you head off into a remote area, particularly if your plans have changed. Otherwise, if something bad really does happen, the authorities will start searching in the wrong place, and additional public resources will be expended to find you.
Speaking of public resources ........ in Canada there are lots of outdorr recreational areas and opportunities for backcountry skiing. But there are bounderies and guidelines too and anyone skiing 'out of bounds' that needs rescuing gets the bill for expenses incurred - which can sometimes include helicopter search and rescue.

Sometimes learning a little consideration can be pretty expensive.
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Old 02-27-13, 09:00 AM
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[QUOTE=Brennan;15322311]-1

Here's the problem. This couple was keeping in touch with their families back home, then suddenly, without warning, dropped all contact for a month, including a cessation of bank account activity....[QUOTE]

At what interval? And, based on their plans, wouldn't a reasonable person at least consider that they would be in remote areas with little communication and banking infrastructure? And bank account activity isn't a form of concious communication. I have $20 that says bank account activity was only reviewed after people dubbed them missing. And plans never during an adventure like this?

Sounds like the family paniced. Not surprising considering the culture of fear we live in. If someone is going to be charged costs, I would rather it be the people set off alarms like this. I find the suggestion that if I am lawfully travelling through the world I bear a responsibility to update my whereabouts at some regular interval lest I possibly incurr financial penalties extremely disturbing. Going to a state or national park and having to get a backcountry permit and possibly pay for rescue if I step out of bounds is a different scenario. That's not what happened here.

This reminds me of the case a few years ago that popped up on this and other bike forums. Some young person was riding across the country and didn't get in touch with his relatives for a couple of days. One of them started a public "outreach" campaign to find their "missing" loved one. Turns out the kid didn't have communications access for a couple of days (he may also have taklen a route variation) and was never in any trouble whatsoever. As in this case, he had no idea he was "missing."

I have taken two multi-month, solo tours and even did the whole backpack around Europe thing with a sidetrip into Morocco for two months at age 19. I told my peeps not to get all bent out of shape if they didn't hear from me often and left it at that. I am glad no one reported me "missing." I would have been pissed as hell. I like not feeling the need to check in with people in order to allay their fears.
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Old 02-27-13, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
The family should FedEx this young couple a SPOT satellite GPS Messenger ASAP. $120 bucks well spent! Anyone planning a trip through remote areas of the world should carry one. It's beyond me to think they were totally oblivious about their loved ones and friends agonizing about their safety after not receiving any kind of communication for over a month. I'm sure their search has already amounted into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the two governments, the media and everyone involved. Crazy!
Spot on. (pun intended) I always told my children if they were planning to sneak out of the house at night, to at least leave some sort of note on where I could possibly find their bodies.

The couples' "surprised" attitude reflects poor planning on their part.
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Old 02-27-13, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
based on their plans, wouldn't a reasonable person at least consider that they would be in remote areas with little communication and banking infrastructure?
No. Their plan, as they told their families, was to bike from Cuzco to Lima, a trip of about 500 miles, presumably riding on established roads and highways with many towns in between. That's a big departure from the Amazon wilderness. A major change in plans without informing anyone is unwise. And again, the problem here was that a pattern was broken, from keeping in contact with their family to suddenly nothing, for weeks, not two days as in your example. So, they are straddling a line between your point and mine. If they want to drop off the grid, that's fine, but be straight up about it at the outset: "Hey, we're going to Peru, and you may not hear from us until we get back" is much better than telling someone your plans, and then doing something completely different.

Last edited by Brennan; 02-27-13 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 02-27-13, 09:34 AM
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Young, impetuous, irresponsible, self absorbed....just a few words that come to mind. I was as just as big a jerk at age 19, but at 25, I had learned respect for others and more considerate of those who love me. If they had run out of money, or were involved in a terrible accident, who would they have called, for resources, support? Most likely their families. Enough said.
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Old 02-27-13, 09:39 AM
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Two cyclist in Peru missing

I think the thing is to be consequential. If you've told people you'll keep in touch then do so if at all possible. Same thing if you want them to know which route you'll be taking, let them know of any changes.

But if you just say 'Hey, i'm off to S.Ameriica (or wherever) for a few months, I'll try to send a postcard (which they know you probably won't)', then no news is good news,,,
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Old 02-27-13, 12:50 PM
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Letting others know your plan is intrinsic to other forms of travel. Pilots alway file a flight plan or have to announce a local flight. Letting folks in on the plan has saved more than one sailor's butt. Other outside adventure sports, hiking/hunting/kayaking etc, always advise that you let someone know your plan. The rescue team may not start looking for you until you are overdue but that beats not looking for you at all.

I agree that there was cause for alarm in this case as the couple's communication routine had changed and they weren't on the map where they said they would be.

As for posting about parents not being central in adult children's lives, I disagree. In strong families the parents always remain important, always play a central role.
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Old 02-28-13, 07:08 AM
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There's the people who don't get in contact with people back home and there's the people who do. The people who do would of more than likely contacted others back home to say we might not be in contact for some time and explained why. There's a reason why the people who do stay in contact suddenly decide not to or decide not to make the most important call of the trip. We can all speculate but only they will know why they did it. I think they worried people in purpose. Sad really!
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Old 02-28-13, 12:48 PM
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In case anyone misinterpreted my original post - search and rescue is NEVER free. Someone has to foot the bill for salaries to support manpower, as well as gasoline and maintenance expenses associated with any vehicles used and anything else involved. If the Peruvian government ended up with that - it was inconsiderate at best. If the US government ended up with it because they requested the operation on behalf of US citizens - its still inconsiderate.

There are some people that think Peru is some quaint little third wold country that might be nice to go sight seeing in. Lots of those people get very rude awakenings. The city of Lima is surrounded by what the Lima citizens call 'the invasion'. Complete communities of squatters that build shantytowns just outside city limits, hook themselves to hydro lines to steal power, and send their children into the city to beg for money and sell candy. But eventually those cute little kids get older and less appealing to tourists and change tactics. The locals referred to them as 'piranhas' when I was down for six months. They hunt in packs, seperate and surround their target from a crowd and then strip the victim of everything of value. Even a grown man is a poor match for 12 to 14 adolescents all brandishing knives. And they weren't particularly fussy - they'd be just as likely to target schoolkids for their clothing and cell phones as tourists for their jewelry and money. The situation took an unfortunate turn when one of the daughters of one of the countries top lawyers became a victim and street kids started turning up dead afterwards - unofficially having been hunted down by the 'policía nacional'. Need I mention you should expect very little help from the police or anyone else there unless you can pay them?

And thats just ONE of the many possible dangers any tourist can run into in Peru. A middle class is largely non-existant and most of the country lives below the poverty level. Outside the city things are usually worse and the indigenous natives are used to being exploited and lied to and tend to be suspicious.

So whoever decided to be a little concerned had every right to be, and our two little tourists thinking they have not a care in the world are being both stupid and irrisponsible. It was someone's SISTER that raised a red flag because she had been in touch up to that point. Suddenly dropping communication would normally be a concern. In the US or Canada I believe soneone can be reported missing after a 48hr absence.

Last edited by Burton; 02-28-13 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 02-28-13, 12:50 PM
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Could they have wanted to attract attention like the parents who deliberately and falsely reported their son missing from the balloon few years ago, then got on reality show (I think)? If so, they certainly have achieved the purpose.
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Old 02-28-13, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
In case anyone misinterpreted my original post - search and rescue is NEVER free. Someone has to foot the bill for salaries to support manpower, as well as gasoline and maintenance expenses associated with any vehicles used and anything else involved. If the Peruvian government ended up with that - it was inconsiderate at best. If the US government ended up with it because they requested the operation on behalf of US citizens - its still inconsiderate.

There are some people that think Peru is some quaint little third wold country that might be nice to go sight seeing in. Lots of those people get very rude awakenings. The city of Lima is surrounded by what the Lima citizens call 'the invasion'. Complete communities of squatters that build shantytowns just outside city limits, hook themselves to hydro lines to steal power, and send their children into the city to beg for money and sell candy. But eventually those cute little kids get older and less appealing to tourists and change tactics. The locals referred to them as 'piranhas' when I was down for six months. They hunt in packs, seperate and surround their target from a crowd and then strip the victim of everything of value. Even a grown man is a poor match for 12 to 14 adolescents all brandishing knives. And they weren't particularly fussy - they'd be just as likely to target schoolkids for their clothing and cell phones as tourists for their jewelry and money. The situation took an unfortunate turn when one of the daughters of one of the countries top lawyers became a victim and street kids started turning up dead afterwards - unofficially having been hunted down by the 'policía nacional'. Need I mention you should expect very little help from the police or anyone else there unless you can pay them?

And thats just ONE of the many possible dangers any tourist can run into in Peru. A middle class is largely non-existant and most of the country lives below the poverty level. Outside the city things are usually worse and the indigenous natives are used to being exploited and lied to and tend to be suspicious.

So whoever decided to be a little concerned had every right to be, and our two little tourists thinking they have not a care in the world are being both stupid and irrisponsible. It was someone's SISTER that raised a red flag because she had been in touch up to that point. Suddenly dropping communication would normally be a concern. In the US or Canada I believe soneone can be reported missing after a 48hr absence.
why is it that you can never get invaluable advice like that above when you do a search for what a country is like.

googled peru and did not find anything like above.
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