Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Zealand: Czech Tourist, 32, Has His Vehicle Burned Out on North Island, Left with Only Backpack

According to The Taranaki  Daily News, Czech tourist Jiri Vasicek, 32, arrived on Wednesday (May 29) hoping to explore the region's pride and joy, Mt Taranaki.

After a night at Maketawa Hut, Vasicek returned to the North Egmont Visitor Center to check the weather on the mountain. Those at the center were waiting with news that his possessions had been stolen and his car set on fire. 

"I'm absolutely shocked. I've only got one backpack that has one spare undies, socks, a jacket, and what I'm wearing," Vasicek said. Luckily, his backpack contained critical possessions such as his passport and wallet. 

Mr. Vasicek was particularly distraught over the theft of his laptop being stolen, which contained photos from his trip of some thirteen months.

COMMENT: To make matters worse, the Czech tourist had planned to sell his car to pay for his ticket back home. 

Reportedly, someone cut the locks leading to the national park on Tuesday (May 28).

As I have said so often in the past, New Zealand is hardly a low-risk destination, with its own crime problem, particularly against foreigners, that includes the crimes of larceny, armed robbery, assault, rape and even homicide.

Fortunately, New Zealand has a generous crime victim compensation program that foreign visitors are eligible for:

Mount Taranaki, or Mount Egmont, is an active, but quiescent strato-volcano in the Taranaki region on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. The 2,518-meter (8,261 feet) high mountain is one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. There is a secondary cone, Fanthams Peak, 1,966 meters (6,450 ft), on the south side. Because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji, Taranaki provided the backdrop for the movie "The Last Samurai."