Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nepal: Female Trekker, 59, Assaulted, Robbed on Outskirts of Capital

According to The Himilayan Times, a US trekker, 59, was attacked and robbed while she was hiking on the outskirts of Kathmandu on March 2.

Californian Carolyn Dowty, her friend Linda Richter, 63, and a trekking guide, were on the Sundarijal-Chisapani-Helambu route via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park when robbers converged on the American, who was solo at the time.

“It was around 1530 hours when four young men appeared out of nowhere and grabbed me. Then before I knew it, they started thrashing me and took my bag. It happened so suddenly that when my friends came to my rescue, they were gone,” she told The Himalayan Times.

COMMENT: The assailants took US$1,000, NRs 20,000 in cash, passport, debit card, credit card, insurance card, driving license, clothes, food and other items.

Dowty filed a police report with the Metropolitan Police Sector at Sundarijal, Tourist Police at Bhrikutimandap and then at the US Embassy in Kathmandu.

Although Ms. Dowty had visited Nepal in the past, she had never been relieved of all of her worldly possessions, leaving here with no money!

Typically, any embassy can generally replace a stolen passport in a matter of days, but replacing a driver's license usually may have to wait until a crime victim returns home.

Clothes and food can be replaced, but generally having the addresses of folks who can help you back home is ESSENTIAL. 

Rather than attempting to call people who may not be home due to the time difference, it is best to wire a message to family members that can help you during an emergency, particularly when everything you own has been stolen.

Family members may or may not be able to replace credit or debit cards unless a detail-oriented traveler intelligently leaves a family member a limited power of attorney. 

Tip for all foreign travelers! Execute a power of attorney for a family member...BEFORE you leave on your trip abroad. 

Finally, talk to your traveler before they depart home and work out a plan on how to use a local bank in your hometown to wire money to a family member in Nepal or any other country.