Archive for the ‘Burnie’ Category

The real risk from terrorism

Dr Messieh  Burnie TMA 

After the brutal attack on Brussells on the 22nd March 2016, and Paris in November 15, it is helpful to put the risks of these attacks into perspective. The risk of dying from a terror attack is still very small.

It’s estimated that the risk of dying in a terror attack is in the vicinity of  1 in 20 million. To put that into context:

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If You Can’t Afford Insurance You Can’t Afford To Travel

… Prepared by Dr Robyn Dawson TMA Member Burnie, Tasmania

Australians are making 6 million overseas trips each year. The first half of this year saw 1.5 million more travellers departing Australia than incoming tourists.

In keeping with Australian’s larrikin reputation, travellers are becoming more adventurous, exploring more remote and dangerous destinations with more challenging activities.

To assist persons in trouble overseas, the Department of Foreign Affairs provides Consular services. The number of services in a year has been know to exceed 35,000, spanning 163 countries.

Situations where assistance has been requested have included loss of property or passports, natural disasters (tsunami, earthquake, flood), civil unrest or terrorism, airline strikes, crime, serious accident, disabled cruise ship, serious illness or even death.

Thailand is a very popular destination, with its attraction of sun, surf and bars. However DFAT figures show that Thailand is the most dangerous country for Australians, with 343 deaths recorded from July 2005-June 2010. Causes reported include; Accident 62, Illness 147, Murder 5, Natural 48, Suicide 11, Unknown 70.

Trailing Thailand is Vietnam with 236 deaths, USA 229, Greece 239, Phillipines 225, Indonesia 195, Germany 188, UK 164, Hong Kong 155, China 144.

Travellers take uncharacteristic risks e.g. Driving scooters without helmets, wearing shorts and sandals. There is always the lure of drinking excessively on holidays and experimenting with drugs and casual sex.

The take home message is TAKE CARE – BEWARE. Travel Insurance is absolutely necessary.

In case of an emergency a medical evacuation could be required and this can be very expensive. If you are not covered by travel insurance the cost is yours. It is estimated that only 14% of travellers have all recommended vaccinations. Full medical preparation and insurance will give you peace of mind.

Be prepared and you will enjoy the adventure.

 

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Sri Lanka Tour

… Prepared by Dr Robyn Dawson TMA Member Burnie, Tasmania

Here I am sitting poolside somewhere between overheated and hot just from the exertion of walking from the hotel room up through the reception and dining room of this magic old English colonial hotel with a romantic story to keep you on the edge of your seat. I will have to leave you there for another time.

As I look across the inviting pool of Mt Lavinia Hotel to the rolling surf where the Arabian sea meets the Indian Ocean, to the skyline of a bustling city, I give away my location as being in Sri Lanka. With almost three weeks behind me in this land of contrasts I am reluctantly packing to catch the early morning flight to Singapore.

Ones first impressions are that at least 2 things are missing here …

  1. Seagulls which are replaced by a plethora of noisy black ravens, even on the beach, and
  2. Road rules. One sees many and varied modes of transport with “L” plates. I am not sure what they are learning except survival. You can do anything if you have a horn!

We started and ended our time in five star luxury that thrills the wallet, but spent 15 days on an Intrepid tour that covered all the major historic places. These included Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Colombo and Dambulla, each with their fascinating mix of ancient kingdoms, Portuguese, Dutch and English influence. Most of the lodgings were 2 star but clean and acceptable. Cheap tasty meals made up for reduced aesthetics and lack of fluffy white towels.

Just when almost “Templed” out our guide took us trekking through beautiful cool mountain tracks to the tea plantations and cascading waterfalls to stay in an original Managers Bungalow. We were entertained by our guides with local music (one of those special moments in the life of a traveller).

We visited spice gardens; saw a turtle rehabilitation centre; climbed 200m to a citadel in Sigariya; and then spent 2 days at a beach in pounding surf. We learnt to eat without knife and fork and not to roll our eyes when rice and curry where being suggested yet again. I wonder if my new found skill will go down well at home.

Another special occasion was when our guide, and now friend Bruno, took us to a family friend’s home and we all helped to cook a lively meal and learn the differences in curries, and how to make coconut cream and milk. His wife also joined in – we were family now.

Considering some of the off beat places we ate at and the prevalence of many stray mangy dogs and monkeys we were grateful for good advice from our travel doctor before our departure.

So now the thoughts of home and work are fast becoming a reality, we say goodbye. There is still much to explore here and while peace prevails here we promise to return.

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