In need of a break from just working it was time for an extended vacation and some travel to pastures new. But the months of June and July are not the best for travel around the world if you want to avoid crowds of tourists, sky high prices, the heat and humidity. So the first problem was choosing a destination.
It had been some time since my last trip to Cartagena in Colombia, not sure if I fancied another long haul or something closer to home, maybe eastern Europe.
Top of my list for some time has been a trip to Madagascar, for the past year I have been following the forum thread on the international sex guide. Problem with Madagascar, difficult and expensive flights to get there. Poor infrastructure and more importantly health and safety issues. All things considered at the end of the day I not fancy a trip to Madagascar, not this year, although July is one of the cooler months there.
Riga and the Baltics
The weather is important to me when travelling I follow the weather of a prospect city or county on the BBC weather app. Riga in Latvia is always a place I have wanted to visit for a long time and all around the Baltics they had been having some lovely weather. Like 25C sunshine and Riga is not far away from some beaches such as Jurmala.
Now Riga in Latvia comes with a reputation for sex tourism. Once referred to as the Bangkok of the Baltics. I have heard that before about other places with Varadero being the Bangkok of the Caribbean and Addis Ababa being the Bangkok of Africa.
I had already had some experience in the Baltics a year earlier in Tallinn Estonia and that had been a disappointment from a mongering perspective. I suspected the same tactics in Riga would yield the same results as Tallinn. My expectations would not be high. But still I wanted to visit Riga in Latvia and it would be just a starting point for visiting other Baltics countries such as Lithuania and Poland.
Like many eastern European countries things were pretty wild back in the mid to late nineties in Riga by all accounts with open and in your face prostitution. Girls eager to find a foreign boyfriend or husband as a ticket out of their poverty. Things quickly changed and Latvia joined the European union in May 2004 allowing their people free travel around the Eurozone. Many bad Latvian girls now plying their trade away from home in cities like London. In more recent years things have calmed down in Riga and the unsuspecting tourist partial to some P4P has to be aware of the many scams that now run out of eastern European cities like Riga.
So what P4P was available in Riga? expensive strip clubs, scammer girls on the streets and in the nightclubs, expensive escorts, maybe I would just pass through Riga and give mongering a miss. There really was a lack of recent information on mongering in Riga on the international sex forums in the last 10 years. This is rarely due to keeping a place a secret, heavily biased to the negative, even the PUA community were finding it tough. That Latvian girls could even be cold and unfriendly if approached by foreign men.
There was erotic massage available in Riga and recommended on the Riga Wiki Sex Guide, I would be happy to try an erotic massage in Riga, If all else fails I could get some relief from an erotic massage. There were one or two strip clubs in Riga that came with a good reputation. The Radisson Blu hotel in Riga had a sky bar with a few freelancers, And then I would just try my luck.
What really put the last nail in the coffin for sex tourism to Riga was a government backed NGO campaign labeling sex tourists as sex terrorists, an evil play on words. This included posters around the city for Latvian women not to sell themselves. You can imagine the impression this has left on the Psych of the local people. This happened around 2007, British stag parties were largely to blame with cheap flights tourism to Riga was up by 50%. So I would always be considered a potential sex terrorist?
I did like the look of Latvian girls. Like many Baltic states there is a large Russian population too from the days of the occupation and the Soviet Union.
Maybe in Riga I would get lucky with a beautiful Latvian or Russian babe? Maybe not. Even so decided to give Riga a try.
London To Riga, Flights Accommodation
I booked my flight with AirBaltic from London Gatwick, just one way. I was taking some time off work and may travel all the way through eastern Europe and along the Baltics maybe even down to the Black sea and across to the Balkans. So much of Europe remains unexplored by me, probably for good reason. Its just too hot for me to travel to Asia, the Caribbean or South America. Maybe we are missing the pussy much closer to home?
Accommodation wise I thought I would give AirBnb a try this time, its certainly works out alot cheaper on AirBnb and found myself a nice apartment bang center in the old town of Riga. There was still scope in Riga for meeting local freelancers, semi pro girls in the bars and clubs or even dialing an outcall. The last thing I needed was a hotel that was not girl friendly. In an apartment I could keep costs down by cooking my own food too.
So I was all booked up for a long week in Riga Latvia. I was flying out mid week, wanted to avoid any initial stag parties on the flight and in the city, time to get my bearings and do my reconnaissance in Riga. If mongering in Riga was a complete flop I could always immerse myself in the local culture, my photography, day trips to the beaches etc.