We got robbed. Makes one a spot cross. Especially as insurance, strangely enough, demands proof of ownership and I don´t have any. Possibly, somewhere in a box, I have receipts, but I doubt it. My insurance company says photos are proof, but I don´t seem to have photos of what got stolen.
Lost my camera (about 200 photos that Kruse and Ben will hopefully have duplicates of), mp3 player (and some very bad headphones), my pencil case that sadly had my memory stick and a rather nice ring I´d just splashed out on in it, a box of wine and a mysterious sealed box I had stashed at the bottom of my bag and, this being Colombia, the nasty thieves no doubt thought it was drugs. Ha. HA! The box contained shot glasses that Kruse has been collecting from each country and a devil face balaclava. We´d tried to post it in La Paz but the astronomical price and the fact they wouldn´t let us post shot glasses put us off and I`ve been carting it around ever since. Take that, thieves, damn you. Kruse lost some warm clothes, mp3, torch and leatherman and, oddly, half the patches of each country`s flags that he´s also been collecting, but not the equivalent of NZ$100 in Bolivianos he had stashed. And they took our malaria tablets. Bastards.
However, it was done extremely well. We were on the bus, the lights had been turned off, we put our carry on bags under the seats, feeling reassured that the footrests made it almost impossible for anyone to grab them from the seat behind and we´d see or feel anyone reaching around the seats, and dozed off. Two hours later we realised our day packs were suspiciously light. And apparently our fellow travellers never saw a thing either. Not at all happy with the woman and child who had been sitting behind us only to suddenly disappear, especially as suspect that such a devious crime set in a tight spot could only have been carried out by a small child, egged on by evil excuse for mother. Feel particularly miffed that, if they were stealing clothes, they didn´t touch the spare pair of knickers I had carefully packed.
But, all replaceable, just irksome.
Colombia, though, is all good. Warm. Have been stopped by the police several times in order to show passports. Had all the excitement of walking over the border from Ecuador as there was a blockade (burning tyres and all) and cars blocking the road. Lots of people walking, a few people on motorbikes, which could slip through the parked cars. However, a band of youths took offence to these motorcyclists slipping though (it´s okay to walk but not to ride or drive though a blockade, apparently) and started hitting them with planks of wood as they went by. Saw one young man try to poke a stick through the spokes of one motorbike. Was feeling rather apprehensive about strolling past these chaps, but as we were walking they seemed to have no issues with us. Just as well, because the only weapon we had on us was a tripod.
Only five days left for me in South America and we´ve decided that as we´re behind schedule (hangovers, late buses and the blockade not helping) that we´re going to have miss Cartagena, which I am miffed about because it looked so super in Romancing the Stone. But the bus trip up and back would take at least 24 hours each way. So we´ll hang in Bogota, watch some rugby, forget and then recall that we got robbed, which will make me cross all over again, and then I´ll fly into the arms of Liz in Orlando, Florida. She´s making promises about having a cask waiting in the car. Such a nice girl.
Have decided that if one is going to get robbed in South America, having it done whilst one is sleeping, instead of being held up at knife or gun point, is probably the most preferable. And it´s all about the experience, man. Will blow it up, out of proportion, exaggerating with gusto, when telling other travellers about it.