Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fing BsAs

They finally did it. They tried to do it while we were walking down the streets of La Paz, Bolivia, and again while riding a bus from Quito, Ecuador, but they finally succeeded while at the bus terminal in Buenos Aires. I always keep the important pockets of my backpack safety pinned shut. This proved especially essential on the bus from Quito because even though I was sitting with the bag on the floor between my legs, the guy behind me still managed to reach under the seat and open my bag as far as the safety pin would let him. He was gone before I knew what had happened, but got nothing.

Unfortunately, safety pins don´t do much good when they steal the whole bag. We make a point to always keep our passports and most money in our pants. The guy who stole our backpack didn´t get anything of value, or at least of much value to him. When you´re traveling for 3.5 months and each carrying only about 35 lbs of stuff, everything is valuable. The stolen backpack had the following:

- Dan´s jacket
- Bottle of nice wine from Mendoza
- Half of our toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, soap, shaving cream, Dan´s deodorant, Dan´s razor, sunscreen, and laundry soap)
- All of our travel books

The other small backpack, that was fortunately not stolen, contained much more, including the better of our two cameras, backup photo CDs, and my medicine. Basically, stuff that is much harder, if even possible, to replace. But it still sucks.

When I realized what happened my hands got all tingly and I thought I might faint, but I ended up just screaming a bunch. Dan remained fairly rational and ran around looking for the bag. We seriously considered finding a way to fly home right then, but that would almost definitely have resulted in staying at least one more night in Buenos Aires. Being in BsAs without a hotel reservation can be very stressful even under good circumstances, so instead we decided to continue with the original plan and take a 20 hour bus ride to Bariloche.

The ride would have been great if our windows weren´t painted over and our speakers actually worked so we could hear the movies (2 of the 3 were English w/ Spanish subtitles, the other Spanish w/ English subtitles), but at least we had the super fancy seats that reclined to be totally flat and we slept fairly well for at least 6 of the 20 hours (it would have been more if I wasn´t so stressed from the robbery). I wouldn´t mind taking another one of those fancy buses for another 20 hours, as long as I didn´t have to go anywhere near the BsAs bus terminal. Maybe from Iguazu to Rio.

We´ll probably survive with just having to buy a new travel guide for Brazil, probably something to keep Dan warm in El Calafate, and of course, the essential toiletries. Definitely Dan´s deodorant, but I doubt he´ll replace the razor.

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