THE SOUTHERN AMERICAN SERIES PT15
BOLIVIA / PERU BORDER
Today I was making my way from La Paz, Bolivia to Cusco in Peru. Little did I know I was about to have the rudest awakening coming into a new country.
I WAS MORE ANNOYED AT MYSELF WHICH MADE IT WORSE
It was a night bus which are always handy so you don’t lose out on any days and meant I could get some sleep which makes those long journeys so much quicker.
Anyway after an hour or so we were at the border and done the usual thing of standing in the queue to get things processed. Once stamped out it was off to the Peru border which was slightly quicker before making our way back onto the bus. I knew that would be it until we arrived at Cusco so I made sure to make myself comfortable. Neck pillow on, sleeping bag out, ear plugs fitting and my backpack padlocked and sitting above my head. BIG BIG MISTAKE.
Arriving at Cusco I noticed a small pocket was open and my sunglasses were no longer there. F*ck must’ve been the driver. I spoke to a few people I met on the bus and asked them to be sure and check their own stuff. After a quick chat I vaguely remember a few policemen coming on in the middle of the night for a quick look. I only semi conscious and new my bag was padlocked so didn’t think much of it. Anyway the sunglasses were gone, lesson learnt I thought….not quite yet!
So I jumped in the taxi to make my way to the infamous Wild Rover Hostel. As I was arriving early the plan was to book Macchu Pichu and check the place out. The Wild Rover is one of those hostels or maybe the only one which is are happy to check you in at 4 in the morning if your bed is available, brilliant!
So after checking in I decided to get my tour booked and made my way back to my room to get the cash. I don’t normally keep a lot of cash on me when I’m travelling but knew for this kind of thing I’d need it. When a tour is $400 dollars, it can prove difficult to get the money any other way. Going through my bag I was having trouble finding the money, but I was sure it was there so didn’t panic. That was until I remembered about my sunglasses…sh*t!
As soon as this came into my head, the panic swept in and the bag was turned upside down and low and behold it wasn’t to be seen. I’ve had a bad experience or 2 while on my travels but this really hit me and what made it worse was that I was on my own in a 6 bed dorm room. It was one of those moments were you have to pull it together.
If it’s one thing I hate its someone stealing from me, I never understand it but in this case it might have been a good thing I didn’t spot him and approach him. Otherwise who knows what would have happened. The last time I was robbed I suffered a broken hand out of pure frustration and anger. Here the same thing crossed my mind but thought better of an additional headache of visiting the hospital. After checking again I was able confirm the money was gone and over the next day or 2 as I needed them I noticed a few other things that had been taken;
- Laptop charger
- Power bank
Thinking back to the bus I tried to remember when it would have been taken. I vaguely remember the bus stopping and a few policemen coming on and walking up the isle taking the odd look at bags in the overhead storage. From the few seconds my eyes opened I remember them looking at mine. But my padlock was on and not to mention I was half asleep.
I had a look at my padlocked and noticed it had been tampered with. I was angry and after going nuts I tried to gather myself. I’d say I’m pretty good at letting something slide, its not worth letting it get the best of you.
It was around 7am and in Wild Rover there was only 1 thing I could do, head to the bar, after all that’s what makes this place famous. Walking into the bar and just the bit of luck I needed, the football was on. So I’m settled with a bottle of corona and a front row seat, the only person here apart from the bartender.
A few minutes later another bartender staggers through the door, clearly late for his shift after a heavy night. After noticing me holding a corona he’s straight over with a bottle of tequila and a chat. Did Jesus send this man to fix me up?! He sure wasn’t expecting the story I gave him so off he went for another top up, this isn’t going to end well.
Now the story continues pretty much as it started, the free tequilas continue to come along with jaeger bombs, and with each one we toasted to the Peruvian Police who robbed me. This is something I love about the backpacker community, the majority of us stick together whether we’ve travelled for a few weeks together or only just met!
Breakfast is also held in the bar and the look on some of the people’s faces as they came down to find an Irish and Aussie fella downing shots at 8am for fun was brilliant. Turns out today is Superbowl day so I can’t see this stopping anything soon.
I’m always cautious when it comes to travelling, some might say too much so. But I suppose relaxed and dropped the ball here and the lesson will do me well. If you take anything from this, learn from my mistake and don’t give them a chance. However if something does happen, have a tequila and toast them for me!
What better way to get over something like this the visit Macchu Picchu! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This post is part of The Southern American Series, click to explore or for episode 1 click here.
- Have you ever been mugged or had anything stolen while on the road?
- What happened?
- Had any bad experiences with police on your travels?
Let me know in the comments below . . .