Today is “plan what next” day for all four of us and probably our last evening together as Phil and Paul both want to head north east to the jungle and we want to head to Lake Titicaca and Peru. When we finally surface and manage to make brekkie just as its finishing, we make a plan to head out to the bus station and check out bus timings and prices for Puno, a village on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. We also take our new little camera out with us to look for a 2nd battery for it.
At the bus station we manage to buy tickets to Puno with the bus coming past our hostel at 0800 in the morning to collect us and stopping at Copacabana for about 1.5 hours over lunch where we change buses to go across the border and onto Puno. Sorted! Job done we manage to find a battery for the camera quite easily and not too expensive either, and are on our way back to the hostel when we decide to stop at a chemist for shampoo.
Just after this and walking up the road that leads to our hostel Huw is heckled by a barber, it happened a few days ago and was highly amusing then. Now it also seemed amusing if in a tired kind of way, as moments later Huw realises that the back over his shoulder the camera was in now feels very light. On inspection we realise someone has cheekily if cleverly managed to unzip it and make off with our camera. Leaving the new battery as if to rub salt in our wounds, take your pick (excuse the pun!), it either happened at the chemist or as the barber distracted us, either way it was slick and over before we knew it.
Gutted! We stand against the wall taking in the last few minutes, then the sick feeling turns to true nauseous as we realise not only was the camera stolen but all our great piccies of the hike we´ve just done are gone too……
Stupidy! stupidy! stupidy! Why weren´t we more careful? Why did we let ourselves be distracted? Why did we bring the camera out? Why didn´t we download the photos onto the laptop? Why didn´t we remove the SD card? Why? Why? Why?!!!
Back at the hostel we are both visibly upset and can´t get over it, we thought we were doing well, travelling 7 months now, meeting loads of people with horror stories to tell and we had managed to escape it happening to us. Until now! Maybe we´ve just been lucky! We could deal with the camera, let´s face it it’s a camera, it was new granted, but replaceable all he same, but the photos, that’s another thing altogether.
Without boring you with all the details or having to re-live the whole nightmare telling you all, the rest of the afternoon was taken up with visiting the “tourist police” which just happen to be way over the other side of town. A twenty min bus ride away, nope sorry 3 twenty minute bus rides away – we have to go back to the hostel for our passports and make the journey again, a copy isn´t good enough!
Huw sent a message to the guys earlier asking if we could at least have a copy of their photos, there will be none of us at the top as we stupidly/tiredly forgot to do a group shot, but there will be some of the trip nonetheless. We never got Florian or Petr´s contact details another thing we could kick ourselves for so can´t get theirs. Anyways, we arrange to meet this evening to get a copy and let Joe and Ellie know where to find us – not thinking they´ll actually show if they are tired like we all were.
Cuban bar it is for photo swaps and food, and final farewells, for now anyway. Joe and Ellie do join us and we swap stories of each other’s plights to conquer 6088m of mountain hell. Oh and the events of earlier today 🙁
Interestingly they tell us that half of their group didn´t make it to the top, but all received a tee-shirt regardless, hhmm, that isn´t cricket and certainly deserves an email we think, when we are feeling in the mood. A final drink in The Blue Note afterwards and goodbyes proclaimed we all had our separate ways.