The day started well. Leisurely get-up. Hot shower. Quick trip into Ica to get some cash. Laura and Helen came round asking if we wanted to join them for breakfast at their Hostel. Tea for me, but the others had very nice scrambled egg, coffee and fruit salad with a purple slime apparently yogurt. Such a nice start, if only we had known...
Back to our own Hostel to pack and chill-out a bit more. Whilst Paddy relaxed in a hammock, I had a spot of canneloni-con-carne without much carne for lunch. L and H cam by again to share a taxi to Ica. we were heading out, they needed to buy tickets to Arequipa.
It all got a bit rushed as our bus was scheduled to leave less than 20 minutes after we bought the tickets.
After stocking up on water and Coca Cola and hurried goodbyes, we jumped on the bus, only to jump off as it wasn't ours.
Found correct bus, more good byes, jump on and the obligatory removal of the couple in our seats.
All was well, but not for long. Less than two hours into later, in a repeat of an incident involving our friend Ric, a light fingered git somehow removed all our tech gear from bags between our feet. Hats off to him because I have no idea how it was pulled off. More annoyingly, we realised pretty quick, but light fingered Freddy had just got off the bus.
F$%k, b0770c%s, w@&k.
the bus conductor and I checked the bus immediately, but alas it wasn't meant a case of the stuff just falling out the bag naturally, they were defiantly persuaded. Sitting down, I listed everything nicked. The list ran to 21 items, ranging from my video camera to a pocket compass.
I didn't even mention the sand storm raging whilst this was happening, or the accident involving a bus and several cars did I?
The only upside is that it could have been worse. My passport and cash were in my pocket and I was listening to my iPod at the time. Also, Paddy and I had just swapped books with Laura and Helen. They got The Bourne Supremacy and Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. We got The Crush by Sandra Brown, a book that can be put down after the first paragraph. Our discerning thief left The Crush and a bottle of water under our seat, perhaps he thought I'd need a bit of light reading and refreshment?
After assuring the manager at the bus station that we didn't want to sue him, he was very helpful and pointed us in the direction of the Police station where I reported the theft. Of course, it wasn't as simple as that. First of all, we had to find an English speaking copper. Then, when asked to sit down and wait, we made our way to the back of the room to sit with all the other chaps.
A flurry of arms and jovial shouting later, we put 2 and 2 together and realised they were being "nicked". CSI:Lima.....
Sealing the written report with a fingerprint, we headed straight for Burger King - a taste of normality to make the world right again. A bit of Internet time to catch up on nearly a week of being incommunicado and the day was done.
Off to Hostel Home Peru and the room previously reserved that had extra power points so all the kit could be recharged..... Doh!