I decided to take a night bus to the Peru border last night. Lonely planet said that it should be 6 hours but it only took 4 and a half. That is the good news but the bad news swings the scale a long ways in the other direction. I was unpleasantly surprise to fin that they still play load dance music on the bus in the middle of the night. So I didn´t get much sleep at all. We arrive in the borer town of Huaquillas at about 4:00 am. According to Lonely planet this is the dodgiest borer crossing in South America. Lucky me. Everyone got off and I followed suit.
The baggage tenant asked me in broken English if I got my departure stamp from Ecuador immigration. I had not and had no reason to lie. He told me it was just you the street and I could be there in back in 5 minutes. Nest thing you know I am on the back of a motorcycle heading into the darkness feeling very uncomfortable with my situation. We passed a few groups of motorcyclists parked on side of the road. At one point I actually looked up at the sky and asked for God´s help. But sure enough sooner than later we arrive at the immigration office. There was a long line but luckily that was for the people coming to Ecuador. The leaving line was much shorter but there was a long delay before I got my stamp but I eventually did without any hassle. My motorcycle man brought me back to the bus. It was strange, on the way back I notice several parks for children and the atmosphere seemed much safer, but it had not been 5 minutes. It had been closer to 45. I went back to the baggage tenant who was supposed to be watching my bag. Apparently he did not do a very good just because yes, it is true, 8 days into my 1 year adventure, my bag was gone, stolen, no where to be found.
I did my best to show my displeasure and despair to the baggage tenant but there was nothing that could be one at this point. Tired, furious, an angry at myself for being so stupid, I sat on the curb brooding in the dark. I went over the events that lead to this undesirable scenario and concluded that it was my fault. I should never have trusted anyone even the guy who worked for the bus company. Battered but not completely beaten I took an inventory of everything I had left. I had my money belt with all of my vital paperwork, passport, cards, and cash; I had my daypack with my camera, tripod, Lonely planet, phrase book, shaving kit, and my sleeping sheet. That’s it. Everything else was gone. Most can be replaced fairly easily with cash, but I am concerned about a few things, namely Malaria pills, and my battery chargers for my fancy new camera and storage device. I have very little hope that the electronics with be able to be replaced which basically makes my camera useless 300 photos from now. I will probably have to buy a cheap one.
Hmmm, now what I thought to myself as the sun began to rise revealing just how dirty and dusty streets really were. Well, I chose to chock it up as part of the adventure and cross the border on foot. Just as I was about to leave the bus terminal a mute lady seemingly playing some sort of perverse charades informed me that the thief of my bag was a small Chinese fellow who took off on foot. Well there was something new to think about as I walked to the border with a light load. Maybe I was paranoid from the events that I had gone through over the past few hours but the whole immigration thing on the Peru side seemed very shady to me as well. I will spare you the details since this is getting pretty long already but I did cross the border at about 8:00 and made my way to the bus terminal where I bought a ticket direct to Lima. This was not my original plan but I figured that I had better skip the beach and head straight to the capital to get myself sorted. I debark on my 17 hour bus in 4 hours. Wish me luck, apparently I need it.