May 6, 2010

I’d spent about 4 hours on the internet last night, then finished off a cheesy novel in my room reading until the wee hours. Next morning I went to breakfast a little on the late side, wrote some emails over coffee, then went out to my bike.

It was something like out of a bad movie…all my panniers were open, and I just stood there staring at it for a few moments…how could my panniers be open when I had not been out to the bike yet…

then it hit me: I WAS ROBBED!

I ran back into the hotel and told the front desk guy to call the police. he didn’t rather he followed me out to the bike, which I’d parked in the hotel parking lot, where the owner was just pulling in. SHE told him to call the cops and he finally did. Then she yelled at ME!

I guess I can say they were nice robbers because they left my credit cards and my passport…but they stole all the souvenirs I’d bought for people back home, plus my cold weather clothing, plus some cool tools, PLUS about $1000 in cash. Everyone asks why I had that much cash on the bike, and it was because I needed $1500+ cash for shipping the bike back…and the ATMs would only give me $190/day for some reason, so I was stockpiling. At any other point in the trip the most they would have gotten was less than $200.

Why did I have the cash on the bike? Because two travelers had told me how their hotel rooms were robbed. I had the money split between my person, my luggage, and on the bike. Ugh. What a blow. I spent the day filing a ‘denuncio‘ with the police, getting my locks fixed, canceling my credit cards (I did not realize yet that I still had the credit cards) and getting the bike locks fixed since I did not want to go through the border with an UN-lockable bike.

At one point the police got a call from the hotel owner and we went back to the hotel–it looked like the robbers tried to take my goody bag an throw it over the fence to hide the evidence, but it got caught in the barbed wire so the bag fell back into the back lot of the “secure” parking lot. Here’s what I found:

The nice guy at the locksmith charged me $6 to fix all three locks…it took him two hours because he had to go all over town to find cylinders that were close. He still had to drill out the locks so the new cylinders would fit!

Here I am at the police station:


Leaving town (finally!)

Leaving Paraguay:

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