February 2nd, 2008

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Tenth report from Peru.

Like all good adventures, there are up and there are downs. Yesterday we got to the Arica bus station at 7:45 ready to take the bus to LaPaz Bolivia. Jim went to the bano and I moved the two packs and two carry ons safely over beside two chairs. I put my carryon which had been on my shoulder and had camera, all my credit cards, paints, journal and travel book as well as tooth brush and hat on the seat next to me to reserve it for Jim. He came back and popped the bag onto the luggage pile beside him. Well it was the classic scam. One chap asked if we had change for a bill and we looked his way while his friend took off with my bag. I was so mad at myself. As well I had brought two different credit cards with us and had been keeping one in my tummybelt with my passport. However the night before we needed money and only mastercard would work in the machine and so my spare credit card (my back up was also in with my Visa) Poof. Everything was gone. The only good thing was that the very boring book of Art Essays by John Berger was also stolen.

Well we reported to police, we checked garbage cans and a day and a half later we are still trying to figure out a way to call Visa and Mastercard. We did connect with a random bank in Chile and the United States Army but we still can´t call Visa or Mastercard despite another day of trying. Today we also visited two police stations but they can not make these calls either. Somethings are impossible in Chile. So we are still in Arica and I have a new toothbrush and a new hat, and at our new hostel, I found a book in English called Travelling by the seat of your pants, a hillarous book of misadventures and travel. Until we figure out how to get money I will not be replacing the camera but in the meantime I have Jim´s little camera and his travel paints so all is okay. The heat is still quite unbearable. I didn´t know that my eye lids could sweat. I did finally solve the problem of sun screen in my eyes by only putting sunscreen on the nose downward. We also went for the most wonderful swim this afternoon. The beach is glorious, full of sand, the warm Pacific and rolling breakers. Quite a few young people were parasurfing and that certainly looked fantastic. I´d like to try it without the long flips while air-born!