Mugged in Mendoza

After the fun of wine tasting, we headed out of the hostel on Friday morning to go to an internet cafe to do a slightly more sober blog post and upload all the photos we´d taken so far. As a precaution, we´d copied all the photos from the camera to a memory stick that, until this point, had been carried separately from the camera. I think you can probably guess what is coming next…

We had walked 20 metres down the road when 2 guys on a moped pulled up and one jumped off and brandished a knife and started shouting in Spanish. We didn´t spend too long trying to understand what he was saying, we just handed over our bags and they drove off. It was all over in a matter of seconds. Although it was daylight, there was no-one around either to witness it or to stop it. Back at the hostal we called the police and tried to work out what had been taken.

The camera and all the pictures was the most upsetting thing but we also lost Claire´s diary of the trip, her phone (so please don´t phone or text her!), her bank card, some cash and annoyingly, our guidebook. The police were really helpful but i think they were a little frustrated with our inability to describe our muggers – it just happened so quickly!

We spent the next day in Mendoza´s lovely shopping centre trying to replace some of the things that had been taken including a cheapo camera. Our confidence has been dented a bit but we are trying to be pragmatic about it – it was an opportunistic robbery that could have taken place anywhere to anyone.

Since then, we have taken a 16 hour bus south to Barriloche in Patagonia. The weather is much colder – I went out on the first day in just my sandals and my toes nearly got frostbite! The town itself is quite strange – more like an alpine ski resort than anything else. Yesterday we went to visit some caves in an extinct volcano that had been inhabited 8,000 years ago by very tall people who had originated from Mongolia and Australia. (The tour was in Spanish so there is a strong chance that most of this is wrong). In one place we had to put on hard hats and crawl on all fours and climb through a tiny rectangular opening to get into a giant cave with a fresh water spring inside. We also saw a couple of very faded cave paintings of geometric shapes. The guide highlighted them by pouring water over the rock they were on which did make them easier to see but i´m not sure if it helped preserve them!

Tomorrow we are hoping to go kayaking on Lake Nahuel Huapi. We will do our best not to drop our new camera in the water…

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One Response to Mugged in Mendoza

  1. Miriam says:

    Oh no. That’s so unfortunate. Smelly muggers. Im just glad you didn’t whip out your kung fu moves James, they could have opened up a whole can of capoeira on your bee hinds! Best to be philosophical, and I know from past experience only the most intrepid travellers get mugged!!
    Glad to hear you’re back on top with some new camera action though and already taking comedy shots. Have fun kayaking….. x

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