Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? This was mine. I had checked one bag, and carried on the other onto the bus. The one I carried on contained my fanny pack, which contained my camera and passport. I put this bag on the shelf above the seats and wrapped the strap around the bar and locked the strap and the zippers together. No way to get this bag without a knife.

About 2 hours from Merida, we stopped at Campeche. I unlocked the bag and took it with me outside to have a smoke. An immigration officer boarded the bus while I was off and then came out- with my passport in his hand. I looked at my bag and saw that someone had pulled the zipper apart and removed my fanny pack. The kind thief then tossed my passport on the floor. I knew then exactly who it was. A guy had boarded and exited earlier in the night, and stowed his bag next to mine. He must have been a pro; in and out of my bag in seconds while pretending to adjust his own luggage. I remember it quite clearly now, but suspected nothing at the time.

At Merida, I went to the police and got a report. I was hoping that it would be covered by insurance, but it turned out not to be. Rather than hang around Merida in a lousy mood, I continued on to Valladolid, where I would spend my last night.

I checked into a nice hotel and took a shower, hoping it would rejuvenate me. While putting on my shirt after the shower, I accidentally put my hand into the ceiling fan, which was on high speed. When the white blur that filled my head finally cleared, I cleaned up the blood and patched myself up. Nothing was broken, but I'll be losing 2 fingernails pretty soon. It's time to go home.

I met a woman from New Zealand at dinner- Chris. She had been traveling several months, from the south tip of Chile all the way up, overland. She had some wild stories to tell, and it took my mind off everything else. She was heading back south, along a route similar to the one I came up. I passed on all the vital info I had for lodging, transport, and things to do. I'm glad my final day ended with some inspiration.

It was now Christmas season, and children kept coming by singing carols and collecting tips. Chris and I were their main targets, so I was able to do something useful with the last of my pesos, too.

Continue to day 18.

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