What a fucking day.
That said, all hail the Bariloche police force.
Shortly after arriving in Bariloche on a delayed flight, Jane and I left our backpacks in the car for 10 minutes while we ducked into the petrol station to find maps. 10 measly minutes!
Alas (and perhaps inevitably), we returned to no backpacks, though our suitcases were still there. We reported the theft (which included books, one camera, our iPads, more than half our money and Jane’s passport…yes I know we’re fools) to the tourism office then the police. We cried. Ok, I cried and Jane spoke to various officials in Spanish and I was mildly distracted by how attractive it is that my girlfriend speaks Spanish, then I got back to crying.
As we waited, anxious and so annoyed with ourselves, an incredibly chuffed cop marched in and told us how he had seen a kid on a motorbike with two backpacks and thought it odd so had chased him down and brought him in. We didn’t believe him til we saw them carried in. Everything – including cash – was still there.
FIVE HOURS OF BUREAUCRACY LATER (wait, watch cops take bags into small room & make inventory, wait while cops count cash, handwritten report, wait a few hours more, lengthy discussion about how much cash we had, wait while handwritten report is typed up, fingerprint the car, let the judge see the car, meet the owner of the motorbike the kid was riding which had been stolen a year ago, wait some more, sign our statements, check the bags, thank everyone), we departed the police station arriving at our cabin at 10.30pm, having not had a meal since breakfast at the airport.
What are the chances of our bags being found?! Seriously crazy luck.
By the way, if there were ever any doubt who copes best under pressure… Jane calmly communicated in Spanish and convinced me not to get impatient (apparently the 5 hour wait was our penance for leaving bags in the car); I alternated between crying, whinging about being hungry, making jokes and wishing that I hadn’t deleted tetris from my phone so I had something to do.
The next morning we awoke in our cabin to this view. Luck: we have it.