14 dec Backpacking lesson 1: Never, ever leave your luggage unattended..
We were staying in Playa del Carmen (very american and pretty expensive) and learned our first valuable backpacking lesson: Never leave your luggage unattended!
We were checking out of our hotel (Maya Bric) early in the morning and had to wait until 23.40 before our night bus to Belize would depart. So we asked the lady at the reception if we could leave our bags in the lobby (there were already some bags stalled). ‘No problem’ she said, ‘ you can leave it here and we will watch it for you’. Even in Mexico this sounded reassuring to us and we left for a day of working at the beach (seriously, we were working). Later that day we got back to the hotel, changed our clothes, put our backpacks back in the same spot with the other luggage and we went to diner. After dinner we just passed our hotel to the Starbucks and I looked inside and this is what I saw:
OUR BACKPACKS WERE GONE!! We first thought it was a joke but quickly learned that it wasn’t… All of our clothes, shoes, everything was gone.. Fortunately for us we had been working and our daypacks with passports, money, cards, laptops etc were still with us. Turns out, there had been a taxi driver who was supposed to pick up eight pieces of luggage but who picked up ten!! We started to make calls to the airport, taxi companies, tweeted to people at Cancun Airport (where the driver was going) and googled the name of the driver (that was the only lead we had..) To make a long story short: we found the driver, located the company, called them at 22.30, they had our luggage. Only problem, their office was in Corozal, Belize about 350 km away from where we were. We were supposed to travel there overnight but because of our rescue attempts we had missed our bus. Fortunately the hotel offered us a free night (and paid for the other nights we had stayed there to make up for the damage!) and we travelled the next day to Corozal. This was a long but amazing journey.. I will tell you more about that in another post. Eventually at 18.30 we arrived in Corozal, our bus dropped us of right at the location where we were told to come and pick up our backpacks… Our fingers crossed and butt cheeks tightened we walked in and there they were! Happy as two children we hugged our backpacks, thanked the guy who brought them there and went to a hotel.. We were very lucky to have them back and from now on, our backpacks are either locked to a pole or we keep them with us..We were staying in Playa del Carmen (very american and pretty expensive) and learned our first valuable backpacking lesson: Never leave your luggage unattended!