What A Mug!

Trip Start May 30, 2005
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Trip End Sep 30, 2006


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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Touch Wood, I havenīt been mugged or had anything stolen on my travels....."
Ron Mackenzie 9/5/06 when talking to a guy from England.

I got a bus up from Pisco to Lima with the intention of getting out of Lima as fast as possible, just enough time to change buses. There isnīt one central bus station, instead all the different companies operate from their own base all around roughly the same area. My Guide Book said that Lima was generally a dangerous place but the bus station area was even worse and recomended getting taxis between each station. So when I arrived I got in an official taxi and headed round to the company that one of the taxi drivers recomended to head to Tingo Maria.

The company didnīt actually go out that way but the taxi driver was really nice and then drove me literally 10 doors down the street to another company that I recognised from my guide book. He also warned me of the dangers of the area, and wouldnīt let me go until Iīd found a company that would be able to take me onto my next destination.

I bought my ticket and had 3 hours to waste. I put my big back in the Luggage storage and went to find a cafe for some food and to try and watch the end of the UEFA cup final between Middlesborough and Sevilla. I arrived just as the final whistle blew and I only got to see Sevilla celebrating and then the lowlights of the four goals they scored against Middlesborough, very sad.

After this I decided to spend some time in the internet cafe. What better way to kill a couple of hours. This was ok, but meanwhile it got dark outside. I did some shopping for the bus ride, bread, cheese, water. As I was walking along a local shouted "Hola Amigo" at me, but I just kept walking at a good speed. Itīs a good way to know if someone is following you as the locals usually amble along. He wasnīt so no problem.

I then reached the point opposite my bus station and I waited for a gap in the slow moving three lanes of traffic that I had to cross. I had my small rucksack, the one with all my valuables, over my right shoulder with it facing forward so no one could tamper with it. Next thing I hear is "Hola Amigo", and the same guy now walks up to me in 2 seconds, to a Ron standing still.

He grabs my rucksack and I drop my shopping to hold on. He has me off balance and as he tugs he pulls me, first to my right knee and then I fully fall over, hitting the ground with my elbow.

He shouts to his mate, "La Mochila, la Mochila", The backpack, The backpack. I donīt even know which one of them makes the second attempt, but this time Iīm ready. Iīm holding the bag like a Rubgy ball in a Ruck, and not letting go. It was a fairly feable second attempt and then the guys run off.

I get to my feet, and find my bag of shopping. They didnīt even take that undefended bag, amatures! I then realise that I donīt have my glasses. Itīs dark and the area of struggle was fairly big so Iīve no idea where they are. I just shout out, "Mis Gafas, Mis Anteojos", firstly using Spanish spanish and then realising Iīd better use the South American word for them. Someone found them and gave them to me. Thankfully they were pretty much ok.

I put them on and then crossed the road. Iīm not hanging around that area one second longer. I wave down the cars and make them stop so that I can cross, and straight into the bus station. I find a policeman there and try to tell him what happened. Mostly for me just to feel safe, I realise that Iīm pretty shaken as Iīm not really able to explain myself. I realise that there is nothing he can do so I just find a little safe corner to compose myself.

I then get my big bag out the luggage store, thankfully I didnīt have that on me at the time otherwise I think theyīd have got my little bag. I give it to the bus company and then wait in the waiting room. All the locals are really nice there and as I tell them the story theyīre all really concerned for me, something to help restore my faith in the Peruvians.

Looking back on it, I was fairly lucky to keep hold of my bag. If I was a bit smaller then I think theyīd have got it from me as it was quite some tug that they gave it. I didnīt loose anything, and in fact I gained. Sadly I gained a thump to my knee, a scrape on my elbow, a little blood on my jeans and a bend in my glasses!

Just to reassure everyone, Iīm perfectly fine, no problems.
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