Polizeiruf 110June 19, 2017 in Latvia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Waking up to someone shouting "Schei$$e!! Alles weg!!!" on a quiet beach-side campsite was the last thing we expected at 4.30 this morning. A fellow cycle tourist had been robbed of everything, taken from inside his zipped tent (inner AND outer).
I looked over to Peter in disbelief and my heart sunk. Bike tourists are so vulnerable and exposed in any country. The terrain, the weather, the people, the infrastructure... every single element has an effect on your day. You sleep with your worldly goods (typically the bare minimum to get by) separated from the outer world with a millilitre of fabric as protection and security. You want to trust strangers and always hope for the best in people.
We looked through our flyscreen to see the purple tarp still in place secured by bungee cord in a bike-like shape and breathed a premature sigh of relief.
Our eyes then naturally darted down to the front of the tent, which was uncharacteristically bare, discovering that our 4 front bags and our cooking equipment bag were all gone. Only the 2 pairs of shoes were left. All clothes, toiletries, pots, pans, stove, trainers, glasses etc were in those bags.
The slightly nonplussed camp owner had since appeared, made her way to the woods to search for any traces and then called the police.
It gets stranger...the camp owner called us over to say she'd found all of the bags. All of our stuff had been scattered around and the thieves had been through everything.
But it was all there..... what a HUGE relief!!!
We had already assumed it was a lost cause and prepared ourselves mentally for the mammoth task of replacing our fairly specialised set up in Riga, once we'd cycled there in our pyjamas and flipflops that is!
Since re-packing everything we found that nothing important had been taken - just our good folding knife, my headphones, a pack of COTTON BUDS (yes, what the hell is that about?!) And some nail clippers. Moritz was not so lucky, having his entire valuables bag taken from near his head whilst he slept.
The police didn't speak english and wanted me to come to them at the camp site entrance.
As if i was going to leave my things unattended after a theft.. 🙈 They then left their briefcase (with wallet /ID cards) next to our tent as they left and got 1 hour down the road. Glad to be supported by such geniuses at our time of need!
So many strange things don't add up.
Why the camp owner didn't tell us at check in to mind our belongings due to a similar spate of thefts the night before - a vehicle was broken into whilst children were sleeping in it.
Why the camp owner was so blasé about it all.
Why she didn't give the rubber gloves that were found with our stuff, to the police.
Why the thieves took only rediculous items from us.
We're now 90km from Riga, totally exhausted, fuelled by bewilderment and chocolate. Hoping to get a good night's sleep tonight to be able to decide if we buy a ferry ticket to Stockholm or carry on with our route. Our new german buddy Moritz told us of his journey from St P and it sounds like a higher scale Poland experience. Intoxicated truck drivers on the main road, packs of wild dogs on the side.
We need to think very carefully about what we do for "fun" and where to draw the line.
That line is in reaching distance right now.Read more