Tragedy has struck. While sleeping on the beach on Madeira Island on Sunday night, some (likely mustachioed) rake absconded with my backpack as I slept a little too deeply beside it. I woke up in shock at its absence and spent the better part of the morning and afternoon with the Machico police, getting my visa cancelled and arranging emergency money. I spoke with my parents as well and arranged for them to book me a flight back to mainland. I had everything in that backpack: money, wallet, passport, shoes, clothes, camp gearr, noteebooks, compass etc.. All in, there was about $2000 worth of backpacking kiit that I had acquired over the last five years.
“And now its all gone.”
Obviously, this theft, especiially so early on, has been a serious blow to my confidence in my ability to complete this undertaking as planned. Sadly, I think we all know what this means: I must noww do this trip in hadcore mode.
Let me explain: yesterday, in spite of the theft and the hunger, and the hoours spent with police, i managed to hold it together betterr than i would have expected. However, when the saleslady forr TAP airline gave me 10 euros for food I broke down and cried. More tears came when the flight attendats, learning of my circumstance gave me all food and cookies i wanted on the plane ride to Lisbon. In spite of getting robbed by one strrrray douche, many people are still so good and helpful and itts them who i typiccally have the pleasure of running into. As well, somewhere in all of this crying I realized that what i was upset abbout was not the loss of my gear; its just stuff that is eminently replaceable. I was crrying because having initially decided to go home i felt i had failed and was going to miss my window of opportunity in life for this undertaking. That thought depressed me more than any other.
Also, drunk off Port wine on myfirst night in the country i wrote in my notebook something alongthe lines of how CCanadians arre the strrongest, most rrobust (sorrry this keyboarrd sucks) people on the planet and that i wasnt going to let any nation get the best of me. Well, Hemingwwaay said that “you should always do sober whatyou said youd do drunk, (that way you learn to keep your fool mouth shut)”. I subscrribe to this point of view and its pretty much why iw went to afghanistan and australia lol.
So heres what i was left with afterr the theft: desert camo cargo pants, eucalyptex shirrt long sleeve, eucalyptex bandana, flip flops, spandex underrwear, petzl headlamp, 2x nalgene bottles, toque, sleeping rrroll, belt, wwatch. I have since augmented that with a new lighter duty backpacck, which should be adequate for my new lighter load.
Herre is a small list of some items lost that couldneverr be rreplaced: my rrregimental flag, my kabar knofe i ccarrrried on all of my afghanistan patrols, my rrhyme book (sorrrry shane, the album might be delayed) and of courrse my two pipes, both of which werre given to me by fatherr. The loss of these saddens me morre than anything.