Monday, January 20, 2014

Lost and Found Department

Ever have something valuable in your pocket and then you lose it? Money? Piece of jewelry? Even an important piece of paper? Something? Anything?

For some unknown and inexplicable reason, you’ll continue to reach in your pocket hoping that it’s in there somewhere. Over and over again. Admit it. You do that. I know I do.

It’s GOT to be there. Right? Nope, it’s gone.

But sometimes you lose something and get it back when you were sure you’d never see it again. But still…you keep hoping.

On our recent Peru/Argentina vacation that happened three times.


I love my gps unit. Take it with me everywhere. I use it to make track of bike trips I take. Go geocaching. Use it for directions to some place. Mark waypoints. Bought a Garmin map of Brazil. Even took it to Peru but even though I don’t have the Garmin map for Peru, I can still download Geocache coordinates or make waypoints. I can mark the hotel as a “waypoint” so if I get lost at least I have a directional arrow to point me back to the hotel/hostal etc. coordinates even without a street map.

Heading to Machu Picchu I downloaded some geocaches to find. One of them required a long walk towards Gate of the Sun. Found the geocache. A few hours later decided to look for another geocache as Sue and I were in a far different part of Machu Picchu. Where’s my GPS? It was in my pocket I’m sure. Looked in my pocket again. Not there. Looked in my camera bag, backpack, every place I could imagine. No GPS.

I’ve lost it. Yah, I felt in my pocket one more time.

Then I remembered I placed it on the rock wall along the path we were on while I made some notes. Sunk feeling. It’s gone. Sure someone picked it up.

Sue suggested going back and looking for it. I replied: “What’s the use? Someone by now has picked it up and that’s a valuable item. No one will turn it in”.

Sue suggested the go back and look one more time. After all she said, we’ve got plenty of time. OK. Why not.

I hiked all the way across Machu Picchu, climbed up the path to the Gate of the Sun, downtrodden I walked to where the geocache was, confident that I’d find nothing. Came to the spot and started looking along the wall and there it was, resting on a rock ledge right where I left it.

How did no one see it and take it? Then I had an idea maybe why no one saw it. The path was very rocky. As you walked along you had to really concentrate where you put your foot so your gaze was downcast to the ground. Maybe that’s why. Heck, I really didn’t care why, I was just glad to recover my gps.

Joe, where’s your Camera?

Our first night in El Calafate, Argentina was New Year’s eve. As we walked along the street, restaurants were either closed, booked solid, or were taking reservations for a later New Year’s Eve dinner that would only cost your first born.

We had passed a small bodega and decided to head back there, buy some goodies then go back to our room and have whatever we bought as our New Year’s eve dinner.

I usually have my DSLR camera with me. That is one of those big, fancy looking big lens cameras that everyone thinks takes great photos. Little do they realize that today’s point and shoot cameras have such incredible logarithms that their phone camera will probably take a better out of the camera photo than my DSLR. My camera and lens is over 10 years old. Antiquated by today’s technology. Still it is a pricey camera. The lense alone still sells for new at about $900. This was one of my “working” cameras when I did photography as a job.

The store was very crowded. We bought a couple of sandwiches, sodas, cookies etc. and left.

Blocks away Sue looks at me and says: “Where is your camera?” My hand was empty. No need to look in my pocket. “I left it at the store” says I.

Did not walk. Ran back to the store. Pushed my way to the cashier and said “Camera?” That’s English dummy. They speak Spanish. "Ola Camera?" I had placed it on a bunch of candy when I went to pay. I moved over to where I left it and some kid had starting to point to the camera about to say something to the cashier. It was still there!! MINE!!! I think I screamed as I exhaled deeply.

Lost and found number two.


On a bus trip back to El Calafate from El Chatel I placed my umbrella in the side pocket of my backpack and tossed it in the overhead bin.

Hours later unpacking at the hostal room I noticed the umbrella was gone. How? I realized I placed the backpack in the overhead top side first, which meant it was tilted down in the sloping bin. Of course, the umbrella slipped out. No, the umbrella wouldn’t fit in my pocket, but I almost looked there.


The next morning we had to go back to the bus station to take a different bus to the Moreno Glacier. I said to Sue: “I’m going to check at the other bus ticket office. Maybe someone turned in my umbrella.” "No way it will be there" , she says.

Walked up to the ticket counter and asked the ticket attendant: “Did you find an umbrella on the bus yesterday?” She smiled, jumped up, went over to a shelf and said “This one?”

Sue’s jaw dropped. “I don’t believe it” she says and smiles as I gave the attendant a “high five” and a thank you!!!

Number 3 lost and found.

And yes, there is a moral to this story: Joe, you really do have to be more careful about your things and stop looking in your pocket.

1 comment:

Karisa said...

Great story and so JOE! A friend who ran a charity in the hood, told me a story about how he'd used to leave things, valuable things like a computer and phone out in the open. Nothing in all the years was ever stolen. His point, if you leave something trusting that no harm will come to it, then nothing will. If you expect it to be stolen then it will. The only thing I can remember being stolen was a nice watch...I had hidden it and sure enough, it was found and stollen. Another friend just a few days ago left her diamond wedding band in a bathroom; she had inadvertently taken it off while washing her hands...yes, they were that dirty. Anyhow, someone turned it in! you think bad things will happen then they will, if you hope for the best and in the good of mankind, it will be there.