Day 2 – Sh*t hits the fan…and it smells!

By July 19, 2011 One Comment

Now the fun part. I wake up in the morning and head over to the locker to grab my computer. I’m excited and want to get my day going early and explore the city. But wait… something is wrong here. Our locker was open. In the locker was only three things. Tim’s GoPro camera, an electric razor and Jason’s passport. Well at least the robber allowed us to be well groomed this trip.

I quickly turned to Jason and woke him up.

“Dude, where’s our stuff?”

He glared at me thinking this was a terrible joke. After going back and forth, he gets up and checks out the locker. He was just as confused as I was. Not good.

I turn around and wake up Tim who was sleeping in the bunk across from the lockers.

“Do you see anything missing here?”

Tim woke up from a daze, smiled, shrugged and went back to sleep.

Ok. Strange.

Tim then woke up a second time and realized the situation.

We got robbed during the night. The culprit made out with my brand new apple macbook pro, my nikon d70 digital SLR, my smaller digital camera, camcorder, cellphone, passport, wallet with all my credit cards and identification, and about 400 euro. That was just my stuff. They also took my both my friends cameras, one of my friends laptops and ended up racking over 4,000 dollars in credit card charges. They are both professional photographers so the hit would be enormous.

This hit us pretty hard and we were at a loss for words. We tried to find the humor in it in that they left an electric razor and other smaller items. This was of course after our frustration was taken accounted for.

To spare you the details, we spent the rest of our time in Madrid trying to track down and make sense of what happened. We had our locker key in Jason’s pants by his bed so the thief must’ve stolen it and opened our locker. What was even more frustrating was that it was just our stuff in that room. Other backpackers had cellphones and laptops just laying on the ground.

P.S. Dear Thief, if you read this. Please return my stuff no questions asked. Thanks (yea.. doubtful. Sometimes I expect the best of people though)

What pained me the most was having to write my parents of what happened:

Hi Mom and Dad,

Just wanted to let you know I´m ok, but encountered a very unfortunate event. Most of our stuff was stolen from our locker last night.

 What was taken:
– my nikon d70 and other small camera
– my camcorder
– my laptop
– my cellphone
– my wallet, all my money, drivers license, passport and everything.

What I have:
– my larger bag with clothes

Both Jason and Tim also had stuff stolen from the same locker. We are going to head out and get some food. Tim has his card still so we should be able to grab money but might need some money wired to me or something if possible. It really pained me to write this email because I know you both were worried about my trip. We still have our heads high and are looking at the brighter side that we had an amazing first night in Toledo and got some good shots that Tim has on his computer (which wasn´t stolen). Our plan is to try to continue the trip as we still have out train tickets. I´m going to try to get a rush passport and we are headed to the police station to report everything as well.

Hopefully when all is said and done, it will have only been a setback but I´d hate for the person to have robbed my trip as well as my stuff. It´s very unfortunate but im trying to look at the brightside of being in a wonderful country with some good friends and of course learn from this experience.

Im sure you´re worried and I´m very sorry and never want to put you through this stuff. Im heading out to grab food and run those errands and will be back in a couple hours to check my email should you want to get in contact.

Love and best wishes with head held high,


Anyways, would this get in our way of having a good time? No way! We still had our train tickets and would head out to  Pamplona to meet a fellow photographer, Adina. This would be a challenge as we had only facebook to communicate with her.

We try to get some stuff in order such as going to the police station and such. Our train was scheduled to head to Pamplona later that evening. Tim and I run around trying to get a new temporary passport so I can leave Europe after the trip while Jason waited patiently at the hostel while updating friends and family of what was going on. Tim and I arrive to meet Jason only minutes before we had to head out to catch out train. Another close call!

We get into Pamplona later that evening at about 10pm to find that although our huge bump in the road, Adina decided to hope for the best and waited for us at the train station! Awesome! After connection and chatting, we make our way to our hotel, Hotel Blanca de Navarra.


Walking the streets you could smell the spirit of San Fermin. People walking the streets of Pamplona in the required attire, all white and a red sash and bandana. You could smell the fresh sangria from the stains from their shirts and pants. It was crazy to see that pretty much the whole town was wearing the San Fermin festival attire. Adina also clued us in on a couple tips on how to survive the running of the bulls:

Adina’s How To Survive the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona:

  1. Leave Your Man Behind – Unlike the common attitude of leave no man behind. Leave them behind. If your mate falls, keep running. You will not be able to help him as hundreds are running away from bulls while you’d be running towards bulls. No Bueno.
  2. Dress Appropriate – Don’t wear anything that might get caught. Besides, you should be wearing the proper all white and red attire. Wear good running shoes.
  3. Don’t taunt the bulls – Basically, don’t be stupid and try your luck.
  4. No cameras/video – Hide all cameras or camcorders prior to the run. Police walk through and really regulate. If they catch you with a camera/camcorder, they will probably kick you out.
  5. Don’t be drunk or an idiot – Doesn’t need explanation. Again, they will kick you out.
  6. Fireworks 1,2,3  – First fireworks means the first bull is out of the cage. Second firework means the last bull is out of the cage. The third firework means all bulls have made it into the arena (i.e. get your butt into the arena before they lock you out).
  7. Play Dead – Contrary to popular belief, bulls are color-blind. They respond to movement (Jurassic Park Much?). This means, if you fall, stay down and move away when the bull isn’t looking (in the arena). If you fall during the run, stay down and try to roll off to the side (so you don’t get trampled on).
Date: 7/12/11

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