Sarah: Lost and stolen

When I told my Mum that I’d lost my specs at Maya Pedal, her response was something along the lines of “Well, when you think how long you’ve been travelling, it’s surprising you haven’t lost more stuff”.  Huhwhat?  I replied with a comprehensive list of the many, many things we’ve lost along the way, which apparently had both of my parents doubled up with laughter.  I include it here that you, too, might have some amusement at our expense.

Losses can be good.  They make you realise that actually, you can live without that particular item, thereby lightening your load and your heart.  Or they give you an excuse to buy something new, and hopefully, better.  On the other hand, they can be just plain annoying and inconvenient.  It rained ALL DAY the day after Tom’s goretex – which had not been used in the previous 5 or 6 months – disappeared.  I had to have my eyes tested in Spanish!  Luckily for me it was words and numbers; I don’t actually know how to say my letters!

I have decided that losses can be broadly divided into two categories: predictable losses, and random acts of the universe.

Predictable losses include the things that were always going to happen: the bar bag lid that is known to flip open; mirrors that certain nameless people refuse to tape to helmets despite spousal prompting; things that are not securely fastened to the bike (anything that can rattle off, will rattle off, eventually); donkeys who leap out of bar bags multiple times before making their final dash for freedom (Eeyore, we miss you!).  I get annoyed with us about these losses, and believe they should prompt system changes (my bar bag now has a string with carabiner to keep it closed and my water bottle is currently tied on with a bit of elastic).

In our case, the “stolen” list could also be considered predictable losses as these were things that we had left on the bikes while camping in a clearly dodgy area.  In my defence, I had fully intended to take my helmet into the tent but somehow got side-tracked and forgot.  As to Tom’s goretex, it might be best if I refrained from comment in view of my own extensive list!

Random acts of the universe include those things that just somehow disappear, in most cases we don’t even know how or where. I guess they go into that black hole that contains all the world’s missing socks.


  • 1 pack towel (drying on the bike)
  • ?4 water bottles (in cages but not actually tied on)
  • 1 solar panel (held on by bungee cord only)
  • 1 cycle computer (broken base plate, so not clicked on properly – new one taped on!!)
  • 1 ipod recharger (bar bag lid flipping open over bumps – now tied closed)
  • 2 mirrors (not taped to helmet)
  • 1 bicycle pump (known broken elastic)
  • 1 spork (left drying by the sink of a youth hostel grrrrr)
  • 1 stuffed purple donkey
  • 1 pee rag

About those water bottles….. ahem….. yes they were all mine and yes I’ve really lost count.   Does anyone else have this problem?  They just keep leaping out of the cage.  Or the cage breaks.  I’ve intermittently attached them with inner tube but it breaks and then there’s an interim period where I’m too lazy to fix the problem until I lose yet another bottle…..

  • 1 pocket knife
  • 1 pack cover
  • 1 cap (but apparently it made me look like a Japanese golfing lady anyway)
  • 1 bike helmet with mirror attached
  • 1 goretex jacket
  • 1 packet ibuprofen
  • 4 tent pegs
  • 3 sporks
  • 3 sea pearls
  • 2 onya shopping bags
  • 1 wallet containing a credit card and about $200 US
  • a second credit card! (left in an ATM in Costa Rica)
  • 1 beanie (didn’t come back from the laundry)
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 1 head torch
  • 1 sun hat (but it was the ugliest hat in the world anyway)
  • 1 pair of spectacles


  1. Your analysis is right, it’s a reminder of how little we truly need. With theft, to save myself from getting angry Ive been known to say, ” now it’s with someone who must need it more than I”
    Now just to balance out this wonderfully zen and unmaterialistic musing, I’d like to announce- I just bought my first ever dwelling today, and at auction no less! It turned out that waving the little red paddle in the air as the number got higher and higher, was surprisingly effortless, perhaps even easier than playing monopoly.

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