The Day My Purse Was Stolen, and Lessons Learned

In Cusco, my purse was stolen, with everything in it. Here's what happened, what I gained from being prepared, and what mistakes I made along the way.

The Day My Purse Was Stolen, and Lessons Learned The Day My Purse Was Stolen, and Lessons Learned

The Pilgrimage to Huchuy Qosqo in Peru

The day-long trek from Cusco to Huchuy Qosqo is filled with history, beauty, and adventure. Check it out!

The Pilgrimage to Huchuy Qosqo in Peru The Pilgrimage to Huchuy Qosqo in Peru

Climbing Pachatusan, and Taking Refuge in a Quechua Home in Peru

The plan is a 2-day trek up mount Pachatusan in Peru; the reality is an adventure we could never have imagined, and a completely unique experience.

Climbing Pachatusan, and Taking Refuge in a Quechua Home in Peru Climbing Pachatusan, and Taking Refuge in a Quechua Home in Peru

The Day My Purse Was Stolen, and Lessons Learned

by Nora Dunn on December 18, 2014

Whilst in Cusco the other day, a taxi driver made off with my purse, with everything – everything – in it. Here’s what happened, what I gained from being prepared, and what mistakes I made along the way.

 

Haggling With a Taxi Driver

After a day of shopping in Cusco with some friends, we were ready to take a taxi back to the spot where we could catch a colectivo (bus) to Pisac. We hopped into the first taxi we saw (taxis in Cusco are everywhere, but also fairly unregulated, marked by little more than red and white reflective stickers on the sides of private cars, and certainly without meters).

I was in the front seat; before shutting the door, I quickly confirmed with the driver (in Spanish) what the rate would be. To get just about anywhere in Cusco costs 3 soles (about $1). We were going a very short distance, so when he quoted us 4 soles and wouldn’t budge on his price even when I said I knew it should only cost 3 soles, we said thank you and got out of the taxi in search of a better rate.

At this point, you might say “Nora! It’s only 1 sol: a mere 40 cents! Was that such a big deal?” No. It’s not a big deal in the grander scheme of things (and in retrospect I traded 1 sol for a whole lot more). But on the principal of the matter, I don’t like to be ripped off just because I’m a foreigner. (See also: How Tourists Cripple Local Economies)

 

That’s When It Happened

So there we were, bolting out of one taxi and looking for the next. Less than a minute later, I realized in the hustle that my purse was gone. When I gathered my bags to leave the taxi, my purse must have slipped off my shoulder (whether or not aided by the taxi driver is unknown) and remained in the front seat.

“Oh my god – my purse is gone!” I said in a panic.

We looked to the taxi in question, screeching away from the curb. We ran after the taxi, which was quite evidently making a getaway, running through red lights. Four wheels are better than two legs, so in the end, the taxi got away.

I stood there on the busy street, shocked. I’ve never lost my purse before (I’m usually so very careful). I couldn’t believe what happened. I searched my bags to see if my purse was somehow inside one of them, which of course it wasn’t.

I had just been robbed.

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A Week-In-The-Life of Emma: Sailing Around the World

by Nora Dunn on December 15, 2014

BioEmma quit her job as a teacher in Portugal to sail around the world, recording music in a small boat studio along the way. So far, sail yacht Bloodshot has sailed from Lisbon to Morocco, the Canaries, and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. (Editor’s Note: this triggers my own memories of Sailing the Caribbean). This week-in-the-life documents her continued journey as the boat presses on towards the more intrepid waters of Venezuela and Colombia.

 

Day 1: Sunday

10am:We have decided to leave Curaçao in a generally Western direction tomorrow, so it’s off to the immigration office to check out of the country. We’ve always got one eye on the forecast, and the next few days show calm winds and small seas. A perfect time to round the notoriously rough Punta de Gallinas in Colombia on our way to San Blas. There might even be time for some Colombian exploration.

Boat

12am: Arrive immigration office. Pose for pictures being taken for the Curaçao immigration website: immigration officer is really friendly and gets the giggles when we are posing for our photos. Quick trip to the supermarket for eggs, vegetables and custard creams, in case we don’t get to a supermarket for a while. Willemstad is an interesting city. The big banqueting halls, where you can get a massive lunch for five dollars, look particularly appealing.

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The Pilgrimage to Huchuy Qosqo in Peru

by Nora Dunn on December 8, 2014

Following a two week plant medicine retreat in October where I explored my inner world, a few friends and I then explored our outer world in Peru with a pilgrimage along the Inca trail to the Incan ruins of Huchuy Qosqo. There is so much to discover in the Peruvian Andes, and with a place to call home here in Peru, I’m doing so slowly, getting the chance to explore areas and aspects of Peru that not many tourists ever get to see.

 

The Magic of the Inca Trails

The Inca empire is reputed to start from Coricancha, the Courtyard of Gold, in Cusco. This is the spiritual heart of Cusco, and considered the navel of the Inca empire.

Mystical and spiritual theories suggest that Coricancha is located where it is because it is the energetic centre of the area, with energy lines emanating outwards for hundreds of kilometers. Along these energy lines are trails with landscape features, ruins, and temples, close and far away, including some that I’ve visited such as Moray, Maras, Machu Picchu, and many (many) more.

 

The Trek to Huchuy Qosqo

Our trek followed a line with a direct easterly path from Coricancha to Huchuy Qosqo. Although you can probably muscle through it in 5-6 hours, we took closer to 9 hours to enjoy the walk with lots of little rest stops along the way.

On the trail, overlooking Cusco

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