The Time I Lost ALL My Pictures in Peru

2 Oct

I think that my worst nightmare while traveling (other than the obviously fear of dying or getting seriously hurt) is losing my pictures. If there were a phobia for it, I would have it.

I take SO many pictures. I document pretty much everything and anything I see because I want to hold on to the memories I make as long as I possibly can. Looking through my photos albums brings up so many great memories I’ve had in my travels; memories that I couldn’t form solely off of what I have written in my journals.

Anyway, I went to Huaraz in Peru about a month into my trip. I had well over 1000 pictures by this time.

I had pictures of my first days in Peru exploring the capital.

Peruvian pride in central Miraflores, Lima

I had hundreds of pictures from one of my favourite places in the world – Huacachina (want to know more about Huacachina?), Peru – where I made the most amazing friends.

Frolicking about in Huacachina

I had pictures from my digging days and, particularly, of the first artifact I ever found.

The first artifact I have ever found! A sewing needle!

I had pictures of the beautiful Lagunas Llanganucos in Huaraz.

Lagunas Llanganucos in Huaraz, Peru

I basically just had a shitload of awesome pictures that represented my trip so far (about 5 weeks into 7 weeks).

None of my pictures were backed up onto a computer since I decided not to bring one (I will ALWAYS bring a computer from now on. Stupid, STUPID mistake). My pictures were put onto USB drives, but this didn’t matter since they were in the camera case that I left in Huaraz.

Here’s what happened…. After a great long weekend in Huaraz, my friends and I packed up our bags, headed to the bus station, and hopped onto a 10-11 hour bus to Chimbote, Peru.

Now, I had my camera with me. It was sitting loosely (not in the case) in my shoulder bag with a fresh memory card in it. As I went to look through my pictures I realized that I needed to get my other memory cards that were full of all the pictures I had just taken over the weekend. They weren’t in my day bag. Feeling slightly panicked, I believed that they just HAD to be in my camera case in my big backpack. But, as my backpack was stashed away in the luggage compartment, I knew I had to suck it up and just wait until we got to Chimbote to check.

After a quick check in Chimbote, I couldn’t find my camera case.

Once we arrived back to where we were staying in Nepeña, I did a thorough check through my bags and my friends bags. Nothing.

I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much in my life. I was hysterical. It seems so ridiculous to me now, but I was just devastated.

Not only did I lose ALL my memory cards, but I also lost my camera CHARGER and my USB drives that had all my pictures backed up to them.

I had decided that they were gone forever and pretty much cried myself to sleep. I wasn’t even thinking of ways to try and find them.

Then, my friend Hanne, who I am SO grateful for, decided it was worth a shot to call the hostel and see if they could find it.

They did a quick once over of the room we were staying in and couldn’t find it. My life was over. No, really, I felt like my trip was ruined.

Then, by some miracle, they called back later and said the person cleaning the room found a camera case under the bed!

Now, here’s where I need to tell EVERYONE to go to Jo’s Place if they are ever in Huaraz.

Not only did they work hard to find my pictures, but they also sent the camera case on an overnight bus to Chimbote free of charge! I couldn’t believe it.

A few days later, I got my pictures back.

I have never felt such relief as I felt when I opened the package they sent me.

Complete and utter joy was felt when this package arrived

It’s things like these — acts of kindness like this — that gives me such hope for our world.


4 Responses to “The Time I Lost ALL My Pictures in Peru”

  1. Annette| Bucket List Journey October 3, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Shout out to the hostel! Losing my photos while traveling is a huge fear of mine. Thanks for sharing your experience, because I learned a few things. And happy you got your photos back!

    • Kristy October 4, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks Annette!
      Yeah, it truly was the worst feeling thinking they were gone for good. I was such a downer to everyone around me!
      I still can’t believe how kind the people at Jo’s Place were. Such a great hostel!

  2. Runaway Brit December 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    I am so happy that you got all your pictures back as it’s one of my fears too. I travel with a laptop and upload my pictures to it every day when travelling, then I put as many as I can up on Facebook and my blog and I also back up everything on an external hard-drive! Paranoid? Yes!

    • Kristy December 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Haha thanks! I am SO paranoid now. On my most recent trip around Southeast Asia I bought a netbook JUST so I could upload all my pictures every day and save them somewhere that they could never get erased. Worst fear haha.

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