2008 Roadtrip Scam and Robbery in Cochabamba, Bolivia

The wind has been taken out of our sails somewhat. I was robbed in a scam on the street in front of the gate for Hotel La Colonia, Calle luis Mostajo No. 100 esq. Atahuallpa, Cochabamba, tele (591-4)450-300, e-mail: reservas@lacoloniahotel.com, web: http://www.lacoloniahotel.com/.

I fell for a scam in our last city: Cochabamba. I was sitting in the car on the street, guarding all of our stuff in the car, while Dimitri went inside a hotel to check out the suites (they turned out to be weird). I had opened the passenger side window somewhat. Two men walked by. They were talking excitedly. One comes to the car window and says, in Spanish, fire, get out. I got out of the car and there was something in the tail pipe, burning. I turned to lock the car before going for help and one of the men tried to keep me away from the car. I got free and locked the car (but the window on the passenger side is still half open). Then I went into the hotel reception (which was through a big gate that we couldn't drive into with the bikes on top of the car) to get help. People from the hotel got a stick to get what turned out to be a small bit of burning paper out of the tailpipe. By this time, Dimitri was walking back. We went to the car and discover my purse, my carry bag and our lunch box were gone.

Of course our new Pentax Optio (that we had shipped in February 2008 from the States to Buenos Aires when the camera we bought in LA stopped working) was gone. Also gone are our cell phone, 2 credit cards and various other difficult to replace items. Afterwards, I recognized all the signs of a scam that I didn't absorb at the time.

We didn't stay at that hotel; we went back to Portales Hotel instead. We spent the rest of the day in foul moods.