Angles (just west of Girona center) and parked our van square in front of the entrance to the sports center while we took off for a three-hour ride. When we returned wet and frozen from an 18km descent in the rain, we found that the passenger-side window of our van was broken. My heart sunk. Then it sunk even further when Jonas tried the doors and they were all unlocked.
We opened the doors to find that everything had been ransacked. They had gone through everything of ours and took a bunch of stuff like BOTH our laptops, our new fancy camera with both lenses (and all hookups, accessories, toys that went with all these electronics). All my articles including a super important one to me on women in cycling (that took 12 interviews and a bunch of research to complete and was in its final editing phase), my book that i've been writing, and a bunch of other stuff that had not been backed up is all lost forever. Also, all our photos that we've collected over the years are lost. Jonas took a major hit as well with his Garmin stuff, saved favorites and a bunch of other stuff. They even took my passport and my favorite pair of sunglasses. bugger.
There is absolutely no way they will catch the thieves. When the cop asked around the sports center if anyone saw anything suspicious or even heard our car alarm blaring for a couple of hours, nobody saw nor heard anything. No surprise. Further reality is that when you're robbed, don't expect the CSI treatment. They take no fingerprints and do absolutey nothing to find the culprits. Nothing.
Sadly we probably could have avoided it by telling each other that we felt unsafe in the area BEFORE we left the van alone to go for a bike ride. But neither one of us wanted to appear to be a "racist." Damn. From now on, we promised each other to express our concerns to each other no matter how insensitive it makes us look. I tried to ignore my instinct by replacing it with thoughts that i was just being a racist for thinking that way and that people who exercise are well-adjusted and don't steal. That experience really made us feel like the naive tourists that we were - vulnerable and violated are horrible feelings to have.
Immediately after we opened the van doors, I sprinted the few meters to the police station and fell as i tried to dismount in sand and got bruised all over to add insult to injury! I tried to immediately open the door to the station to talk to the guy sitting just behind the desk but the door was LOCKED! Even more strange was when he told me that nothing like that ever happens in Angles - then why was the door to his station locked, i asked. And all this was said in Catalan. The guy spoke NOT EVEN ONE WORD of Spanish.
After Jonas and i attempted to file a police report in the neighboring town of Santa Coloma we drove to the nearest major store parking lot with shops like Media Markt, Decathlon and McDonalds to sit for the night. With a broken window on a Friday night we were not able to leave the van until Monday. Every time a slight wind would rattle the thin piece of plastic we taped over the absent window, the two of us would jump out of our chairs while adrenaline pumped through our veins.
which is why we took a whole 3 1/2 weeks to get the training done - almost a full week longer than our intended trip...and it felt good to be under the warm sun the whole time! (Coincidentally, the only day it rained was when we were robbed) Most days it was almost 30°C and sunny - a real treat for me after having spent months and months in dark, dreary Belgium - aside of course for our mini stint in Cyprus for Tour of Cyprus which was also an amazing trip.