Such amazing adventures unfold when you live life with little planning.
Tired of sweating all day, and all night, I decided to sleep on the beach here in Barcelona, two nights ago. Had to wait ’till the police cleared everyone off, the sand grooming machines gone, everyone returned to settle in for the night.
I fell to sleep to the sound of waves at my feet, and a solo trumpet playing a few dozen meters behind me. At 3:00 am, I woke to a light rain on my face. I was not worried until the lightning strikes were visible in the foreground. With the majority of patrons in this open air hostel, I packed my blankets and walked back toward my borrowed flat, to the patter of rain drops on the sand.
Not far from my resting spot, I noted a woman’s purse, unattended. I looked to a couple sitting ten meters to my front. They shrugged. I took it with me. The next morning I opened it to find a novel in English, a Spanish ID card, a bank card, eye glasses, a number of pencils, pens, and a sketchbook filled with wonderful sketches and drawings.
I worked for two hours to locate “Carla Besora”. I found her address an hour north of Barcelona, a few tickets stubs to know she was in the area the same day I discovered her bag. A Google search confirmed photos with the ID card.
I called Carla’s number in Brussels, as given in the notebook, but it was switched off. I contacted the company which hosted the photos I found via Google. They denied knowing her. I confirmed what I saw in Google images, wrote again, and directly referred to the photos on their website.
“Ah! Yes! We interviewed her last year! Good investigation work! I will email her your contact information.” Two hours later, I received a phone call. It was Carla. She was so excited that I had found her bag. As is standard in Barcelona, it was nabbed while she was sitting on the beach, cash removed, and then dropped only a few meters distance.
Carla came to meet me yesterday evening. She is an illustrator, and that notebook contained all her ideas for the past several months. As a gift for my effort, she presented me with one of her books, a beautiful, rich journey through an iconographic story without words.
I encourage you to visit her work at cargocollective.com/carlabesora
What an adventure, unplanned!