We talked to the guards at the marina. We filed a police report. We offered a reward. But still we had no hope to ever see our beloved Subaru again. Then, two days after it went missing, we got a mysterious email. The long and short of it was that a gringo had seen the car parked in a field for two straight days, and noticing the Montana plates, decided to report it to the Federal Police.

After two grueling days of filing reports, translating car titles, and running all over hell and back, we finally got directions to where our car was being held. It was on the outskirts of La Paz, deep in the desert, and the directions were something about a Virgin Mary, a curve in the road and a small boat. And there she was, sitting in that dusty junkyard amid the rusting bodies of a thousand other stolen cars that weren’t worth the 1000 peso towing fee.

They hadn’t stolen the battery or stripped her of her tires, and her stereo remained in place. They did, however, take the tattered US road atlas, some bedsheets, and the car manual. They also unzipped our travel Scrabble set, opened the sack and stole three quarters of the letters. I haven’t checked, but they probably left all the i’s, n’s and u’s. Those heartless bastards.

So we hope this is the end of this bizarre turn of events, the lantern’s curse fading into memory and story. The cops, inefficient and inept as they were, at least turned out to be honest, as far as we can tell. And the thieves, well, at least they didn’t set the car on fire, so that was cool of them. And strangers offered to drive us to the border. And friends offered to drive from Montana to rescue us. So our faith in humanity was once again renewed, and we were reminded that despite the prevalence of assholes that are out there, the good people still out number them by far.

Our greatest heartfelt thanks go out to Mary and Yolanda at Marina de La Paz who helped us with translating, dealing with the police, and dogsitting Wylie while we drove around town trying to save the Suby.