The airline was good and located the bags. They promised to get them to us in 48 hours. The challenge was that we were leaving for Chile in 24 hours time, on a bus for a trek in Patagonia for 7 days. We could not miss the bus because there were a whole series of on connections planned. The airline would not deliver the bad to another country. We momentarily seemed stuck!
The solution was speed shopping. To compound the problem the shops would only be open for 2 hours before we left for our trek. We had 2 hours of shopping to replace as many items as possible. I have learnt, when going on trips to remote places, to fly in my walking boots and carry my waterproofs and duvet jacket. So we each had the absolute minimal kit, but beyond that almost nothing. It can be difficult to quickly buy things like socks and underwear – let alone mountaineering equipment.
The result: we went trekking with very, very small bags! The weather to start was awful, but it settled down and it was a fabulous trip. The lesson: most of the stuff that seems absolutely essential is not required.