Caripe, Venezuela
10° 11' N 63° 29' W
Jun 20, 2004 01:07
Distance 93km

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Text written in: English

To Caripe (19 June 2004)

The following morning we set off early. Not even time for breakfast because that was only from 7:30 AM and I had ordered a taxi for 7:30 AM. When I picked up my parents I saw that the restaurant was open for breakfast because of some excuriosn leaving early from the hotel. So I picked up some sandwiches to take with us and off we were. Destination? The central ferry pier downtown Porlamar.

Buying tickets was a bit of a problem. I queued for the ticket office and just about when it was my turn the office closed. All tickets were sold out for the 9:00 o┬┤clock boat. The next boat would leave at 11:00 AM, but for that one we had to queue in front f another ticket office, opposite this one. There was a long queue already but we all queued behind that one and waited our turn. We had the last three tickets for the boat. The friendly couple behind me with whom I had been chatting with missed the tickets AGAIN and had to wait for the next boat at 13:00.

The crossing was quite interesting to say the least. The boat was small, but cramped with about 48 passengers, not leaving much room to move. The trip took about an hour and was quite choppy. Now and then some water came in through the window, some people were so sick and drunk that they were vomiting, just behind us and the rhythem was not very comfortable. I was happy that we survived the 40 km crossing.

Once on the main land of South America there was a police checkpoint. They wanted to see our passports but thank God I did not have to open all my smelly luggage. Not that there were drugs or weapons in there, but it is just anooying to repack everything again. The landscape looked as barren as Isla de Margarita. Dry and barren. During the trip I was talking with a friendly woman and I told her about my plans where I was going with my parents. She advised to visit a greener part of the country, Caripe. Mmm, a bit sick of more barren places I changed the plan and off we went, to Caripe. It was also mentioned in the guide book and sounded nice indeed.

The old ramshackle minibus looked like as if it was 100 years old and could fall apart anytime. There were just three seats left in the back and they were surprisingl comfortable. The drive was nice but a bit longer than expected, almost three hours. We stopped twice in two small villages for toilet and beer (of course Venezuelans never driver without a Polar beer) and got a nice glimpse of local life in villages that hardly see foreigner. The drive up to Caripe was nice. We saw the landscape change from dry barren coastal flat lands to green and wet mountainous terrain. Nice to see the difference, especially for my parents who were not impressed with the countryside on Isla de Margarita.