Posted on June 3, 2013
I am here, in Venezuela and so far so good. Actually, everything feels pretty normal and I didn’t encounter any problems. The bus ride from Santa Marta was long and sleepy. There were only 8 people in the bus, so there was plenty of room to choose my own seat. Not bad for a 20hour ride. I managed to see La Guajira desert from the bus, so that was pretty exciting. Guys go there if you’ll have some extra days after visiting all the popular places around Santa Marta. And I also have to mention that nothing happened to us after crossing the border which is one of the most dangerous municipalities and the British government doesn’t recommend to travel there.
The border between Colombia and Venezuela looked very dodgy. On the Colombian side is a city called Maicao and it’s a kind of place where you don’t want to be after dark. When we were on the way to stamp our passports the bus driver scared me. He asked me if I had any kind of invitation letter or proof of what I am going to do in Venezuela. I said that no and he gave me some weird looks and said that the American or British tourists have troubles crossing. I mean… I am from Slovakia. It made me kind of nervous though, so I decided to make up a story about dreaming to see the Angel waterfall since I was child, which was kind of true. To my big surprise, the officers didn’t have any problem at all, they just found my country on the list and stamped my passport. Bienvenida a Venezuela!
Few minutes later, a young policeman entered the bus and went straight to me. He had a big gun which made me nervous again. I just hate to see the guns. He sat next to me and while checking my passport he told me that he was tired. After looking at my nationality he handed it to me and said: “Toma, mi amor” – which means “Here you are, my love”. Such a typical expression for Venezuela, it made me feel like I knew this place from before 🙂
While waiting at the bus station in Caracas for my friend Tomas, I ordered the most typical food “arepa”. It’s a flatbread made of ground corn dough or cooked flour filled with egg – that was my choice, you can have it with whatever you want. I drank guayaba juice with it and the world was much better (especially after the long bus ride).
Venezuelans have a fame of being very talkative and they didn’t let down their reputation from the beginning. Several bus drivers came to great me and wished me safe travels in their country. Nice! After a while I met with Tomas who I met in Ecuador during the surf world championship. Tomas was my guide through the whole day and after some practical things that we had to organize (changing money) in Caracas, he brought me to the coast, where I am right now, in La Guaira.
Caracas is another huge city that has a terrible reputation. I read somewhere that it is the 3rd most dangerous city in the world. It seemed pretty normal during the day, but I was told by everyone that I shouldn’t walk there at night. I won’t do that, I am actually not planning to spend my time there at all. I have to highlight though, that the metro in Caracas seems to be working very well, it’s in a very good shape and clean! What a shock to see such a clean metro, especially when the streets are full of garbage.
The evening in La Guaira was like a scene from the 80ties. There is something about this place, that once used to be very touristy and popular and now it’s living from the old fame. Some buildings are abandoned and falling apart, but it still has it’s own beauty with locals sitting in the small bars and playing cards. And the sunset was incredible. I didn’t have my camera with me today, but I promise to take photos tomorrow and share with you.
There is only one image I can share now: Yes, there is toilet paper in Venezuela! 🙂