Caracas Journals

Venezuela though new eyes

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A December 2004 trip to Caracas by onesundaymorning

Rocks  Photo, Caracas, Venezuela More Photos
Quote: A few days in Venezuela

Venezuela though new eyes

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Overview

The Beach Photo, Venezuela, South America
Quote:
I constantly say that there are very few places that I wouldn’t go, and until December 2004, Venezuela ranked very high on that list. With Venezuela ranked the murder capital of the world, making the State Department’s list travel advisory list, and just a month after the re-election of Bush (people I met in various parts of my pre-election travels had very informed opinions who I should vote for) and the controversial re-election of Chavez, I arrived in Venezuela prepared for the worst. The port where my ship docked was in La Jolla. A place where we were informed before debarking was in pirated waters and, within moments of getting off the ship, I saw an Interpol car sitting in the parking lot and I...Read More

Costal Explorer

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Story/Tip

Rocks  Photo, Caracas, Venezuela
Quote:
Squeezing 10 people into the back of a truck, we set off into the Venezuelan jungle for what our tour guide called "costal explorer." We drove though La Jolla and were given told a little about the history. In 1999 there was a horrible flood where 30,000 people went missing. Still to this day the damage that was done to the city can be seen. Five years later areas that were hit are still waiting to be declared by the government safe to rebuild. Many of the stops that we made were in areas that couldn’t be found on maps and the name was never divulged to us. The first stop was in the village in the middle of nowhere. We were taken to see Peppy, the town monkey. He was chained to a tree and looked si...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2007

Colonia Tovar

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Story/Tip

Tovar  Photo, Caracas, Venezuela
Quote:
Nestled in the hills in the Central Mountains, Colonia Tovar takes you out of the beauty of South America and makes you feel like you have entered the Black Forest of Germany. The nearest city, Caracas, is 60km away. Although Tovar seems much like Germany, this is no accident. Germans founded it in 1843. German immigrants arriving in Venezuela were quarantined to the coast after diseases broke out on their ship. Once the quarantine was lifted, the Germans moved into the mountains to avoid the locals who were hostile to them. Until recently, the town has remained isolated in the hills.Arriving at the entrance of the city, we saw horse-drawn carriages on the sides of the road. The houses had beauti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2007

Mount Avila

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Attraction

Mount Avila Photo, Caracas, Venezuela
Quote:
“Dead Man’s Path”: Anytime that I see a sign indicating that I’m soon to die, I know that it will be a good day. My group made the wise decision to stay away from the paths but, even still, we had a great deal of fun at Mount Avila. Just a note on the hiking, I was informed that these paths can be strenuous, hence the name. The paths go in various directions and go all the way from the top to the bottom of the mountain, while others wind around the top. Most of the sign are in Spanish. Many places offer tour guides who go to Mount Avila, so if you aren’t fluent in Spanish or an avid hiker, I would avoid the paths or get a tour guide.Mount Avila around Christmas time is beautiful. Coca-Cola seems ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 27, 2007

Mount Avila

Caracas, Venezuela

Caracas

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Story/Tip

Buildings Photo, Venezuela, South America
Quote:
Before arriving in Venezuela, I heard enough bad things to make me reconsider what I was going there for. Only a month before Chavez won a very controversial election (think Bush-Gore election of 2000), Venezuela was one of the countries on the State Departments list of places not to travel to, and the airports were an area to avoid due to recent terrorist related activates. My ship was scheduled to arrive in La Guaira only four days after leaving Brazil. Warnings were broadcasted along the PA systems and during pre-port meetings. “Don’t talk politics to anyone”, “after 9pm cars don’t stop for anyone; it’s to dangerous,” and “under no circumstances never venture near the favelas.” On top of that came ...Read More