by Jose Kevo
April 23, 2004
Posada Turística El Gallo is located a couple of blocks off the historic center in a former colonial ruin which the French expat owner has transformed into a haven as home graciously shared with travelers. There's nine simple rooms; five including private bath running Bs30,000. Four rooms using a pair of shared bathrooms are Bs25,000 for two; Bs20,000 for a single - roughly US$10 for a rare find where you're getting more than you pay for.
Erick, the owner, is an artist with shop in front displaying his sculptures, paintings and handicrafts for sale. More impressively, he's used talents for creating this unsuspecting gem beyond the colonial facade. Rooms have been individually designed/decorated with South America's version of Southwest decor and colors in such a way you don't notice all you've got is a bed, table and chair. The window has latchable wooden shutters opening onto the posada's real bonus.
A double courtyard bookends the open-air kitchen/dining area used by Erick's family with another just off to the side for guests. Above is a second-floor terrace with limited views but relaxing atmosphere. Courtyards are filled with tropical plants, numerous sculptures/designs, a fountain pool, and cages of exotic birds. Completing the at-home feel are numerous tables and chairs and another luxury which helped define my entire trip.
Hammocks are strung along shaded walkways and upper terrace. There's nothing begging one to "chill out" more than these tropical rockers with Erick's lullaby coming from unobtrusive chirping of birds and trickles from fountain. Hours were lost reflecting...sipping on a Polar while gazing across distant cloudless skies; the only thing bluer was the Norah Jones cd appropriately left behind by a visitor as if to provide the finishing touch.
Guests are on the honor system not required to pay until time to leave including self-kept tallies of how many beers, soft drinks you pulled from the cooler costing Bs1,000. Refrigerated water is complimentary.
The entire facility is secured. Room keys must be left when leaving creating the only adjustment guests make. Entry is blocked by a gate with overhead bell to signal when you want in or out; enough to stimulate consciousness for not coming home late, but yet accepted if done.
In addition to tourist information, Erick provides another service which leaves you wondering how/when he gets everything done. For two or more people, he loads up his land rover for taking all-day excursions to mountainous Sierra de San Luis Parque Nacional, or Médanos/Sand Dunes and arid Península de Paraguaná which my next journal details.
If paying in US$, either all-day excursion costs $25 including everything! Anyone visiting Coro can book one of these trips, but based on what you'll find, why would you need or consider staying anywhere else?
From journal Caresses from Coro's Touch of Class