Monday, January 6, 2014

From Caracass to Ciudad Bolivar and Canaima (16.12.2013 - 17.12.2013)

The second day in Venezuela Joel an Patrick arrived and our money problems where solved ;). The next problem was our transport to Ciudad Bolivar. After 2h of waiting and some phone calls later we where squashed in a tiny Nissan for the 8 hours journey. We where overtaken only once, as our driver was speeding like hell. Up to 170km/h on potholed streets into the dusk in a little car without working seat belts. Not that they would have much helped...
We knew that gasoline was subsidised and therefore cheap. But when our mute driver paid at the gas station we where in for a surprise. For 2 Bolivar, with the official rate around 33cents or 2cents on the black market, he got 10 litres of gasoline, ridiculous! At the same gas station we paid 30 Bolivares for 2 bottles of water, at another one they had only soft drinks... Later he told us that if your car runs on gas it is even free o_O. Venezuela has a lot of oil, but you have to keep in mind that the government has to import the gasoline as hey don't have their own refineries.

The next day we took a Cessna airplane to fly further south to Canaima. Which was a great experience, I had the seat in the front next to the pilot ^^
We were part of a lager group, with guide and everything. Not something we usually do, but the only way to see the Salto Angel without shelling out too much cash. After arriving we headed to the lagoon with its red water. The water gets its color from the red rocks in the riverbed. We saw the three waterfalls from the front and then passed through one of them behind. Quite a wet activity ;)

The little village/camp was quite in the evening so we headed to bed early to be rested for our trip up river the next day.