After much pondering I decided to take the advice of a friend and not think about whether I should blog or not, but just do it. I also took a little inspiration from a fellow traveller who has recorded his way around most of the world, you can see his story here . Whether I’ll get past this one or do anymore is anyone’s guess. I’ve had this website for a while now but never really done much with it so better that the £28 domain name gets used for something. Perhaps those who are interested in my adventures will appreciate it…
I arrived in Caracas, Venezuela late on Saturday night. It didn’t take long to find Pedro who took me to a friend’s apartment in Los Palos Grandes. For those who don’t know Caracas is infamous for its horrendously high murder rates and its shocking number of muggings and robberies. It sits proudly atop the league tables for these so midnight wasn’t the ideal time to be carrying everything I needed for the next 10 months on my back. However, I arrived in one piece and am currently still intact. In fairness, most of the crimes take place in the ‘barios’, the slum like areas of the city which needless to say, I avoided.
I spent a few days in Caracas, saw a few of the sights, enjoyed the beneficial exchange rates and then jumped on a flight to Ciudad Bolivar. Ciudad Bolivar, named after Simon Bolivar aka the Libertador, is a city in the Lower Orinoco region of Venezuela. Bolivar is a bit of a national hero here and the man who won independence for Venezuela, along with several of the other countries in this part of South America. The colonial centre was colourful, picturesque and really, really hot. It also sits on the Orinoco and is home to the only bridge across this 2,140km long river. Posada Don Carlos was home for the night and what a hostel it was, set in a former mansion and with a fridge full of 50p beers, it had all I needed!
From there it was a 15 hour, overnight bus to Santa Elena de Uairen where I write this now. Santa Elena is a much smaller town just 10 miles north of the Brazilian border and the main place for people wanting to explore the Gran Sabana and Mount Roraima (why I’m here). It is also close to a number of diamond mines, you can read more about that here. Incidentally the apartment where I stayed in Caracas belongs to the author of that article, Girish. He does a far better job of explaining this place than I can!
I’m keeping this brief, more of an introduction as I don’t want this to become a diary of what I had for breakfast and when I brushed my teeth. It also seems like I haven’t done a lot so far, although I have travelled the length of Venezuela, some 800 miles.
Until the next time, if there is one…saludos!