Venezuela

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Venezuela

Venezuela is that country you hear so much about on the news, rarely any positive and don’t hear almost anything about from other fellow travelers. It’s a country off the beaten path with a bad rep. Even talking to people in Colombia, I was asked why I would visit Venezuela since it’s so dangerous.

Personally, I would say that Venezuela is one of the best kept secrets. Anyone bypassing it while doing South America is missing out a great experience…

The border crossing in was one of the easiest yet. No one there trying to make money for helping you out and no huge line-ups. Got the stamp on the Colombian side, got the stamp on the Venezuela side and a few miles down the road the duane people did my bike paperwork… for free and without sending me left and right for all kinds of other papers. Since Canada, it was one of the easiest border crossings. BTW, if you bought bike insurance in Colombia, it seems to be good for ALL South America. I also exchanged 100$ at 7 to 1 at the border (legal exchange being 4 to 1… but we’ll get to that later) just so that I would have some Bolivars.

Driving in, the first difference I noticed from Colombia were the cars. Large old school American cars from the 80s. Big V8 gas guzzlers with large tires and super tinted windows. The kinda cars you still see driving around in US ghettoes by pimps and thugs, only here you’d see old farmers and normal families in them.

I stopped at a small roadside restaurant and ordered shrimp. It was a bit on the expensive side at around 8$ but it was some of the best and largest order of shrimp I’ve ever had. While washing my hands, one of the guys there tells me to watch out for my stuff on the bike and not to trust anyone around there. He had seen that I was a tourist so he thought he’d warn me. I’ve had a few of these warnings before crossing over, but then again, I’ve passed all Central America so I’m used to being somewhat careful.

Back on the bike, I realize that I don’t have much gas left. First gas station I find is closed, second one closed, third one… closed. It seems that they keep gas stations around the border closed in order to avoid gas trafficking. When I’m down to less than 50km left in my tank, I start asking around. A guy sitting on a car by the side of the road in a small town say: “Yes, yes, you need gas, here follow this guy down this road on the right!”. So I was told not to trust anyone earlier and now I’m following a guy down a small road in the back of a small town. The guy has a weird mohawk and looks like he could be part of a gang. We go left and right into a small neighborhood where if I got shot no one would even know and then we get to a small trail. It’s a walking dirt trail leading into the back yard of a house. I say WTF, I’ll just follow him with my hand ready to grab the machete on the right side of my bike. I don’t see any gas canisters till we get way back behind the house. I was starting to wonder where this was going but big relief, there is actual gas. A lady comes out and sells me 3 gallons for 10Bs (about $1.40) and back on the road I go.

Starts to get dark and I find a hotel off the side of the road. Not too sure what to expect. The guy wants 120Bs but I bring him down to 100. I get my private driveway for the bike, a really nice and cozy bed, AC, and about 200 satellite TV channels in a nice cabana. The bathroom even has a but washer by the toilet. Not what I was expecting to find in Venezuela.

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 225

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 229

The next morning, I head out towards the peninsula just east of Coro. The peninsula sits right under Aruba. On the way there, out of nowhere I find myself in the Sahara Desert, but only for a short period of time… Before hitting the peninsula, in front of a roadside store, I met Andri who lived on the peninsula. After talking for not even 5 minutes, he generously offers me to go and stay over at his place.

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 234

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 238

I ride all over the peninsula on nice small roads that seem to lead to nowhere till you hit the ocean shore. In the guide book there were a few paragraphs about kite surfing. It’s one of the best places to do it. Now I wish I would have tried it as it’s also pretty cheap compared to other places, but being new in the country, I was more interested in exploring than doing touristic stuff at that time.

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 274

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 275

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 276

I didn’t realize how time was flying and it started getting dark. Andri’s town was not in my guidebook map or on my GPS and I couldn’t risk riding at night, so I hit up a Posada in this small town.

KLR 650 Trip Colombia 294

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Comments
  1. Familia Quvedo Aldama (Andri) says:

    Stefan …. We read from home your comments on the blog, it seems extraordinary that you have visited the places where you were, because now you will realize that despite all the comments that have been generated around our country, people are finally quiet nothing we care little or extrernas conditions in which our governments are handled … are of one side or the other … just try to live as best as possible and in peace with our environment. My mother always said where is the boy?, where is the boy? Where is stopped? With regard to insecurity, I think that’s good all over the world, and certainly the boundaries tend to be somewhat dangerous. Our village is called The Taques, and is on the Peninsula as I had said, that day we spoke believe that you first came to my house, and following the path of the motorcycle, you step right in front of my house .. . is a necessary path to follow to the beaches of Villa Marina. The choir dunes have years and years there, until now there is no generation that can say when he began the accumulation of sand … if so same as the sahara !!!!, is common practice that is Adicola windsurfing, windy pco deep water and good else you saw your … full of fun. For now we hope things go well and marching ciertamen from here in Venezuela, hope you can complete your journey by America … ! later man will follow and support you ….. ha …… I had forgotten … my English is very bad … COMPADRE LUCK ….

  2. Familia Quvedo Aldama (Andri) says:

    Stefan …. We read from home your comments on the blog, it seems extraordinary that you have visited the places where you were, because now you will realize that despite all the comments that have been generated around our country, people are finally quiet nothing we care little or extrernas conditions in which our governments are handled … are of one side or the other … just try to live as best as possible and in peace with our environment. My mother always said where is the boy?, where is the boy? Where is stopped? With regard to insecurity, I think that’s good all over the world, and certainly the boundaries tend to be somewhat dangerous. Our village is called The Taques, and is on the Peninsula as I had said, that day we spoke believe that you first came to my house, and following the path of the motorcycle, you step right in front of my house .. . is a necessary path to follow to the beaches of Villa Marina. The choir dunes have years and years there, until now there is no generation that can say when he began the accumulation of sand … if so same as the sahara !!!!, is common practice that is Adicola windsurfing, windy pco deep water and good else you saw your … full of fun. For now we hope things go well and marching ciertamen from here in Venezuela, hope you can complete your journey by America … ! later man will follow and support you ….. ha …… I had forgotten … my English is very bad … COMPADRE LUCK ….

  3. santiago says:

    cool….. have fun.

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