Venezuela – Pt2

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Venezuela

After riding the bike all over the little roads of the peninsula which turned out to be a lot of fun, I continued my trip along the coast. The beaches of the peninsula were really nice but I had been spending over a month on along the Caribbean so I felt more like riding than being a lazy beach bum. Before leaving the peninsula I had to gas up as I wouldn’t have enough gas for long 80 or so km stretch to the main land. I pull in to the gas station and I have the bike filled up. The pump shows 1.15 or so. I’m thinking 115Bs is about the same price for gas as every other country at around 15$ for a tank but I ask the guy anyway. He says 1 Bolivar pls. Now, to make it clear, 1B is about 15 US cents. I ask, 1 Bolivar? He says yes, just over 1B but 1B is ok. So I hand him a 2B bill, I say thanks and I leave in shock. I’m thinking under that I just paid 25 cents for a tank of gas including an 80% tip or so… 😀

On the way out of the peninsula, a cargo truck pulls up and a guy yells something from the driver seat. I smile and wave and keep going. Then a few miles down I see the truck again. I honk, he honks and keep going. Then an hour or so later, I pull in to take a break and the truck shows up. Guy gets out smiling and we start talking. At this point I should also mention that I was running low on the Bs I exchanged at the border so I was kinda desperate to find another buyer at 8 to 1 (the regular black market exchange rate). In other words I was kinda asking around which can be pretty dangerous since all of a sudden, everyone knows you’re carrying dollars. Anyway, so this guy pulls up, we start talking bikes and stuff since he’s also a rider and after exchanging with him 20$, it turns out he’s a cop, and also Venezuela’s general’s son. He has a huge love for bikes and has owned quite a few. He’s also been to Daytona’s bike week many times as he lived in the US a big part of his life. His name is Victor. He says that we’re in somewhat dangerous territory and that as we get closer to Caracas, it’s only getting more and more dangerous. He says that I can follow him and he generously offers me to spend the night at his place in Valencia in his apartment with him and his GF. So for the next 200 or so KM I follow this big cargo truck weaving in and out of traffic, stopping for beers along the way, watching him go through police check stops with beer in his hand. We get to Valencia, have a few more drinks, go out driving in the city with the big truck and without worrying about any drunk driving rules… as they don’t apply to police… 😉 The next day he hooks me up with one of his neighbors to safely exchange dollars 8 to 1. Problem solved, I don’t have to dangerously ask around anymore to sell my dollars. Thanks again for everything Victor!

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From there, I take the atlantic part of Venezuela while bypassing Caracas through the south. Victor had 2 bikes stolen from him at gunpoint. One was in Valencia right in front of his apartment at night and the other one in full daylight in Caracas.

It takes me about 2 days to get to Isla Margarita. Meanwhile, I pass through small towns, stay in cheap hotels and talk to local people.

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Finally I got to Puerto La Cruz. Not much to do there. I jump on the first ferry to get to Isla Margarita.

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I don’t realize, but the lady at the counter who was texting instead of helping me out, she put me in the VIP section of the boat. An extra 8$ I would have rather not spent. Why would I want to be in the VIP?! The boat crossing ended up being about 50$… OUCH!

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The island is separated into 2 parts, the left side is called the peninsula. So I start riding the peninsula part of the island. It’s getting a bit late and there is no sign of place to sleep. I stop at a nice restaurant and after ordering the meal, the owners offer me to pitch my tent in the back of the restaurant on the beach for free. Awesome place to pitch a tent and a safe part of the island. Thanks guys!

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The next morning I ride towards the other side of the island and I stop for breakfast where I meet Jesus and his family. They serve empenadas with fish. Empenadas are deep friend bread made out of corn farina with fish inside. Delicious! Jesus invited me to eat empanadas and didn’t accept money in exchange.

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They literally scoop up the fish to put the paste into the empenadas.

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The 2 ladies making the empenadas. His mother and his sister. The older lady kept blowing her nose to the side right before picking up the empenadas… extra flavor! 🙂

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I rode all over the 2nd part of the island without much luck in finding a suitable place to spend the night. The nicer parts were too expensive, and the other sides didn’t have that much to offer. Dying of thrust, I stop at what seems to be a small bodega at the end of Playa Parguito. There I meet Edgar laying on a chair. I ask him if he has anything to drink and he makes me a pineapple shake on the house.

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Him and his buddy were taking care of a bodega there in charge of saving turtles. That whole part of the beach is basically in charge of trying to save the turtles.

This is what’s done when a turtle comes to lay eggs.

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If you come to the island and you want a nice chill place to stay, you have to visit Playa Parguito. Go to the end of the beach where there is a surf shop. Talk to Che there. He is the white guy in the photo. The darker one is Edgar. Che can hook you up with super cheap surfing, expecially if you negociate the hell out of him, you can pitch your tent there for free on the beach or even sleep in one of the chairs like I did.

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We used my stove to cook arepas. Bread made out of corn flower, water and salt.

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The view from around the beach

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And the beach itself

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My bed for the nights I spent there

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One of the days, I went riding around the island. Took pretty much every road I could. There are some nice mountain roads with forest type vegetation. On the way, I found a small old fort.

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View from the fort

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I spent 3 or 4 nights on the island, kinda lose time when all you do is relax on the beach, eat, drink and smoke some ganja. I then took the ferry back and made sure I didn’t pay the extra VIP fee… Over all, the island didn’t cost me that much since I slept for free on the beach, and all I paid for was food and drinks for me and the guys staying on the beach. Bought some fish, a chicken and that kinda stuff, and we cooked it all there. If you go to the island and want to stay in hotels and the sorte, get ready to fork out some cash though. The Ferry in and out wasn’t that cheap either as it cost me 90$ total. Totally worth it though!

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Comments
  1. E- says:

    Wow, not only Venezuela looks and sounds great, but at those gas prices, it’s worth spend longer time there! 😉 and it seems that you had a really wonderful time!

  2. Vlad says:

    Can you please fedex us some gas please? We are paying almost $1.20/litre in Calgary these days, and we are “lucky”, because 2 weeks ago the price was $1.30!!!

    Can you please post how much costs a litre of gas in Venezuela?

    Anyway, beautiful places, I would drive around like crazy there, just to enjoy the gas price!

    • pimptrix says:

      Yeh, I posted in the first thread about the gas price 😛 It was around 1.5 cents a litre there. In Venezuela, the government actually gives back money to it’s people through subsidizing gas, electricity, free health care, free college and university. It also builds and maintains roads (better than Canada). While in Canada, the GVT subsidizes the large oil corporations so that they steal the oil from below our feet, pollute our land and resell the gas to us at largely inflated prices. Seems fair?

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