We are in Rio Caribe, so far my most favourite place in Venezuela as its a small town, really friendly with loads of character and with so much to do around this region. Its also where I had my first illness of the trip, not bad for getting by 5 months and no scars. It was a bad fever with aches and a nasty cold, reminded me of the dreaded chikunguniya of our trip to Lanka in Dec. But the lovely people at the posada were are staying in (absolutely gorgeous place) took me to a doctor and she got me to test for malaria. Yikes! I was so out of it, but we were so worried, anyway luckily we had bought our own sterile needle kit courtesy of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. If you´re going to travel, dont scoff - buy one, you just might need it!
Test results a nail biting 1 hour later, negative for malaria - phew. But I was out for a good couple of days and sweet Lee was running around being an awesome (and good looking) nurse. Also talk about picking the perfect place to fall ill... Villa Antillana has a garden courtyard, hammocks, airy living room with cable tv, delicious breakfast each morning and two happy dogs. Not to mention a friendly and helpful guy called Emilio who runs it for his architect/artist aunt from Caracas.
Finally felt well enough to leave the posada, though heavily armed with enough tissue to wrap a mummy with. We spent the day with Emilio and his girlfriend visiting natural hot springs called Aguasana where you can dip yourself in wonderful hot water pools, fresh from the earths core - plus cover yourself in some slightly sulphur smelling mud, wait for it to dry and then let it do its´wonders! The thing is, I was still feeling fairly achey and off, and after our day at the springs, I felt so much better. The locals believe that there are so many minerals and good elements in the water and mud that its possible it healed me extra! Hurray.
Today, we took a wonderful boat trip out on the Carribbean sea. The ocean colour is like nothing I have seen before, emerald sea green but also kind of blue. So clear and stunning against the backdrop of jagged mountains filled to the edges with lush green tropical forestry plus an immense number of pelicans! We took a hairy ride over some large waves which made our wooden fishing boat drop a couple of stomach cringing feet - only to arrive at a deserted beach called Pui Pui. The lovely thing is the complete lack of tourists - sure there are locals, but not many and it is just overwhelmingly clear and beautiful. After a couple of hours, our "boat captain" and his "second in command" who were two young chaps, returned to pick us up and seemed to have been indulging in some Sunday afternoon boozing. And they had brought a their girlfriend with them. So we carried on and on to another beach called Medina which is pretty popularbut with more people which made it a bit less enjoyable but all the same, it was beautiful. Plus it was amusing to witness our chaps getting pretty pissed on wine they shared with us and even one falling off the boat smack into the water when trying to get a lighter from one of our friends.
All in all, it was a super day and so wonderful to think we are by the Carribbean coast. Ah, life is sweet.