Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sign here for toilet paper

I just wanted to mention that though we have been on holiday for the past 6 months, its not to say that I havent been reading up on the world or following certain stories and conflicts with great interest. There has been a great deal of thinking going on. And this story I just found on the BBC News website is exactly the kind of thing I believe is happening all too often.

Fear mongering, manipulating scare tactics and red neck crazy talk is starting to be marketed by governments to their people, in the name of national security. Soon we wont be able to shit without getting prior clearance from the Defence Department. What the hell is wrong with people? Are we that gullible? The residents of Sydney, Australia have been told to ¨pack a survival kit to prepare for a terrorist attack or a natural disaster¨.

What a load of bollocks.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back west!

So our time in Rio Caribe has ended though it filled us with really happy memories. What a lovely place and I would highly recommend Posada Villa Antillana as the most wonderful place to stay, not to mention the incredibly warm hospitality we were lucky enough to experience. Thanks Emilio!

While we were out there, we managed to find our way to another beautiful and completely deserted beach called Playa Loero - spent the day in the sun, playing frisbee and swimming in the clear ocean.

We also managed to get to another town called San Juan de los Galdonas a few days later to visit a turtle hatchery, the tour was a bit of a joke/farce though as the guy who ran it was more interested in showing off how known he was in the town. He ran a posada called Tres Calabresas and it seems he wanted us there more for the stay and the money than the actual tour. So we saw nothing as far as turtles were concerned, though we got to talk to the cool biologist there who said the turtles who lay the eggs from the wild measure over 1.7 metres in length!!!

On our way back the next day, we visited the Hacienda Bukare which is a cacao farm a.k.a. organic chocolate hacienda. Drool. It is very old, having been started in 1908, but currently owned by the same people who ran Villa Antillana where we were staying in Rio Caribe. It was an pretty yet old cottage, in the middle of a cacao farm and they gave us a really fascinating tour of how they make chocolate. Complete with tastings... yum yum yummmee. They make pure dark chocolate, ranging from 50% to 100% pure! We tasted so much, Lee and I got headaches later, but it was worth it. Mmm chocolate headaches.

Now we are back in CumanĂ , doing day trips to the lovely Parque Nacional Mochima with its´secluded beaches only accessible by boat and hopefully going to visit some other beaches and a famous cave, before we hop on a flight to Los Roques this weekend - a paradise of islands off the coast of Venezuela!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fever, mud baths and boat trips

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.