Monday, 26 November 2012

Mochima onwards

I was up bright and early waiting for the busita to Cumaná. Remember everywhere shuts at 9pm here. But a carrito turned up first so I got that. It was this big, old American heap of a car. There were so many holes in the exhaust that it literally set off car alarms as we went past them. Awesome.

Obviously he dropped me nowhere near the centre of town but he went into great detail about how to catch the bus. So I got a cab. It was 25Bs. Hardly worth hanging about for. The first two hotels were full, but the Hotel Astoria had a room for 150Bs, but they had no power. They told me it would be back at 3pm. It was about 9am at the time. It wasn't just them that had no power. It was the entire town centre. Ahhh, the joys of a socialistic, revolutionary government.

There's a castle in Cumaná that I thought I might check out. It was closed. I'm not sure if it was because it was a Sunday or because there was no power. I think it was the power. The museum was also closed, that was definitely down to the power. However, here's a pic of the castle from the distance plus some ad hoardings for the man who's obviously doing a sterling job of running the place:

So by about 9.30, an hour after I'd arrived, I'd pretty much seen everything. Later in the afternoon the Bar Restaurant Jardin Sport was open and they had power. That sounds quite posh, doesn't it? It wasn't. It was full of men drinking themselves into a stupor on a Sunday afternoon. Still at 7Bs for a tiny, tiny beer, it would have been rude not to join in for a couple.

The power came back on at 2.55pm, so 5 mins early and the hotel had wifi, so I caught up on everything. Next day, I got up early and headed to the bus station. If you've never been to a South American bus station, they're not really like ours. For a start, they don't actually put up timetables, There are about 20 offices of different bus companies, half of them empty and you have to find someone going where you want to go. I found one, bought a ticket and waited for 1.5 hours until the scheduled time. And then another 20 mins until it turned up. The bus picture on the ticket looked all modern. I'm not sure if they have a trade's description act in Venezuela, but the bus didn't look like that. In fact, inside it looked like a mobile padded cell:

Finally after 10 hours, we rolled into Ciudad Bolívar. On arrival, a rep collared me, arranged a cab to a posada, and I'm booked on a 3 day trip to Angel Falls tomorrow. Plus they cooked me chicken and chips with chilli sauce on the side, so I'm easily pleased. Fortunately, it rained a couple of days ago, so there's enough water in the river to get the boat to the falls the whole way. I'm looking forward to it. Most of the reasons to come to Venezuela was the nature side of things and that's finally getting started. 

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