19th Mar 2010 - 28th Mar 2010
Right, S last thursday or friday or someday - they are all saturday to me so lets call it saturday. Kind of like a game of 21 with only 7s, we took a nightbus from Manuas in Brazil to Santa Elena just inside the Venezuelan border. Most buses in South America have been really good, and this was no different apart from the fact that we got stopped 5 times by the venezuelan police to show our passports - this is like 5 times in about 100 miles. So I couldnt get any sleep ov. Welcome to fucking Venezuela. All I felt like saying to the police was, Fuck Chavez and your socialist regime!
Anyway we made it to Santa Elena and I was still feelig really sick from when we took the jungle tour in Manaus, and this was 3 days later. I hadnt been eating, or drinking, all I was doing was shitting my stomach out of my body. So I decided to go to the hospital and see if they could get me something. Though I really wasnt too excited about entering a Venezuelan hospital, and the first sound I heard when I got there only added to this feeling. I walk through the door, to the loudest screaming I have ever hear. Not like the screaming a person makes but more like the noise a dying animal makes. Obviously I was like - W T F. So I walk around the corner to where ppl are waitng to be seen. Pop my head aeround the corner and see tis kid being held down by like 6 ppl, hes the one making all the noise - 3 ppl holding his head while a doctor puts a fucking massive needle into his ear. So at this point Im thinking hmm, maybe I should just go, and take my chances. But to cut a long story short it was fine, the kid was just scared of needles, he had fallen out of a tree - his dad filled me in - but i didnt pluck up the courage to ask him if hed fucked an aminal which had given birth to his kid - which would account for the noise he was making?!
So I saw the doc, and he said I had a parasite stomach infection - which Id probably picked up on the amazon river boat, gave me a two week course of pills, and told me not to drink for a week......hmmmm I thought. So obviously this has led to my time in Venezuela being pretty quiet. Im felling better now, but it took another 4 days after I got the pills for me to be back to myself. It was horrible, I didnt eat for almost 5 days, I was sleeping like day and night, completely no energy, even when I was awake i felt like a zombie.
The worst thing about this was the timing. We were in Santa Elena to see the gran sabana and the possibility to trek the tepuis (table mountains). The treak was a 6 day trek and very difficult. Obviously I was really ill so there was no chance of me doing this, and before I came here it was my number 1 to-do in Venezuela - so that sucked balls. I did manage to do a tour of the gran saban though with the others, which was really amazing. The gran sabana is the oldest living place on earth, about 250 million years old, so it was pretty cool. It like a rolling highland - prob the best way to describe it.
After a couple days in Santa Elena it was time for anoter night bus to Ciudad Bolivar. Again with the passports all through the night - with my illness - what a fucking drag that journey was. This was the town from which u go to angel falls (highest waterfall in the world) but because I hadnt been able to change enough money on the black market, I couldnt afford it and still wasnt feeling up to a 2 day trip, so I stayed behind, while the 2 ps and Anne went. It turned out good I didnt go as they said it was so dry it was pretty much pointless - haha unlucky!
So I was stuck in Cuidad Bolivar for 4 days, a shitty little town with nothing to do, not much to see, having a shit time and then......
In 2 days u meet the most interesting person you have ever met, and an extremely hot Venezuelan. By like the second day I was starting to feel better so I went for a little walk around the historical centre, which was really beautiful, and like every town in Venezuela the central square is dedicated to Simon Bolivar (the liberator of Venezuela from the Spanish). So Im sitting in the little square chilling out when all these local school kids on a tour come by, so I decide to follow them as they are visiting the hisorical buildings around. I tag along and this is when I spot a very attractive lady helping the kids stay in line and behave. She sees that Ive been following them, so prob to make sure Im not a pedo she walks over to me and to my amazment in english asks me where Im from. Im like aaaa emmm ohh england I think.... haha. anyway we get talking as the kids get their talk of the building and arange to meet that evening for a drink. score. Amongst other things she tells me that my skin is funny because its soo white. lol
Then the next day I met the most interestig person mentioned above. I was sitting down by the river watching the sunset when a white guy with a massive beard comes walking by, he comes over to me and starts talking to me. Turns out hes a 33 year old new yorker who has been livng in the venezuelan jungle for 12 years, by himself with the indigenous tribes, fucking crazy. I dont even have time to tell u half his story. But he was sent to military school in the states by his parents - he broke out when he was 16, went and lived in some squat in harlem till he was 18, at which point his parent were killed in a car crash - he hadnt seen them since he ran away. After the funeral he decided to come to south america, and has been here ever since. When he first arrived in Venezuela he decided to go and live in one of the favelas (shanty towns) This local guy Terry who had been our driver for our gran saban tour met him at this ime and told him that he was fucking crazy - he was a gringo they would kill him. But somhow he lived there for 2 years, and was shot 3 times. This is when he decided to move deep into the jungle. His knowledge of the jungle was incredible. He also read my palm (ok garreth u have been totally sucked in to this bullshit - i hear u say) and it was amazing - he basically described my personality perfectly - I wont bore u with what he said about my life. Anway the next day i went back to the market and the spent the day with him on his stall where he sells stuff from the jugle, and chatting with his venezuelan friends. Oh yeah he had only come out of the jungle because he had some parasite eating his arm away from the inisde out, and needed treatment.
The last 2 days been in Santa Fe on the Carribean coast, which has been the nicest place yet in Venezuela, but a bit too touristy. Venezuela is a weird country, theres poverty ov, but theres also a shit load of rich ppl. On the roads everywhere is massive american suv´s. Like here in Santa Fe theres loads of massive yatchs and boats of minted Venezuelans on holiday. Also there is hardly an backpackers here. We met a couple from england in Santa Elena, and a nice couple here last night from Cornwall. I went to a nearby island with them today, and did some snorkling, and had some beers, which was nice. And the girl - omg!! Tomorrow Caracus, which is suppossed to be one of the most dangerous cities in south america - Bring it on!
Love G xx
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