Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Coro, Venezuela

VENEZUELA | Saturday, 6 February 2010 | Views [328]

Costs pp: bus from Maracaibo (airconditioned small bus) 45vef, apparently a non-airconditioned one is 5vef less - 4 hours. Local bus 1.5vef. Dorm beds at La Casa De Los Pajaros www.casadelospajaros.com.ve 40vef. Shared cars that run on certain routes 1.5vef. Hamburger on the street 15vef. Great meal at El Sol restaurant one block back 28vef.

We had to be up and out of our 'Love Hotel' by 8am so it was a good way to get us on the road early. The journey was pretty boring, the landscape dry and scrubby. The lady at the bus station had said the journey was 2.5 hours but she obviously has never gone to Coro, we thought the price was a bit high but for 4 hours it fits in our calculations for a ride on a good bus of 10vef per hour more or less. At least this bus had the airconditioning set at 21 so we didn't freeze and although Kent still hated the music it wasn't blaring our ears off.

At the Coro bus terminal we rang our couchsurfing friend from Maracaibo as agreed and he said he was coming to town and picking us up to take us out for the afternoon. He was staying an hour and a half away so that was really cool of him, we agreed to meet at the local McDonalds at 2pm. It was now nearly 1pm so we raced off to find a bus to the Centro Historico and with the help of some locals found our way to a hostel mentioned in the LP guide. We never use LP hostels as they usually increase their prices just because they are in there. This time we had to race so didn't have the leisure of walking around to find a room, anyway the hostel price is average for Venezuela with double private room being 140-160vef. We took 2 dorm beds at 40 each, not quite as good a deal as Hotel Fantasy but a bit more respectable. It's a nice hostel with free WI-FI, happiness is free WI-FI didn't you know.

So we got booked in, jumped in and out of the shower and raced off to take a shared car to MacDonalds arriving at 2.05pm how's that! Are we amazing or what! An hour later Julio and his friend David arrived in his brand new huge black Jeep with picnic and drinks in the back. Is this man from our dreams !!!... They took us out onto the pennisular, a huge 100 by 120km bit of land sticking  out into the sea beyond Coro (look at the map at the bottom of this story and you will see it). At the beginning of the peninsular we crossed some huge dunes and got out to climb them, no pics because the wind was quite fierce and would have blown the sand into the camera. These dunes move with the wind and the road has to be remade when it gets covered.

The peninsular is a Zona Libre or Free Zone where you can go and buy goods and not have to pay import tax on them. At the end of the peninsular is 2 huge oil refineries which are the largest in the world. We didn't get to see them but we went to the beach and drank cocktails and watched Julio and David swim in the waves. We were a bit shattered and just lay in the sun and rested, it was windy but fun. The wind was being utilized by a dozen or so wind and sail surfers out in the bay, later J & D took us over to where they were and there was a surf school there and lots of cool looking people wandering about.

In the small town we wandered through an area of restored colonial housing and along a sheltered beach where, even as the darkness fell, people were in the ocean.

Next day was a fairly lazy one, we spent a couple of hours wandering around the historical centre and found it full of some wonderful old houses in bad states of disrepair. One house right next door to this hostel is just fabulous and could easily be restored to glory and be a hostel itself. Ah the waste...  The houses that are looked after are often painted bright happy colours, no dull dreary stuff like we have in the west.

We had lunch one block behind the hostel at El Sol Restaurant, a local one we asked about almuerzos and were told they were 28vef then saw a huge plate of chicken, chips and salad being taken to a neighbouring table and were told that was 28vef too so ordered just one of those. The plate was quick in coming and had half a chicken on it and enough food to feed the both of us. Some more walking and a small diversion into an icecream shop for a cup of snow freeze each for 3vef (US.50c) and back here to watch a movie.

Now deciding whether to stay here another night or to go on to Morrocoy.


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