Josh Goes to Venezuela

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by ScootersNotBombs, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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  2. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    CavesSpringsKoko.jpg


    Did about a 300 mile trip this weekend. More info to follow.
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  3. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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    Hey Josh... I spent a good amount of time in Venezuela starting in 2002 during the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez up until 2009. I travelled all over Venezuela and fell in love, not only with the country, but with the women...Venezuela has some of the most beautiful women of any country I have travelled in. I didn't have a motorcycle during my time there but I can only imagine how much fun you are having.

    Hopefully you will get over to Isla Margarita... I'm assuming Conferry is still running between Puerto la Cruz and Margarita. One place I will highly recommend you put on your must visit list is Los Roques. If you aren't familiar with Los Roques Google it up.

    Cuidate

    Bob
    #43
  4. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Awesome!! Thanks!
    Where did you live??
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  5. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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    I lived in Caracas primarily... I had apartments in El Paraiso, Los Chaguaramos, Chacao, and Altimra over the years. I also spent a good amount of time on Margarita as an American friend of mine had a small hotel in Playa El Agua. Of course I travelled all over Venezuela when I was there. The country is very beautiful and the people of Venezuela are simply wonderful. I still have some friends there although many have left living now in Argentina, and Mexico. My former venezolana lady friend is currently living in Buenos Aires so I get down there as often as I can to see her.

    But in all seriousness Josh, get yourself over to Los Roques. It is a very special place and your time there will be memorable. You can thank me later... hahaha

    Cuidate

    Bob
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  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Los Roques is nice and pricey but with the B in the tank will be much easier to take. Would recommend bringing your 'sand to that beach' as there where not so many single ladies about when I was there. Lots of perfect little white sand beaches to motor out to and some decent diving to be had.

    You really need to get out to Canima and head up river to the Angel Falls, it and the smaller falls at Canima camp should't be missed.
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  7. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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    The B somewhat worthless and I see this morning on dolartoday it's at a secondary market exchange rate of 4,262+ B's to a US dollar... Maduro is printing larger value B's to offset this. Printing banknotes of 20,000 B's. What an ingenious plan... hahaha

    Yes, Angel Falls is a fantastic site to be seen as well.

    Bob
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  8. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Did you organize this yourself, or take a charter?
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  9. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    There was/is a German expat named Martin who owed Posado Don Carlos in CB on South bank Orinoco. The Posado was nice and had great parking basement for the moto. Martin arranged for the charter flight on small Cessna to Canima and included the the overnights at the camp and up stream camp across the river from the falls. Would strongly consider good rain gear and mosquito camp net to bring along. I would even think about chartering plane for overflight of the falls area if I where there in the wet season, wonderful area to see and from above is spectacular.
    #49
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  10. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    I also stayed at Posado Don Carlos. Recommended. There's no way to do the Angel Falls trip cheaply, and they made the whole thing pretty simple. It was also possible to pay for the tour by VISA card at advantageous rates, credited directly to a European bank. I don't know whether this particular evasion of currency controls still exists in Venezuela, but it was common six years ago, and worth being aware of.

    FWIW, I didn't stay overnight in Canima--I customized a bit, flew in early morning and joined a trip upriver, stayed at the camp across from the falls, returned to Canima and then wrapped things up with a private guide(the under-waterfall trek, totally worthwhile) and flew out late in the day. The many folks who stayed the extra night had a lot of complaints about sitting around in Canima with nothing to do.

    Also worth following Throttlemeister's advice re bringing your own net. Add repellant, long pants and sleeves, even head scarf, and consider anti-malarial meds. The falls camps are excellent habitat if you're a breeding mosquito--lots of warm-blooded humans sitting around for long periods of time, standing water everywhere, etc. At the beginning of the wet season when I went, there were few mosquitoes anyplace except right within the camps, where there were thick clouds. As far as I could tell, there were current outbreaks of malaria specifically in Canima, although of course solid information was hard to come by.

    Hope that's helpful.

    Mark
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  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    :beerThey do have at least one bar in Canima and it is not the cheapest in VZ.
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  12. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Waiting at the Atlanta airport headed back to V-Zila! Had a great 3 weeks back in Georgia. I bought this sexy thing while in the states. IMG_7011.JPG

    Had to say goodbye today. More adventures to come!! IMG_7014.JPG
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  13. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Spring break ’17. Long winded and probably full of inaccuracies.

    Our school, and all of Venezuela had the week off. Semana Santa is the occasion. Instead of celebrating the resurrection of zombie Jesus and Easter eggs, Venezuelans celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus, the Thursday and Friday of Easter Sunday. Oriana and I decided to take a little bike ride.
    On Monday of this week we packed and i did a little bike maintenance. I have NEVER been efficient at adjusting chain tension only GS: the KLR would prove to be the same. I think the key is to do it just a little. Ill never learn… When fully loaded with two humans, and all our get, the chain tightens significantly. I know know this. I also now need new sprockets. Derp. I rigged up my pannier racks (bought locally), and we were set to go on Tuesday AM.
    A 8AM departure time turned into a 8:30 departure time, and after breakfast burritos we hit the road. Money (1$ = BsF 4412 at time of writing, I exchanged at 1/3000 two weeks ago. there is no predictability in this land) is always an issue here. Sometimes debit cards don't work (almost everyone has a few accounts with different banks. I have Bancaribe and Banesco accounts), and you can only pull out around 12000 BsF a day (usually in 100 BsF bills). We stopped at the ATM and Oriana pulled out cash while i obsessed about the chain. We crawled out of PLC and mad it to the mountains, where we were stopped at at National Guard checkpoint before exiting Anzoategui. We were brought into the guard shack, questioned, and paperwork scrutinized. (Stupidity, friendliness, and the correct paperwork will usually send you on your way, but a bribe will speed things along…..)
    After about a million Policia Acostados (Laying Cops = speed bumps) and 5hours, we made it to Caripe. Im pretty sure i was insulted by some Chavista bitch, but Oriana wouldn't tell me what she said….Ha! The road is super pretty though. We checked in to our posada and went in search for some food. almost none of the restaurants in Caripe had punto (point of sale for debit cards) so we settled on an Arepa place. (we would eat there twice, ha. The inaccessibility of money really cripples business) Tuesday afternoon we cruised around the mountain outside of Caripe and visited an amazing plant store. Ariana and I have become very interested in Orchids, and this place was the gold mine. Oriana spotted the orchids from the road, and we stopped to visit. The Jefe of this joint was an amazingly sweet older lady. She let us walk around her jungle garden and answered tons of questions. The orchids were all growing off of logs, clumps of moss, and baskets throughout her jungle oasis. Turns out, she has a dude who will ride a bus to my side of the country and deliver flowers for 5000 B’s. That is quite a deal…. Tuesday evening we just chilled at the posada, i loosened the KLR’s chain, we drank beers, and listened to the Guacharos. (Cave birds that exit and fly around at night)
    Wednesday morning we checked in to a new posada. This on was higher up the mountain with a killer view. The plan for the day was to visit Las Puertas Miraflores. On a much lighter bike, we drove the hour or so to Miraflores. (coffee refill, and new pipe. be right back. Special Dublin from Copenhagen, in my Churchwarden bought in Mississippi, with Venezuelan coffee in my Brother Moto mug. WORLDWIDE Y’ALL) Miraflores is a super pretty river that flows through woods and a great canyon. We really didn't know what to expect. The recommendation came from my school’s PE coach, a maple leader who has been in country for 19 years. The unfortunate reality / perception of life here in V-Zilla is that the prettiest and wildest places are the most dangerous. Not knowing the parking situation, or really anything, we tried for a bit to hire a driver. We failed. But it was all good. There were tons of locals, and the trail is pretty populated with party people. The KLR had its first water crossing, and we parked for our hike. Most of the trail is pavedish, and follows the river. The canyon narrows and becomes spectacular. In one spot we saw several climbers. I don't even want to THINK about what safety precautions were being ignored…. And dudes bbq’n chicken. Man i love BBQ chicken. (makes me think about my Aunt Pam and my Dad. Funny how memories are linked to food, smells, etc.) Following the river upstream, we were lead to a great swimming hole! All in all it was a super enjoyable hike and dip! On the return trip we looked at some awesome orchids (these were smaller, but had crazy wild flowers. Man, i love evolution), i lied to a motel lady about wanting to talk to a fellow moto traveler, and ate at a new restaurant. A super delicious treat around the mountains is Fresas con Crema. Awesome strawberries with homemade whipped cream. mmmm. And crappy V-Zilla Zulia pilsners. It was starting to get dark by the time we hit Caripe. We got stuck behind a Semana Santa procession for a bit. We hit the backroads and got ahead of the parade. We saw a young dude running with a giant cross. As a policeman was blowing his whistle, all we could think was, “this dude stole the cross from the parade” HILARIOUS!!!!!!! We then saw Jesus walking ahead of him. The parade was just over. Damn. I was hoping this little badass was stealing the cross and taking off!
    We chilled at our posada watching the moon rise over Caripe.
    Next morning i spent WAY too much time obsessing over the “doohickey” on the KLR. (the klr wasn't running very well, and this is a pretty common factory defect. The doc is a little lever that adjusts the idle chain on the thumper KLR) We ate a delicious 16000B breakfast and hit the road. Oriana bought some planters at a roadside stand as we were hitting the gulf of Cumana. Traffic, crashes, and speed bumps a plenty we made it back to Lecheria late afternoon. After buying bootleg beers at the “closed” Stop and Go, and picking up Mexican, i noticed my front rotor is pretty jacked. Good story Bunn.

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    #53
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  14. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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    I'm glad things are going well for you in Venezuela... I sure miss living there but there is no way I would return given the current situation. I still have a number of friends there that are dealing with the unfortunate political situation which is only continuing to get worse. I talk to my friends from time to time and it is really sad with what is happening there. They live in Caracas and Valencia where things are undoubtedly far worse than where you are. Please be careful when exchanging your US dollars as there are unsavory types that will scam and rob you... was always the case when I lived in Caracas but far worse today. Just let the Chavistas do and say what they want... my advice is never get into a political discussion with a Chavista especially being a Gringo American. It will not have a good ending... I never discussed politics while living there other than with my lady friend. Her family were all Chavistas which made for some interesting family meals... hahaha

    My current lady friend here is a Venezolana and her Mom and cousins still live in Venezuela. Her Mom is Chavista and her cousins are with the Opposition. My former lady friend from Caracas is living in Buenos Aires as are a good number of Venezuelans. I will be riding into Mexico in 2 weeks while on a road trip West to visit my good friend Ricardo who moved there from Caracas a few years ago. If people can get out of Venezuela they do... sadly it has become very difficult or even possible these days.

    Enjoy your time in what is a truly beautiful country!!!

    Cuidate

    Bob
    #54
  15. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Thanks Bob!
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  16. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    No news is good news?? Getting ready to head back to the states for the summer. Where do y'all live? I'll be hobo'n around on the GS or the R90 between Georgia and Wyoming catching beers and drinking trout.

    I'm sure I'll create a 1st year reflections post.

    Still waiting for "legit" paperwork on the KLR.
    #56
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  17. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Would like to hear about your visa for VZ. I S till haven't acquired one yet. Have you heard any news on borders? Last I heard both Western and Southern borders closed to traffic?? Even if I got in doesn't sound like it would be easy to get out with mi moto anytime soon :(
    #57
  18. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    I came in on a plane with a work visa (that was all set up before hand). A tourist visa shouldnt be too difficult to get, you just have to go to the consulate in person.
    Im pretty sure you can get a temp import stamp for your bike at the border (if it is open)
    Keeping a bike here more than 90 days is next to impossible (if done legally).
    The money system is MUY f-d. Exchange has to be done on the black market to get a good rate.

    I'm not sure about the borders. Some say open, some say closed, some say open to foot traffic... It chacges based on the person, the day, or nothing at all. The only person i know who has recently done it overland came from Brazil.
    #58
  19. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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    While I was just on a 19 day road trip out West I dipped into Mexico to visit my good friend Ricardo and his Mom who have moved there from Venezuela. We spent a good amount of time talking about the current situation which is getting worse every day. No doubt you are somewhat removed from the violence in Caracas and other areas being Puerto la Cruz, but it is no doubt a good thing to head back to the states sooner than later. A good plan would be to just fly from Barcelona to Maiquetía and home to the states... don't get any bright ideas about checking out Caracas.

    I live in Denver so if you head out West to Wyoming give me a heads up. I can hop on my motorbike and maybe meet up.

    Cuidate

    Bob
    #59
  20. ScootersNotBombs

    ScootersNotBombs Been here awhile

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    Thanks Bob!
    I head home for the summer in 3 weeks. I have a direct flight from Barcelona to Miami.
    Ill be in touch this summer!
    #60