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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Angel Falls

June 2nd, 2009 by sunflowers

Angel Falls ‘discovered’ by Jimmy Angel in 1933 are the world’s highest falls at 980m (3212ft). It must also be one of the world’s most isolated falls. We took a 16 hour bus ride to Cuidad Boliver a town on the banks of the Orinoco. From there we took an hour plane ride to a settlement that you can not access by road, near an inland lagoon. Then a five hour boat ride up a river.

The waterfall comes from rain on the top of the mountain as it has it’s own ecosystem and rains all the time. I still find it hard to believe all that water is from rain.

Angel FallsAngel FallsAngel FallsAngel Falls

Angel FallsAngel FallsAngel FallsAngel Falls

Angel FallsAngel FallsAngel FallsAngel Falls

Angel FallsAngel FallsAngel FallsAngel Falls

Posted in Venezuela | No Comments »


Los Llanos the Movie

June 1st, 2009 by sunflowers

The Orinaco River (made famous in Enya’s song) flows through Venezuela but we won’t see it until we head towards Angel Falls but I decided to use the song in a little video I put together for the rest of my group from our Los Llanos trip.


Posted in Venezuela | No Comments »


Yer Man & Yer Wan

May 31st, 2009 by sunflowers

Along with Sharon who I’m traveling with there is another Irish person on the tour who is staunchly patriotic (aren’t all Irish) and who I can only understand about 75% of what he says. I haven’t heard them use ‘good craic’ (fun) or ‘grand’ the expressions I commonly associate with the Irish. But when they kept on referring ‘your man’ it had to be explained to me that it wasn’t my man but ‘yer man’ (the man) and ‘yer wan’ (the woman).

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Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Posted in Venezuela | 1 Comment »


Los Llanos

May 30th, 2009 by sunflowers

From Merida we booked a four day tour of Los Llanos a plains savannah to the south of the Andes mountain range in the hopes of seeing an anaconda (giant snake) with some piranha fishing, rafting, horse back riding and bird watching thrown in.

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Los LlanosLos LlanosLos LlanosLos Llanos

Posted in Venezuela | No Comments »


Tandem Paragliding

May 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

I have decided that paragliding is the new sport I am going to take up. I loved it. I got to fly our chute and the guy who took me said that I had the right attitude for it. When I told my grandmother her response was, well I could have done that in New Zealand.


MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

Posted in Venezuela | 4 Comments »


Joking in Spanish

May 28th, 2009 by sunflowers

One of the appeals of traveling with Sharon was that we were both going to go to Merida in Venezuela and take Spanish classes but we ended up booking all these tours so we made the most of having a tour guide to ourselves to practice Spanish as much as we could. As we were too tired after staying up to watch the lightening we couldn’t think of anything to say so we spent a couple hours trying to tell jokes in Spanish.

Venezuela was named ‘Little Venice’ after the explorers saw the houses on stilts that the indigenous people lived in and we stayed in for our tour.

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

Posted in Venezuela | No Comments »


Lightening Phenomena

May 27th, 2009 by sunflowers

There is this strange phenomena over Lago Maracaibo (largest lake in South America) of lightening with no thunder which they think is produced by wind igniting methane gas. So we did a two day tour to see the lightening and stayed up and saw the sky lightening up with flashes until two in the morning and then finally fell asleep in the hammocks being bitten by mosquitoes and was then awakened by a real storm from three to five was was too tired to take it in. The scenery on the way out was amazing. We also did a night mangrove swamp tour for alligators and a visit to a sugar cane farm.

MeridaMeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

Posted in Venezuela | No Comments »


Black Market and Petrol Prices in Venezuela

May 26th, 2009 by sunflowers

Citizens of Venezuela can not exchange the local currency (B = bolivars) very easily for foreign currency and then it is fixed to 2.1B to 1 US dollar and 3.7B to 1 € so a black market exists in dollars ($1=5.6B) and Euros (€1= 7.5B). So Venezuelans who are dealing with foreigners offer a service to transfer dollars or Euros to a US or European account and give you the black market rate.

Venezuela isn’t that cheap even if you are using the black market rate. So everyone I have met has had to have money transferred. But it is pretty hard to explain to your family or friends why you are asking them to help arrange a money transfer to someone that you don’t actually know.

The only thing that is actually cheap is petrol. For 5B you can buy 70 litres (less than a dollar) of gas/petrol or 1kg of potatoes or a beer.

Spot: Indian Mountain and bloke motorbiking with bicycle helmet (bike helmets on motorbikes seem to be common in Venezuela).

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

MeridaMeridaMeridaMerida

Posted in Venezuela | 1 Comment »


Stopped at the Venezuelan Border

May 25th, 2009 by sunflowers

I was really worried about getting out of Colombia as I had a temporary imported bike registered against my passport and thought that I would have to explain where it was. Instead I had no problems getting out of Colombia but they wouldn’t let us into Venezuela without a flu shot which apparently the nurse who gave it had gone home. Finally a good looking Colombian border guard convinced the health officials to write us up a fake vaccination card just as the bus driver came over to tell us to take our bags off of the bus.

The bus was air conditioned to freezing point so I didn’t mange to sleep much on the 18 hour journey.

BusCartagenaBusBus

Posted in Venezuela | 3 Comments »


Parque Nacional Tayrona

May 23rd, 2009 by sunflowers

One of the main sights of Colombia is a lost city but when we heard that you would spend most of the six day track into the jungle wet we decided that we would rename the eight hour trek into the city ruins in the Tayrona National park the lost city.

We got to swim at the beach, sleep in a hammock and see lots of monkeys and climb through rock underpasses.

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TayronaTayronaTayronaTayrona

TayronaTayronaTayronaTayrona

TayronaTayronaTayronaTayrona

Posted in Colombia | 2 Comments »


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