Saturday, May 1, 2010

Puerto Colombia

I rolled out of Cuidad Boliviar and headed north west towards Maracay which is only a couple of hours from Caracas. The highway there was either really good or really bad with many large potholes waiting to taco my wheels. The traffic became increasingly dense and I passed a few accidents, one involving a flipped over transport truck. The traffic was lined up for kilometers and luckily I knew better than to wait. I Ziged & Zagged my way past hundreds of cars and made it to the accident site where there was a piece of equipment trying to right the upside down truck.

Entering Maracay the traffic was grid lock and I began spliting up through and in between the maze of stationary cars. After about an hour of zooming between cars I was becoming quite proficient at weaving ....that is, until, I accidently misjudged the size of the gap between the next few cars. Unfortunately for them I tore their mirrors off in the process of getting through traffic. I heard the plactic mirrors crack and then bounce along the asphalt behind me. Oops!, I laughed at how bad that was of me.

I decided to spend the night in Maracay in a hotel that isn't worth mentioning within the city centre. I awoke in the morning and decided that I'd try and find a map. This was a lost cause and within an hour I was back at the hotel and loading the bike for the departure to Puerto Colombia. Puerto Columbia is a Colonial smallish town located on the other side of a mountain range on the coast via a 55km road that passes through Henri Pitter National Park. I had to ascend up a single lane asphalt road to an Elevation of 1200m that had several pull-off for those that needed to pass on coming traffic. Along the way I almost got T-boned several times as the drivers on this road have no conscience and drove at dangerous speeds around completely blind corners.

I arrived in Puerto Columbia and checked into Hostal Colonial as suggested by the guide book. It was a nice little hostal with good motorcycle parking and a big open yard and shaded seating. I decided that I'd lather up in sunscreen and hit the tropical beach (Playa Grande) with its orange fluffy sand and clear blue water. The sand was soft and the water warm. The waves crashed on the beach in a white frothy foam that contrasted the orange sand and blue water. The over hanging Palm trees provided shade from the relentless sun and best of all there was virtually nobody in sight. I went swimming for my token 15 minutes and then retreated to the salvation of my t-shirt and broad brimmed hat before becoming crispy and red.

I returned to the Hostal to chill out before embarking on a little stroll around Puerto Columbia. I decided to climb a little hill that had Jesus at the top. Along the way there were crabs scurrying away from me and crawling under rocks or down holes that they excavated in the ground along the side of the trail. The view from atop Jesus mountain was nice and I took a few minutes to sit down and watch the sunset. Returning down the trail it was dark and the really big crabs were out on the trail. It was like a scene out of Harry Potter where by large crabs would slowly retreat down a hole or behing a large tree just out of focus in the distant darkness. There were hundreds of crabs mostly the size of a tea saucers that would start moving toward their hollows. I could only make out their sillouette and it was kind of interesting but also kind of erie.

At the hostal I met quite a few other tourists, Two fellows named Neil and Shaun from England that are travelling around the world and a couple of girls travelling together from Switzerland. I also met a man from Switzerland travelling around with his wife who is native to Venezuela. They were both artists and host events and attend meetings all over the world and are quite active in the art community.

In the morning I decided that I'd head to Coro, a colonial town with a very attractive historical centre. In 1993, Coro was listed as a Unesco World heritage site and attracts visitors from all over the world wishing to stroll its streets and absorb its romantic feel. The streets are cobble and the building's are short and colorful with beautiful wooden doors. I checked into Hostal Gallo owned by Eric and his wife. Eric is originally from France and I believe that his wife is native to Venezuela. Their young son is loads of entertainment and very energetic running around all day in his tighty whitey's believing that he is either Bat Man Or Spider man....who knows.

Last night a group of other tourists from France invited me to see the nearby sand dunes. I decided to hop on a bus with them and head over to the dunes park. As it was a National Park I was suprized that there were so many 4x4's dune buggys and ATV's burning around amung the people that trekked into the park to see the sunset. National Parks here have a slighty different meaning to what I'm used to I guess.

Today I'm heading to the Paraguana Peninsula, its touted as one of the countries windsurfing and kite surfing capitals. I figure that I might partake in a lesson or two and exhaust myself trying to learn a new sport while I'm here.

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