September 13, 2006 GMT
(2) Venezuela: Further North

It was 36C. The humidity was 3 times that but it didn't rain. How could that be? I don't know...maybe my calculation was wrong. I felt like I was standing in a rainstorm. I looked like I was standing in a rainstorm, but the sky was blue...cloudless...full sun.

Trinidad was only 7 hours away. I was in Guiri, Venezuela, the furthest east you could go by road. From here I would have to take the boat, if I went further east.

What a beautiful ride from Caripe to Guiri. There was hardly a straight section of road. Perhaps that explains why it took more than 6 hours to go less than 300 km. The road spiraled up and down, folded back on itself, and then in a reverse Archimede's spiral wound itself back down to sea level. That was where the heat built up...became intense...drove me to exhaustion.

Oil Bird.JPG

By early afternoon I had found the perfect place to stay. As part of a government funded project it provided accomodation, sightseeing, a water buffalo preserve and much more.

Water Buffalo.JPG

But government means rules...too many rules. You could only stay if you had an advance reservation. I didnīt have a reservation but I was physically present. I was also their only guest. I didnīt care about the tour or anything else...just the room, the location and the water buffalo stew that was cooking. It was not to be. They did not have a phone and I would have to drive to the nearest town to make the reservation. One hour there and one hour back just did not make sense. That was when I decided to go to Guiri.

The Place I Couldn't Stay.JPG

By the time I got to Guiri I was demoralized, tired, hungry, thirsty and heat exhausted. I walked across the street to the Hotel Vista Mar. I walked into the restaurant. An Arctic blast hit me squarely. I moved deeper into the refrigerated environ. Hotel California by the Eagles pounded through the speakers. An easy relaxed feeling replaced the tiredness I had carried with me. Suddenly everything looked just fine.

I settled into a "boy" sized cerveza. They served these little 222 ml beers here for 75 cents...two swallows and you were looking for another. One guy like me can keep a waitress occupied full time.

As the Eagles faded into the background Simon and Garfunkel with Sounds of Silence moved to the fore. Hit after hit pounded through the speakers as I time travelled to another place and another time.

With sustenance and nourishment behind me I moved out onto he street to look around. Guiri didn't look like much but 25,000 people and one white guy called it home.

Later that evening I met Jimmy. He was from Guyana. He was manning an elaborate stainless steel barbeque setup. He was cooking up some Franks and I fancied one. His perfect English startled me in this far eastern reach of Venezuela. "We speak English in Guyana", he said "and one of our special characteristics is that we can mimmick any accent readily." "Guyanese English is a broken English where words are chopped into a sing songy rythm", he carried on. He spun a line for me. I could grasp it but I had to listen carefully, almost like some of the jargon blacks from the deep south US speak.

He kept busy cooking franks and we talked. Two hours went by in an instant. He had moved to Guiri, with his family, five years ago to make a better life and it was working. He liked the town and business was good. He had carved out a little niche for himself. "Will he go back?" "Only if the politics in Guyana improved so that he would be allowed to make a good living." We parted company. It was getting late. He had work to do and so did I.

The Place I Could Stay.JPG


These Venezuelan drivers are just plain STUPID. They make the Brasilians look normal and that's going some. They pass right into you like you weren't even there. See a pothole in your lane...don't worry the other lane is OK. Don't slow down. Swerve out to go around it. Who cares if someone else is there in the other lane. Perhaps he will get out of the way...perhaps he won't....

See your friend while driving downtown. STOP!!! Beckon to him to come over and say hello. Shake his hand. Never mind the 2 miles of traffic stacked up behind you.

Spot something you want at the corner Kiosk. STOP...call the lady over. Tell her what you want. Send her back. When she returns tell her you want the other one, not the one she brought. AARGH!!!

RED LIGHTS. What are they? Not for them. Slow down maybe, but mostly keep going. If there is a lot of cross traffic passing on their green light, simply nudge your way into it until it finally stops so you can proceed. If you stop for a red light you run the risk of being rear ended. If you proceed through the red light you run the risk of being broad sided. Both times you loose.

Gas is so cheap they just drive around to go nowhere....round and round to see how many people they know that they can stop and talk to. Mostly they just drive old beaters...Indian Cars...from the 70's and 80's. There isn't a straight piece of sheet metal between the roof and the wheels. Alot of them burn more oil than gas. I have seen a car stop and leak a quart of oil in the time it took to complete a transaction.

And then out of the blue haze drives a 1982 Mercury Grand Marquis, simply shimmering in its sandy bronze color with contrasting dark chocolate vinyl roof. It looks like it was built yesterday but it wasnīt. It was built 24 years ago. It wasnīt restored. It is an original!

Posted by Robert Bielesch at September 13, 2006 01:08 AM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!