May 08, 2006 GMT
Beside the Seaside

Venezuelans are a cheery, friendly bunch; the roads vary from reasonable to superb; best unleaded is around tuppence-ha'penny a litre.

roncal 10 from the Brazilian border at Santa Elena, heading north along the border with Guyana the 400 miles to Cuidad Guayana on the Orinoco, must qualify as a WGBR (World's Great Biking Road) - sweeping benderies, perfect surface, no traffic, no police, wonderful ups and downs, and allegedly excellent scenery but I couldn't see it as the torrential rain limited visibility somewhat. I'm now totally fed up with being wet, and spent two nights at Ciudad Guayana in an effort to dry things out a bit. I also wanted to book a flight over the Angel Falls (total drop nearly a kilometre) but due to the persistent low cloud and rain the flying people said no chance for at least a week. Never mind.

I've ridden up to the Caribbean coast for a couple of days, as although I'm not really a beach person the idea of spending an afternoon lying on a Caribbean beach is rather attractive, and I probably ought to do it while I'm here. Unfortunately it looks as though the little ferry from Güiata to Port of Spain is still suspended so I won't be going to Trinidad.

Politically speaking this has been in interesting time to be in South America. Changes of government, the Fujimori fiasco, Spongebob Squarepants doing a runner from Ecuador, Chavez thumbing his nose at Bush, Brazil doing deals with China (and Paraguay with Taiwan) - and all the while the US's increasingly futile attempts to perpetuate the Monroe Doctrine. All great fun.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at May 08, 2006 05:58 PM GMT
 
 

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