Adventures in Venezuela - Maracaibo, Venezuela

Maracaibo Travel Blog

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Maracaibo, Venezuela - Basílica de la Chiquinquirá

Where is Chavez?! A country presently divided in two - Los Chavistas and those against the infamous Hugo Chavez. 

We were honestly reconsidering coming to Venezuela, due to all the unrest from a pretty important referendum scheduled to take place. 

We finally decided to go ahead and visit it before things got even crazier.  And of course, the results from the referendum helped make our decision easier!  

I think that if the people would’ve voted "Yes" to the suggested constitutional reforms, we may not have come this way.  Who knows what might have happened?

In any case, Bienvenidos a Venezuela!!  After taking nearly 2 days to get to the border, we finally step foot on Chavezlandia!  Hitching a ride out of Colombia ended up being IMPOSSIBLE!  

So we had to take the bus to the border.

Maracaibo, Venezuela - Al interior de la Basílica de la Chiquinquirá
  We went from one pretty hectic place to an even crazier place!  Venezuela is LOCO!  People were yelling left and right, and for no reason . . . funny thing is that they were actually talking!

Out of all the border crossings we’ve done ’til now, I expected this one to be the most difficult.  Don’t know why, but no, we passed through hassle-free.  

We even managed to find a place to stay in Maracaibo, where we’d be traveling to later on that night!  

As we waited in line to get our passports stamped, Arnaud struck up a conversation with a couple of ladies, who were also continuing on to the same destination as us. 

And, of course, he was bold enough to pop the question .

Maracaibo, Venezuela - Arnaud en la Plaza del Rosario de Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquira
. . "Can we stay with you tonight?!" . . . No shame!!!  

At first they just smiled, in shock, because they’d probably never heard such a request, but then funny enough, later on when we saw them again, they came up to us and agreed to open up their home to us!!  ¡¡Mágico!!

Now with the housing bit out of the way, we then had to find an appropriate way of getting to Maracaibo

And well since hitchhiking at the night was out of the question, we had to find a bus to get us there!  And not just any old bus, one willing to take us for a decent price, otherwise we’d be stuck at the border for the night!!

Fortunately we found one, no problem, so off we went!  

But first, customs inspection by the immigration officers, who were actually a bit scary!  There we were among all the chaos at the border and it was my turn .

Maracaibo, Venezuela - Juanita & Eileen en la Plaza del Rosario de Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquira
. . so I came up to the officer, and he takes one look at me with my huge backpack and says in a very serious tone, "te pareces una hormiga" - "You look like an Ant!"

Can you believe it?!  I just laughed in surprise because I’d never heard that before.  I guess I do look like a pipsqueak with the backpack!  

Anyway, he didn't even look in my bag or anything!  A joke of an inspection!  With that over, we just hopped on the bus and were on our way.

The next day, our new friend and host, Eileen was kind enough to show us the town and all!  Maracaibo was a really nice surprise for us because we hadn’t planned on coming here at all!  

Visiting the sights was nice, not very relaxing, but fun.  The town is actually quite hectic with all the people and markets all around, but hey gotta love it.

Maracaibo, Venezuela - Monumento a la Chinita de Maracaibo
 

On était un peu hésitant pour aller au Venezuela, pour le referendum, et vu que le NON est passé nous voilà parti pour Caracas. Les circonstances ont faites qu’il a fallu aller d’abord à Maracaibo.

J’explique, à la frontière, il faut faire la queue comme tout le monde pour le tampon, et là, un groupe de femmes nous conseillent de changer l’argent au guichet en face, les billets que les gens changent dans la rue sont faux, et je réponds merci pour le conseil et on peut dormir chez vous ? (en plein milieu de la frontière entre la Colombie et le Venezuela. Il est 9h30 du soir, il est temps de connaitre un endroit ou dormir). 

Ces femmes me regardent avec un air un peu étonné puis elles sourient et me dise non.

Maracaibo, Venezuela - Monumento a San Cristóbal - Le lancer du javelot
Ok on trouvera plus tard, et de l’autre coté de la frontière on retrouve ces mêmes femmes et elles nous laissent leur adresse à Maracaibo à 3h de la frontière. Et voilà une maison pour la nuit! !!

Le lendemain une de ses femmes nous propose une visite de la ville et y’a cas voir les photos pour la suite !

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Maracaibo
photo by: rjgalvan77