Caracas - Ciudad Bolivar
Ciudad Bolivar Travel Blog› entry 2 of 19 › view all entries
July 29th, 2007 – by: paulmclaughlin
Our route took us out along the coast, past petrochemical plants and mangrove swamps, all the while being smiled down on by Chavez, either helping to resurface roads, celebrating nationalising the oil industry, or generally hugging state governors.
We passed several crashed, including one obvious head-on, full speed crash that no-one could have walked away from, especially with a subsequent fire. With emergency services and rubber neckers in attendance there wasn't much to do except drive on.
We stopped off for lunch at a roadside restaurant serving the local oil men and cowboys in El Tigre. Very nice, but I don't think I could eat a whole corn pancake with cheese - far too rich. The tiny wild bananas that we bought by the side of the road made a really sweet and delicious dessert.
Driving for a few more hours, we crossed the Orinoco at the Angostura bridge near Ciudad Bolivar, then stopped to walk around Old Angostura town. I can't say I share Chavez's admiration for Simon Bolivar - executing your own half-brother because he's more popular than you doesn't seem very nice!
We stopped quickly at the airport to look at Jimmie Angel's plane that he was flying when he discovered his eponymous falls. Of course he landed and then the plane broke down - if he crashed he could have lost his pilot's licence!
Of all the things that I saw today, the one that stood out was refuelling the minibus - fuel in Venezuela is the cheapest in the world, with a full tank of diesel costing less than one US dollar. With that level of subsidy it's no surprise that Chavez wanted to grab the oil assets.
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