La Restinga and Macanao
Playa El Agua Travel Blog› entry 7 of 15 › view all entries
After a good night rest we get up at 07:00. We have slept very well and we need to go to the breakfast right away, because at 8 someone drops off the rental car at the hotel. He is there right on time, at 08:10 and we fill out the necessary forms. The rental is expensive, 65 USD), because we could not plan the days after one another and receive a discount. We pack all our things and at 08:45 we’re gone. We drive in 1 time to La Restinga, a lagoon of mangroves. We drive y Altagracia and Juan Griego and everything goes smooth. We had thought traffice was worse and the car does have a manual gearbox, so that’s very nice. The last kilometers is a highway and we are there at 10. We do have a short delay, because there is a police/army check post. They ask my passport and driving license, OK no problem, except for the license not being an international one, but for rental cars that’s not needed. OK very well, that’s OK for office Martinez. But then he puts his head inside the car, the barrel of the gun right in front of Timo’s face. He needs to stay cool now. So he asks for the ‘passaporta del señora’, but that one ‘es en hotel’! That is a problem, according to him, because he says you need to have your passport with you at all times. The people from Arke told us we should leave the passports in the hotel. After some talking in Spanish-English he lets us drive off. The macho with the machine-gun did not loose his credibility with his friends. We are literally 200 meters from the reserve, when he stops us. We can move on and need to de-stress for a minute with a cigarette before we enter La Restinga. In a big visitorsbook we need to write our names and then we can explore the lagoon with a small boat. We get in only the two of us and we’re waiting for other people, but the master is already gone. This will be a private trip then. So we sail off. The guy sails over a huge water surface to the other side and dives into one of the canals between the mangroves. The trees grow with long roots in the brackish water (Eef actually tasted) and that are the mangroves: those ‘air’ roots give a special effect: the thick trunk with roots at all sides seeking for grip. Some trees have roots hanging from the branches into the water and other ones only from the trunks. Up to two meters high the roots go and from there into the water with a giant bow and they sometimes form a circle with a diameter of 3 to 4 meter. The guy sails through the canals. They are sometimes rather wide – 5 meter – other ones are just wide enough to get through by boat/ and they all have romantic names: el canal del amor, el tunal de mio amor. When the area widens a little bit squares are formed and then they have a tag plaza. Suddenly he stops the boat and looks for something between the roots of the trees. He has found a starfish and put the animal on Eef’s hand: it’s completely orange and looks pretty. On the trees and the roots also dozens of crabs live, completely black ones with a little bit of red on the pincers. He slowly navigates through the canals and we enjoy the cruise. There are plenty of fish in the water and oysters grow on the roots and there are a lot of pelicans. Suddenly he stops again and sails between the branches and the roots. He takes something out of the water and puts it in a cup of water: a seahorse! Magnificent, our first seahorse in a wildlife environment. He quickly put it back on the root and we move on. Time really flies and we have requested one hour ‘sin playa’, so we need to return to the pier. On the way back we pass by a pontoon where oyster are being cultivated and nearby an eagle is tracing the environment: a beautiful majestic bird. That is the end to the tour and we pay 70000 Bs. We thought that it was 70000 each, but the price was for the boat. Such an experience for only 10 Euro, you can’t miss this. Now we take the car to Boca del Rio. There is a maritime museum (entrance is 10000 BS per person) and check it out. There are several beautiful exposition areas over two floors. The room of the turtles is magnificent and the one of seashells too. Inside there is an aquarium with small fishes and some of them we saw during the dive and there is a bigger one outside with turtles, sharks, rays and some smaller species. Here is also a skeleton of a whale. After about half an hour we take the car and go out to explore the island Macanao. Isla Maragrita consists of two parts: Margarita and Macanao. The only connection between both parts is a small bridge, but actually they are two islands. Here along the road nature is more dry, no palm trees, lots of small bushes and plenty of cactuses. It is a beautiful sight, first with the cactuses, then the white beach and then the blue sea. On the other side high mountains rise out of the earth with wasteland. We drive on a good paved road around Macanao, apart from beautiful sceneries and nature there is nothing much to see. Only one village can be called an actual village: Boca De Pozo. We don’t stop there, we do try to find something to eat, but nothing is open. The trip around Macanao takes in total 1.5 hours. We try to find something to eat in Boca del Rio then. On the side of the road there is a little kiosk and there Timo has the choice between chips and water, so he takes a package of Cheeto’s and half liter of water. Then the trip goes back to Juan Griego and we want to visit Yvonne and Davy. The guard let’s us enter the building, but they’re not here. Also in their house in Altagracia there’s nobody, so we decide to return to the hotel. We want to cool down in the pool, but only Timo takes the chance. Then Eef calls home, they’re expecting freezing temperatures, but everything is OK. At first we want to arrange everything for the car. We park the Nissan Sentra behind the hotel and then drink Polar with the Dutch Bianca and her father, almost ten. We take a shower and want to call ira. At the reception they tell us the trip to Los Roques is cancelled. Shit! We call her and she confirms we will be able to go on Friday for 100 percent. We cancel the car for the day after tomorrow (our second day), because we saw almost everything on the island and 65 USD is a lot. The people flying back now have a bit of luck: the flight has a delay of 6 hours, that’s then 30 hours in total. We now need to revise our planning and we’ll request three other things from Ira: 1 dive and two excursions: Coche and watching dolphins at Cubagua. She will confirm this through the reception. The party for the parents and friends of Victor and Diana will be on Friday, so we’ll have to miss that. We drink some stuff and we meet here somebody who lived in Bornem for 1.5 years, in Luipegem, only a few 100 meters away from Timo’s home. After all this we need to eat something, because we had too much polar and caipiriña. Then we go to bed early. We’re really tired and sleep like babies.