The longest cable car trip...in the world!!!

Merida Travel Blog

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"Beware the ice"

After succesfully getting across the border without getting strip-searched (we had heard stories) we changed buses at San Cristobal and endured the 5 hours to Merida.

Arrived in Merida, a town surrounded by the Andean mountains and found a lovely little posada to stay at.  I have ordered contact lenses on the internet and getting them delivered here. They should have been here a few days ago and we are still waiting! Think we may be here a while.....

On Thursday we had a trip up the `Telerifico`, the highest and the longest cable car in the world. It took ages to get to the top of the telerifico at 16430ft (or 4765m if you prefer) and we had to change cars and cable lines with 3 stops at various points. The cable car is something like 12.

Back at base with the cable car route behind Simon
5km long so it was a bit of a trip to the top!

We started in the warmth of Merida and when we got to the top it was freezing! The snow and ice covered everything and we slid our way along the icy path to the lookout. Well I say lookout but we couldn`t see past about 5 metres because of the weather. There was an Ave Maria statue at the top and the poor woman was covered in a thick layer of ice.

We met an English chap in one (of the 4) cable cars and he was wearing shorts! He said he was English and therefore was used to the cold. As I sat there in 2 fleeces, a wooly hat, scarf and gloves looking like a togged up winter gnome, I asked him what my excuse was.

On the way back down, which took an hour and a bit, the views across the valley, Merida and the backdrop of the Andes mountains became more spectacular as the thick mist and rain lifted with our descent.

Anyone seen the cable car station?
Very strange to be walking in the snow and then an hour later to be stripping off to a T-shirt in the heat.

It is now the 2-week Copa America football tournament in Venezuela and we are trying to get tickets for a game. So we have the likes of Argentina and Brazil playing in various stadiums across the country. The first game here on Thursday is Uruguay v Peru. The town is buzzing with excitment and there are fake football t-shirts, those huge oversized circus hats, banners, scarves and all the usual souvenir crap that you get with any big tournament. The mascot is a giant chicken though so will be selective in what T-shirt we purchase for 3 quid.

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Beware the ice
"Beware the ice"
Back at base with the cable car ro…
Back at base with the cable car r…
Anyone seen the cable car station?
Anyone seen the cable car station?
Simon with icicles above his head!
Simon with icicles above his head!
ahhh the Andes
ahhh the Andes
Into the unknown
Into the unknown
The town of Merida
The town of Merida
Merida
photo by: AndySD