Sunday along the Orinoco River.
Ciudad Bolivar Travel Blog› entry 14 of 27 › view all entries
June 15th, 2008 – by: gopackjo
Today the main focus of my day in Ciudad Bolivar was to figure out how I was going to do the Angel Falls trip. The trip is almost entirely standardized these days. They are all 3 days/2 nights, and fly the first day to Canaima. That afternoon you are scheduled to tour the area around the pueblo, and then sleep the night there in town.
The next day you take a motorized canoe down the Rio Carrao, and then the Rio Churun until you reach a camp. From there you take an hour or so hike up to the mirador (view point) of the falls themselves. That night you sleep in hammocks at the very rustic camp, and then return the next morning by canoe, and then plane to Ciudad Bolivar.
I had received the pitch from my Posada last night when I arrived, and it was alot more then I had expected. I had seen internet sites that had pegged the price at about $245 with my exchange rate. The trip my posada was offering was a whopping $518! The good part was that she was also offering a ‘discount’ for using cash in American dollars, so it would have worked out to about $469 with that taken into account. Not satisfied, I checked out and settled on a local agency priced at about $375. He said that there were other English speakers on the tour, and that would certainly help my experience in my opinion.
I now had the rest of my day free to check out Ciudad Bolivar. The historic center in based around a small rocky point that juts out into the Orinoco River, and there is a very colorful main street there called the Paseo Orinoco. Even though it was Sunday, the Paseo and it’s adjoining streets were still filled with activity.
I set out to find some internet and some food. I found the internet at the center of a small Centro Comercial nearby. The rates were dirt cheap and the connection was fast, although the monitors were a bit of a problem. But for 69 cents per hour I was certainly satisfied.
I then went to the next center over and found a half open food court. I chose a restaurant offering local cuisine in a buffet style, but you had to tell the attendant what you wanted.
I then retreated to my hotel room to sleep off all of that food. By 8pm I realized that my dinner options were now non-existent in the closed-up-tight downtown area, and that a taxi trip would be required for my evening meal. Knowing that I would be roughing it pretty hard for the next three days I caved in to an American fast food craving and took a taxi to the Wendy’s I had seen the day before from the bus.
I’m always a bit embarrassed when I do something like that, but it’s really hard to change when your cravings will come to you. Plus it was the only place I had seen that I was sure would be open on Sunday night in Ciudad Bolivar. I will try to reign in my guilt for the trip tomorrow.
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