July 2002

ihana.com - big trip - diary - venezuela - july 2002


Road turns into a river of ming

Water falls from a motorway bridge

Walking the plank, Caracas style

Friday 21 June - Wednesday 10 July

On the way back to Caracas the day turned gradually black until the heavens opened, the roads became rivers, our tyres ceased to function and the traffic slowed to a crawl as half of the cars have tyres even worse than ours. As we came into the edges of the city we accidentally turned off the motorway in the abysmal visability and onto the old road, which winds through some of the poorest areas. Huge torrents of water poured down from the flyovers above, the drainage systems unable to cope with the volume. Driving through the suburbs was like driving in a sewer, dirty water washed all kinds of detrius into the road but the local kids were still playing football knee deep amongst the flotsam.

Healthy difference between the new and old

Inner tubes inside? haha!

Balancing act

Making Jose a happy chappy

Chunky new boots

Taxi filling up with natural gas

With the Venezuelan economy on a downward spiral we now have 1300 bolivars per dollar instead of the 800 when we first arrived. However prices are rising too, our prospective tyres rose by $10 each before we realised where to get the best deal. Unfortunately Michelin XZLs are almost non existant but BF Goodrich Mud Terrains are. They're also a bit bigger and give us a tad more ground clearance, not as much as some stonking 18" versions we saw but still way better than whats left of our current tyres. The tyre fitters thought we were very odd for wanting to keep our inner tubes inside the new tyres, more out of lazyness than professional experience, not that that was up to much as they re-tightened the wheelnuts in a circular fashion.

The price of fuel has stayed the same at 48 bolivars per litre, not a lot, a full tank of natural gas however costs a mind-boggling 5 bolivars courtesy of some world bank initiative to reduce the countries needless burning off of gas at the oil refineries.

Ivor the engines' Venezuelan cousin

Where's the fire?

Nice Roller..the next trip vehicle?

Landy Series 1 owned by the curator

Pressing the new bushes in

Standard issue helmet

A visit to the Caracas transport museum was prompted by the sight of a Series 1 Landy out the front which turned out to be owned from new by the curator. As we were the only visitors we were shown around personally and even allowed to play about in the cars and horse drawn carriages.

As our panhard rod (ooer!) had been making clunky noises we finally got round to putting in some new bushes which has cured the problem.


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