August 2002 - big trip - diary - venezuela - august 2002


The staff of our...

...favourite panaderia...

...who frothed up our coffees

Sunday 18 - Saturday 24 August

The night was spent in the garden of Hotel El Cesar. The half-senile Cesar's chickens and turkeys and a couple of noisy generator powered wheeled ice cream machines woke us up too early, so we drove out to the Sabana again to find a campsite.

Ice cream machines

Santa Elena...

...not a busy place

Monday and the halfshaft hadn't come but we managed to call Dunsfold and get the tracking number to discover that it had arrived in Venezuela on Friday. Maybe it'll be here tomorrow. Tomorrow came and the Captain had a message to say the parcel was in Puerto Ordaz, about 550kms away and what should be done next. Unfortunately the useless bloke who'd left the message had left only half a phone number and another which was never answered. We left for our campsite again hoping that it would arrive the next day. After more fruitless running around we bumped into Claude at who has a range rover and a series 3 landy. He'd had similar experiences with UPS before and helped us by finding out the mysterious number and calling the guy in Puerto Ordaz. Eventually the parcel arrived on Saturday, it had got from England to Caracas in 2 days, taking another week to complete the final part of its journey. The mega levels of frustration not helped by the lack of a working internet connection in the town.

B made another hospital trip as two lots of antibiotics still hadn't resolved the stomach problems which first started at Rio Caura. A quick test showed that the parasite Giardia had taken up residence, so yet another week of pills was needed to get rid of the unwelcome guests.

Power lines spoil the view a bit

Leaving our hill top camp...

...and the view


Caterpillar carrying something else's eggs

Plant erosion

The new halfshaft was smoothly fitted and the wheel bearing regreased thanks to a box spanner that Dunsfold had given us. With the landy now running in 4 wheel drive again things feel much better, gearchanges aren't as clunky and it feels more connected to the road after 1000kms or so in two wheel drive. Now for Brazil!

First we take you to a special page of Venezuelan beer adverts...mmm...

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