Countries 8 Hotels 29 Cars 39
Flights 16:flying time 55.14 hours
Rickshaws 4 Buses 8 Elephant 1 Boat 3
Cog-wheel train 2 Cable cars 6 Subway 4 Ferry 2
Minibus 34 Coach 2 Catamaran 1 Funicular 3
Pick up truck 2 Land Cruiser 8 Hydrofoil 4
Llama 1 Cycle Taxi 1 Train 3 Motorised Canoe 9
After breakfast I went and laid round the hotel pool for an hour or so as it’s the only chance I will get the three different nights I will be staying here.
The lovely Audrey collected me and took me to the airport for my flight to Barinas. I was using the domestic airport today and once through security there were fully stocked shops and places like Subway, pizza shops, coffee shops, all the little kiosks had sweets, the make up counters were fully stocked, yet on the way to the airport I saw people queueing for food at the shops. Things like coffee, milk powder, medicines, toothpaste are rare and when they are available they have to be bought on the black market at a very high rate, I’m told.
My flight was delayed 75 minutes, I was warned about the tardiness of Venezuelan airlines, when I got to Barinas airport, just a room really, Toto, my guide, was waiting for me in a pick up truck and off we went. We had a three hour journey and because of the flight delay we were going to get to the ranch after dark. The roads are full of potholes so the journey was rather bumpy. Once we got away from the towns and nearer the ranch there was just vast open plains, Toto tells me that sixty per cent of Venezuela is like this. We also got stopped a lot by police, there are check points dotted all along the roads, checking for things like animal smuggling or drink driving.
There’s a huge gate at the entrance to the ranch once we were inside there was an amazing sight, capybaras, hundreds of them, no exaggeration, just sleeping on the road, settled down for the night, and they don’t move so Toto and to weave his way through them, I had my head hanging out of the window going oh they are so sweet, so cute, while he is trying not to run them over.
Dinner at the ranch is at seven and as we had missed this the kitchen staff had waited to make us food, very kind. Dinner over with I was taken to my room, which was cell like really, had an air conditioner that sounded like a truck was in the room and no hot water. It also had Interesting bed covers and curtains.