Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope that everyone shared happy memories over the holiday season!
Christmas in Venezuela is celebrated on December 24 with dinner of hallaca, a meal of maiz stuffed with meat and vegetables and boiled in water in a palm leave. My friend Adriana from Argentina arrive with Luis an Argentinean friend just before Christmas and in the end I went to her familys house to celebrate with them. It was a quiet affair but homely and friendly. On Christmas day (not at all celebrated in Venezuela) Adri, Luis and I hiked up La Avila the mountain overlooking Caracas offering great views of all of the city.
On boxing day Anna arrived in Caracas! George drove Victor and I to meet her at the airport and after a five hour delay we finally spotted her!! It was very exciting to see her after over two years of not having seen each other! We spent the night in Caracas and the next headed to Valencia, three hours out of Caracas to meet up with Pedro, a friend from Adelaide. Pedro met us at the bus station and took us to his familys country house where we ate hallaca again and spent some time with Pedros family . It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the beautiful pool and garden filled with fruit trees but we were soon whisked back to Valencia to get ready for a night out on the town. We all went to dance some salsa at a local bar which was a great night out in Valencia.
From Valencia Anna and I travelled to the national park of Morrocoy where we met up with Luis and Adri for some beach action. Morrocoy is incredible! It is a national park made up of several cayos, or islands offering idyllic Caribbean beaches. We stayed on the main land and took little boats out to the islands each day. We had such a great time! I even managed to get a bit of a sun tan (first time for everything!!!!!!!!!!)
Annas flight home was on the Jan 1 so the Dec 31 we drove back to Caracas to spend New Years Eve in the capital. NY in Venezuela is a family affair. It is customary to spend the evening with family until midnight and then the young folk go out afterwards. Doesnt offer a lot for the tourist unfortunately but at least Anna and I were together drinking a beer when the clock struck 12 and the apartment exploded into a thundering mess of fire works! As was my experience in Ecuador 2 years ago, fire works are not at all regulated here which basically means every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks it is fun to set off enormous of fire works from whichever place he can spot in the street. The result is a terrifying display of poorly planed fire work placement accompanied by a symphony of car alarms. I was happy that we were inside! Watching 5 year old children at the base of our apartment building happily setting off fire works without any care as to where the fire work might actually explode, was not a sight drawing us outside! After midnight George came to pick us up and we went to a party of a friend of his who had a great view over the city so that we could see more fireworks at a pleasant distance!
Unfortunately Annas had to leave home for the airport at 6am on Jan 1 so George and I took her home where we had out farewell. George and I then went on to a club with his friends where we danced for hours and eventually left the club at 9am the next day! Was a bit eary walking out in the harsh daylight but considering that we didnt leave home until 2, it was a little bit to be expected!
Having Anna in Venezuela was fabulous. I am missing her a lot now though. I am leaving Venezuela for Brazil on Tuesday and I would like to go on a trip before a leave but unfortunately Venezuela is not he easiest country to travel in and it is too dangerous for me to go on my own. So I dont think I will have the opportunity to leave Caracas but at least I will on the beach a lot in Brazil!
Gosh not long now until I am home (on Feb 11). Looking forward to seeing you all soon! xoxoxo
posted Saturday January 2009