Blogs from Capital, Venezuela, South America

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South America » Venezuela » Capital June 25th 2014

On a lazy afternoon as I was idly rummaging through some papers at my office, a long distance phone call woke me up! That was UNIDO, Vienna calling, trying to ascertain whether I was the same person who had authored a technical article published three months back in an industry journal. As I answered in the affirmative, next came the bombshell, whether I was interested in making a presentation on the same theme with all expenses paid by UNIDO in a conference in Caracas, Venezuela. That was too much to fathom and I could somehow mutter, ‘Oh! Yeah, I could give it a try’. My first trip abroad and that too to Caracas, almost straight from the school geography lessons! All my good friends cautioned me about Latin America, the land of drug cartels and gang ... read more

South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira January 21st 2014

Hello again, Been meaning to get onto this for a while and just keep putting it off as there are sooooo many people around me who are sooo much better at writing. But hey, this was never meant to be good writing - just a way to keep in touch with the people I love. And so. People I love, I hope you are well and happy and not suffering the January Blues too much now. Loving all the wintery photos from my beloved Edinburgh, including that nuts sky high ride what fell down on the ground and such! You crazies. Last time I wrote, I was waiting for Ben and Omar to arrive and to see a little bit more of this beautiful country. And that we did. Turns out I hadn't communicated particularly well ... read more
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South America » Venezuela » Capital December 19th 2013

My dearest friends, I will take you today to our neighbouring country Venezuela, a country which should be our brother but unfortunately, we have not been on the best terms since Adam and Eve. Well, I don't know whether I am throwing a monkey wrench in the works but I feel that given the investment we are at present making in the Venezuelan economy, shopping mistreatment shouldn't be even considered by them. It will be up to you to judge after reading my entry, that's why, let's concentrate for the moment on the mere description of that Venezuelan city called San Cristobal, not very far from the Colombian border. The Capital of Tachira Located in the western Andes of our neighbouring country, San Cristobal is one of the oldest Venezuelan cities. It was in ... read more
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The Cathedral area
Colourful but you can see rubbish everywhere

South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira October 7th 2013

Hello dear friends, I decided it was time to start blogging again or pretty soon I'll forget how to write! Haha. Speaking to people over the summer made me think that even though life here is 'normal' to me now, it's still anything but in reality... So, life over the last year. Well it's been interesting to say the least. Living through the elections, the death of the President, the new elections and the repercussions of those results has ensured that there has, in fact, never been a dull moment. Almost one year on from the re-election of Chavez and things in the country are not in a great way - shortages are just a given now. Last night, I had a party and a new friend brought me a (extremely welcome) packet of toilet roll! ... read more

South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira January 24th 2013

Wednesday was a funny old day. In the hotel lobby for 5:00am for someone to take us to Havana Airport for a 9:00am Caracas flight. The airport is only 30 minutes away but the guide insisted on a pick up at 5. After two heated calls someone eventually shows up at just before 6. Getting out of Cuba is a laugh. It takes 2 hours to check in, pay departure tax, clear emigration, get past security etc. The national airline is broke so it runs old Russian made planes. My chair is broken, the toilets are disgusting and abysmal would praise the in-flight meal. But the plane does make it to Caracas. Met at the airport by our guide Ludwig. He tells us he’ll change our dollars to Bolivars. The official rate is $1= 4.07 Bolivars. ... read more
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Political Meeting

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South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira January 7th 2013

Day 443 Thursday 27th December Our alarm went off at 4.00am, which is just the most ridiculous time to start a day. Our flight isn’t till 7.30 but the woman at the hotel suggested we should take a 5.00am taxi to the airport, we both thought this was way too early but being a local we thought she knew best. We finalised our packing and got ourselves together just in time as our taxi arrived ten minutes early. The airport on Curacao is on the other side of the island but it was still only a twenty minute drive. The taxi drive once again cost us 70 guilders ($40), which is pretty steep but it got rid of some of that currency. Of course at 5.15am the airport wasn’t operating but there ... read more
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South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas November 13th 2012

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Marines' Birthday Ball in Caracas. Aside from being an opportunity to get our of Anaco and dress up, attending the ball made me proud to be an American. Hearing the proud tradition and heroic deeds of our men and women in uniform made me want to stand up straighter, and the playing of the national anthem sent tingles up my spine. For one night, speaking English was expected and not something to feel apopogetic about while in a foreign country. I was reminded - as I am often not - that there is more to our country than meets the eye - especially when you live abroad and hear only about your country from others. That there are men and women, both at home and abroad, ... read more
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South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas October 29th 2012

I have been home now for a couple of weeks. It is great to be back home. A number of people have asked me what I got out of my Camino and if it was what I had hoped for or anticipated. Very difficult questions to answer. First of all, I am not certain that I knew what to expect or what answers to get. My Camino marked a milestone between two parts of my life: i.e. my professional life and my life thereafter, that is just to begin. I did not have fixed formulated questions in my mind before I set out on my walk, as far as there were questions, they probably came to mind and were refined during the many hours that I walked on my own. Did I get answers, I do ... read more
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South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira September 22nd 2012

This morning did some of my last preparations. Went to El Avila, my favorite training ground and trekked 600 m up. A nice walk that covered about 6 km; that makes it an approximately 20 degree inclination. good for legs and knees. Going down as usual more complicated than going up. Reminds me of the way down on Kilimanjaro. I will see a bit of that also on the first day, walking from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles. We will see how that works out. Tomorrow packing the backpack. Hopefully I can keep the weight down to to 7 kg.... read more

South America » Venezuela » Capital » Caracas » Altamira September 22nd 2012

My first public note in this blog. I have been thinking and about and planning this trip for quit a while; probably as long as I have been thinking about retiring.... Both occasions have arrived and I feel somewhat tense and anxious. I have been prepairing physically very hard for this trip going to the gym in the morning and in the afternoon walking with a backpack most of the days. In the weekends long walks in El Avila (12-15 km). I hope that that I am prepared. My trip officially starts on Monday the 24th when I will be traveling to Madrid and later (Tuesday) connecting to Pamplona and Roncesvalles where I will spend the night. I have chosen to stay in Roncevalles and to take a taxi to St Jean Pied de Port early ... read more




Tot: 0.348s; Tpl: 0.009s; cc: 11; qc: 88; dbt: 0.1318s; 88; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 4; ; mem: 6.5mb