Blogs from Mérida, Andean, Venezuela, South America


South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida July 16th 2013

Venezuela is a country that seems to have a bit of a problem with its reputation (much like its Mondongo soup (, but given this is made from the stomach of cows and apparently smells like bile I think in this case it might be justified!!). In most of the places I had been travelling in South America, the locals had always responded with warnings of how dangerous Venezuela would be, and that I should be very careful going there. I wanted to find out for myself what Venezuela was really like (bearing in mind that of course most of the people giving the warnings have never actually been there!!) so I set off overland to Merida, the most touristic city in Venezuela, where I hoped to find my feet before deciding whether it would be ... read more
Monument to Simon Bolivar
The world's cheapest petrol!

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida January 27th 2013

We arrived in Merida on Friday evening after a short flight from Caracas. Woke up on Saturday at 04.45. The lady in the next room was having a very loud orgasm. When she finished she had a chat with her partner and went back to sleep – as did I. Now that made me think. Was this episode the result of her partner booking through one of the main local tour agents – they are called Fanny Tours, or was it as a result of the 180 earth tremors a year they get in Merida. Our new guides Ramon and Toro informed us that Merida lies on a major fault line in the earth’s crust – a fact that our travel agent managed to omit. Merida town is a bit rough and ready. It’s bit like ... read more
Local Resident
Merida Square
Local produce

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida September 10th 2012

Thanks partially to the Brazillian Border Police being on strike again, we arrived in Ciudad Bolivar much later than expected. The journey from Boa Vista took 23 hours and was a real grueller especially due to the rather “fresh” air-con. We stayed at Posada La Casita, a 20 min ride out of the town centre but really handy as they provide transfers to and from the bus station and a shuttle into town. That apart though, this place is a little piece of paradise with beautiful grounds and extremely hospitable Peter the German host/owner and his nephew Alejandro and all the lovely smiley helpful staff. After a couple of days chilling by the pool and drinking several bottles of Venezuelan Polar Beer (with our fellow travellers Suzanne from England, Steve and Andy from Germany and our ... read more
Swimming in the lagoon
First glimpse of Angel Falls
Angel Falls

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida September 25th 2011

So I made it to Venezuela. And I only got stopped and searched once. Border towns are usually crap towns, or an armpit of a place, think Tijuana. Cúcuta Colombia is supposed to be particularly seedy and bad according to guide books and online reviews. As a result I stayed in Pamplona which was a nice little town. So then I headed to Cúcuta and onwards to Venezuela. On the bus ride into Cúcuta I saw some nice areas and it didn't seem any seedier than any other place I have been to. One I arrived at the bus station in Cúcuta a guy asks where I am going and offers me a ride to directly to San Cristóbal, stopping at the DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, Colombian immigration) office to get my exit stamp, then ... read more
Meat on a Stick.
Traffic Jam in Venezuela

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida August 20th 2010

Dear All Greetings from the mountains of Venezuela. Here I am in the touristy town of Mérida, high up in the Andes of Western Venezuela, and what lovely weather up here - less of the hot and humid, more of the cloudy and cold. Never thought I´d miss the latter! And the bonus is my hostel has hot water! I haven´t seen this since Caracas, and it really is a treat. To be honest, in the hot zones of the tropical coast a cold shower is fantastic. But since Bogotá, taking showers has been more of an ordeal than a pleasure (counting to 3 before jumping in, quickly scrubbing, and wrapping up in a cosy towel again...!), and the further you go up in altitude, the more the water seems to come direct from an Andean ... read more
Church made entirely of stone, no cement
Mountains around Mérida
View from my hotel room, Mérida

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida January 26th 2010

I finally arrived in Mérida, the city I have been most looking forward to visiting in Venezuela. Besides the bus breaking down in the middle of the night and having to wait an hour for a replacement to arrive, the journey from Maracay was good, with picturesque scenery as we journeyed into the northernmost foothills of the Andes. The biggest disappointment in arriving was the temperature; having been told that Mérida was cold, I was surprised to find that it was still baking hot (during the day at least). At the bus station I met a German who was promoting his posada (hostel), and as it sounded better than the one I was going to head for (for the same price) I let him persuade me to stay there. The city itself has a rather compact ... read more
Pico Aguila in the Venezuelan Andes
Bull fight!

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida January 20th 2010

Mérida I arrived in Mérida in the morning of the 20th of January 2010. Beside sleeping I was talking to a guy, named Juan, from Mérida, who offered me to stay in his apartment. I thought "why not" and so we went in the car of his aunt to his apartment. The apartment was big and I got my own room. He started to clean a little bit and buy some food, because he invited a friend and his brother for that night for dinner. So he cooked Pasta with pig in tomato sauce. Delicious! His friend Reynaldo and his brother were really nice. We spent a nice evening. The next two days went by making party at night, sleeping very long and I visited a few things on my own on the day, like ... read more

South America » Venezuela » Andean » Mérida December 7th 2009

Venezuela Border Crossing from Macau (Colombia) to Venezuela, a 4 hour bus journey to Macauibo it was starting to look like the end of Colombia, as stated in my guidebook it was a shabby bus station with everyone wanting to take you somewhere or sell you something, so I paid for my ticket to Marricibo from the Colombian border town and not a bus as I expected but a old chevelet car this is the normal kind of transport for crossing the border and onwards to further towns. So we arrived at the border and I received my Colombia exit stamp and then I had to obtain my Venezuelan entry stamp well the immigration officer could not find my exit tamp and nor could I, so I had to run back to the Colombian side to ... read more

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