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Published: August 25th 2009
After having such great times in Ecuador and Colombia Venezuela is a real disappointment. The people are OK and some of the scenery around Merida is nice, but the exchange rate problem makes everything either expensive, difficult or both. That's probably making us view everything else negatively, things that we would laugh off in a country we liked become another reason to dislike this one, and we don't like it here, both of us are looking forward to getting out.
We decided to cancel our biking and paragliding plans in Merida and head straight to Ciudad Bolivar to see whether we could sort out a trip to Angel Falls. We did some research on the internet and found the best route was Merida - Barinas - Ciudad Bolivar. Stage 1 went well, we got to the bus station about 40 minutes before a bus was leaving, great. The journey to Barinas was good, through some really nice alpine type scenery. When we got to Barinas the wheels started to come off. There is only one bus company for the Barinas - Ciudad Bolivar route and they have only one bus per day - and it was already full - s**t. We were told the next best thing was to go to Valencia and then get a Ciudad Bolivar bus from there. Getting a ticket was no problem but the journey was uncomfortable because the aircon was so strong it made the inside of the bus like the arctic even though outside was a comfortable temperature. We got to Valencia at 4 am and luckily found a Ciudad Bolivar bus that was leaving at 5am. Eleven hours later, and about 24 after we left Merida we eventually arrived in Ciudad Bolivar.
3 day 2 night Angel Falls trips from Ciudad Bolivar cost ~ BsF1700 which at the official rate, the only one we can get without US$ or euro cash, comes to >US$800. We want to go, but not at that price. The only solution is to go to Brazil, get cash, then go back to Venezuela. To do this will take at least 2 days, we have neither the time nor the inclination to go to so much trouble. So we're going to head to Manaus and spend our time and money in Brazil. F**k Venezuela!!!
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