The 'tepuys' of La Gran Sabana are stupendously awesome. They are formed millions and millions of years ago. In fact, this area is probably the same sort of land (not much eroded, not much created) from the Pangaea days when South America was connected to Africa like a jigsaw puzzle.This is the mystical area that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got inspired...more
'La Gran Sabana' means 'The Great Savannah'.Indeed here, the savannah is G-R-E-A-T. There is something magical about this region, I cannot quite explain it. As the car drove through the rolling hills, I felt my spirits rising and I was often choked with tears. There are many hidden waterfalls and rivers. One of the most noteworthy is Quebrada de...more
Santa Elena is a little town surrounded by one of the most amazing natural landscapes in the world. There are many rivers and waterfalls around this region and rainfall is abundant, leading to wonderfully swollen rivers for rafting.Of course, river rafting is dangerous. You should seek a good travel agency. If possible, make sure they check their...more
Next to Posada Backpacker Tours (to the east side) is the Chinese Restaurant Michelle. The food is good here and the portions very big (I could eat far from everything on my plate). For chicken with vegetables, rice and a beer I paid 11 500 Bs plus tip, so it is cheap considering the amount of food. In the dinning room there was a TV-screen showing...more
Posada Backpacker Tours has got a restaurant, a place which is a great meeting point where you can meet people going or coming back from Roraima.If you stay at the posada the breakfast, which is very good, is included in the price, but other tourists come here to eat as well. I think the breakfast for non guests is 10 000 Bs. The breakfast includes...more
In the morning it is only Turgar company that has buses leaving for Ciudad Bolivar (Occidente used to have, but didn't have when I travelled). Turgar buses are not the best ones and can not be booked in advance (you can go to the bus station the evening before the departure to buy a ticket though). I was told the bus was leaving at 7am and so said...more
I don’t like travelling by night bus as I can’t sleep on them and I don’t want to miss out the scenery and people along the way. The good buses between Ciudad Bolivar and Santa Elena go by night and it seems Turgar is the only company going during the day. With Turgar it seems you can’t book tickets ahead, so I went to the bus terminal very early...more
When you arrive here in Santa Elena, you can't help but notice the rows and rows of cars waiting to get their tanks filled. There were rows for Brazilians, rows for Venezuelans and rows for tourists. And these rows were controlled by the military police.
As petrol is so cheap here in Venezuela, Brazilians come here in loads to buy petrol. There is a black market going on. They buy for X Bs in Venezuela but they sell it for 15 to 20 times more in Brazil. Some of them install extra tanks in their cars so that they can pump a lot of litres. There is some form of control with the car registration or whatever. But people would come over early in the morning, get their tanks filled, leave, transfer the petrol somewhere else, change the license plate and car registration of another car, and return to get their tanks filled again.
Of course, the guy working at the petrol station knows. A little tip for him. And maybe the military police knows. A little tip for him as well.
The tourist jeeps here get special privileges, so they can jump right to the front of the queue, but only if all their papers were right. Otherwise, perhaps, a little tip for the military police to smoothen out the complications.
Think about the taxi drivers. To them, having petrol in their cars is a must. Yet, each time they need petrol, they have to wait up to 3 hours... like all the poor residents living here. Sigh...
'Puripuris' are sandflies and they are everywhere near the waterfalls and rivers.There is no avoiding them, I guess, because even if you spray insect repellant, by the time you dip into the waterfalls and rivers, everything would be washed off. It is a price to pay for enjoying such wondrous nature.more
DETODO.com is the most popular if not the fastest internet connection in town. unfortunately it is situated in front of the local technical high school and at any time of the day during school days there are many students playing computer games and you may have to wait up to one hour to use the computer!at night time, there is hardly any one using...more
Dont even try to enter Brasil, whose border is such a short drive away without the international yellow fever certificate.This morning I appeared at the frontera, to explain the situation. i had left my yellow card in cuba and i had a venezuelan substitute. i had even gone to the brasilian consulate in santa elena to explain the situation and they...more
If you are a group of 2 or more and are about to embark on this journey. Pay the park ranger to trek the mountain on your own. They wouldnt let me go as I was solo but there reason for not letting me go was that very reason.The ranger was a d!ckhead because he would have got a decent days pay if he had of let me go alone, but he did say anymore...more
If you are crossing into Venezuela from Brazil, it is best that you withdraw quite a handful of Brazilian Reais first. Just before the border-crossing, some guys would board the bus and change the Reais into Venezuelan Bolivares. To be honest, the rates here are quite reasonable and you definitely need some Venezuelan Bolivares when you arrive in...more