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My Dad is a Venezuelan opera singer whose stage name is Rafael Lammas. In the 60's, he studied under the great Stefano in Italy and also at the London school of opera. He is a very talented singer (mi Papa o no).
Although officially retired now, he still sings 'when he feels like it' (often spurred on by a couple of Irish Whiskeys at a family party he he ). He is still recording albums, does concerts for charity in the Punto Fijo region, has had TV documentaries about him, and has sung in a very amusing government TV advert (among others) about how you 'must pay you taxes'.
I had the pleasure of seeing my Dad sing professionally on a previous visit to Punto Fijo, which brought memories of watching him perform inthe UK in the 70's as a child, which brought me to tears.
His loyal audience seem to prefer the traditional Venezuelan songs, such as 'Yo Soy de Venezuela' and gave him standing ovations for these...but when I was there, he bravely sang as a finale 'I did it my way' in English, (just for me possibly) to 'polite' applause from his usually raptuous audience. It brings a lump to my throat when I think of it...
If by some remote chance, you are in the Paraguana region Venezuela and you happen across my Dad, Rafael Lammas, please go and shake his hand. Tell him Amapola sent you and buy him a whiskey. He lived for his music, is a charming rascal (believe me, ladies still swoon, especially at those Italian love seranades) and is also highly amusing and intelligent company ; )
Updated Sep 28, 2007
Look out parking attendants,...In the Los Taques/Punto Fijo area, there is a man who will make a mockery of your job if you do not attend to him fast enough.
If you see him leaving your car park while waving Bolivar note at you, GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN ! This man has not got the patience to wait while you chat to that lovely lady about how good her Mama's cakes are...
He will not be concerned about change.
And if you do no get there fast enough, you are likely to hear a couple of very rude English words ending in the word 'off' , while our Mr Impatient zooms off into the sunset at high speed, leaving you without your parking money. (Sometimes, he has a younger accomplice).
You have been warned.
Updated Apr 25, 2005
On the way back from Adicora to Los Taques, we passed Laguna de Tiraya which was full of beautiful flamingos. This lagoon is a large breeding area for them and Scarlet Ibis. The road was really a dirt track, so you will need a decent vehicle. It's not easy to get a shot of flamingos, they take off ! Thus my long distance shot of the birds on the water ; ) Still, a lovely sight.
Written Jan 13, 2008