Dirty, Dirty Island but great hot dogs!

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Tamaca Hostel

Flag of Venezuela  ,
Friday, January 11, 2008

So we finally arrive in Isla Da Margarita. We seen the posters in Brazil, heard the stories of the lovely beaches so we were looking forward to some relaxing beach time. Sadly that wasn't quite to be.
We hoped on a local bus to Porlamar (the town centre) where we had a room booked in Hostel Tamaca. After a 10min walk we arrived at the hostel, which was ok, very near the beach and our romm had aircon and cable. The towels appeared to be made of plastic, but that wasn't exactly life threatening. The hostel is right near the beach so we went to check it out. Porlamar beach isn't very nice, infact none of the beaches we checked out where very good. I think they stick all the package holiday people on some private beaches somewhere that we never got to. Porlamar is also filthy. There is rubbish everywhere and it stinks. It's quite hard to take a photo without trash (check me out getting all Canadian) getting in at least the corner of the photo.
Anyway after a couple of days getting buses out to different beached we realised that we weren't going to find our slice of paradise so we concentrated on two of the things that Venezuela does very well in our opinion - food and beer. At the cheaper end there are the empanadas, hot dogs and burgers. At the higher end there was an amazing Italian restaurant called Positano. But back to the empanadas. They are deep fried pockets of dough filled with chicken, cheese, fish, whatever you want. You bite the end of one and then squirt hot or green sauce in the hole so you get spicy goodness all the way down to the bottom. There is an empanada stall outside the hostel and we went everyday for breakfast as they also did freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. After breakfast of course comes lunch and that means hot dog time. I don't like hot dog sausages but I do like them Venezuelan style (which means you can't taste them). The buns are steamed and then the dogs are covered with chopped onions, potato bits and loads of sauces. Just add a bit of salsa picante and you are ready to eat. That is actually the most difficult part as trying to stuff the hot dog in your mouth without getting covered in sauces and bits is very difficult (an extra napkin is handy to wipe your feet with). Dinner varied from the best vongole we've every had to the cheapest pallela we've ever had! (Burgers will be dealt with in a later entry). The beer in Venezuela isn't necessarily the best but it is offically the cheapest. It's roughly 11p for a bottle and it's always served ice cold! So to sum it all up most of our time was spent standing on dirty street corners, sipping beer with the locals and eating hot dogs - winner!
Anyway, I've just realised that practically all I've talked about is the food, but to be honest that's what our time in Isla Da Margarita was all about. We enjoyed ourselves but it was soon time to go further into Venezuela in search of better (and hopefully cleaner) places.....
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