Kids shouldn`t have guns

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of Venezuela  , Mérida,
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leaving Merida, we started our drive towards the Los Llanos wildlife area, where we would be doing a few days of a safari of sorts.  Getting there, however, involved some driving and a few interesting stops. 

Our first stop was in the town of Mucuchies, where there was "some sort of festival" going on.  Nobody knew much about it, but we stopped anyways to check things out.  Wandering around town, there appeared to be many people sitting along the road looking bored.  What a festival!  Walking up the hill, however, we found an area with a large field where several groups were marching and shooting guns in the air -- as it turns out, getting ready for a parade.  (Which, incidentally, also explained the people sitting along the road looking bored).  The parade started with some music and dancers, and the procession of a small saint down the road.  It was followed by a group of kids with guns.  They seemed to be little cap gun type things, that they were periodically shooting into the air.  However, it was frightening in the sense that the kids didn`t really seem to take care of what direction they pointed the guns, so occasionally you`d find a few pointed into the crowd.  A few also had mini firecrackers in the guns that they were lighting and shooting into the air as well.

More disturbing, though, was the next group -- adults with guns.  Although they took better care to point up, the guns were LOUD.  Very, very loud.  We quickly dispersed backwards away from the parade to try and save our eardrums (and, perhaps, ourselves -- one of the men in the parade was being carried away by two of his companions, and looked hurt.  So perhaps they weren`t so good with aiming either).  As we dispersed, we tried to make our way back to the truck, which proved difficult as the parade wound up and down the main roads of the town.  We made it, though!

Further down the road, we stopped at the Laguna Negra (black lake) for some fantastic views, and a nice hike around a pretty lake in the mountians, as well as for a lunch break.  This was the first place where I noticed people gaping at and taking pictures of our big orange truck. 

Arriving at our stop for the night, we had a nice trout dinner and a bonfire, but John was hoping to find the Badger football bowl game on ESPN.  Unfortunately, our hotel was a tiny place a half an hour outside of a tiny town -- not going to happen, right?  Well, as it turned out, they had Direct TV, and we sat 30 feet from the bonfire and watched the Badgers have a great game. 
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Dad on

True, in the end it was a pretty good game, but it didn't look very promising at the start :-)
FYI - badgers-SPARTANS do battle tomorrow night - go Spartans!!!

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