Wandering the streets of Caracas
Trip Start Aug 27, 2005
24Trip End Dec 09, 2005
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We hailed a taxi in La Guaira haggled over the fare with the driver until finally he agreed to $20 US. He had wanted $40 originally. The taxi drivers know there are 700 college students around and have been price gouging. The ride to Caracas was uneventful.
We asked the driver to drop us of at Plaza Bolivar which is where the Venezuelan government buildings are located
After checking out several streets of markets and vendors near the Plaza Bolivar, we went to the Metro station and headed to the east end of the city called Chacao. We had originally planned on heading to the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Modern Art Museum) but it is closed on Mondays
Chacao is the heart of metropolitan Caracas. Huge high rise buildings, fancy malls and restaurants characterize this part of the city. We walked for a long while, just taking in the city, heading east in the general direction of a huge park called El Parque del Este. On the way we dodged into a fancy mall called Sambil to try to find something to eat. We found lots of fast food- Wendy's (which are everywhere in Venezuela) Pizza Hut, and others...but luckily we also found a Venezuelan restaurant too. I had an arepa con asado y aquacate (it's kind of like a steak and avocado sandwich). After lunch we left Sambil.
We continued walking eventually reaching El Parque del Este. It was closed...I did not know a park could close...but it was. It was open on Mondays from 5am-9am. There are museums in the park that we knew were closed on Monday but we did not know the whole park could close. Oh well.
Greg and I consulted the Lonely Planet and decided to take a cab to El Hatillo; a small town outside of Caracas that is supposed to have great restaurants and streets to walk. We hailed a cab and twenty minutes later we were in El Hatillo. It was farther away than we thought it was.
We wandered around the town for a while, not really knowing where to go. It was enjoyable nonetheless. We were both running low on money at this point in the day and were wondering if we had strayed too far from La Guaira to be able to afford to get back. We asked a taxi driver how much it would be to take us to the port in La Guaira and he told us 50,000 Bolivares. Between the two of us we had 53,000 Bolivares. We jumped at the chance to get back for that cheap (trust me that was a good deal). The drive took about an hour and we were tired by the time we got back to the ship.
Tomorrow morning I am scheduled to hike part of Mt. Avila and then I am going to try to make it to the Modern Art Museum with my friend Jacky from New York.