Wednesday, May 10, 2006

 

from the wilds of the Orinoco jungle

Hello all you statesiders (and anyone else). Writing now from a cage at a lodge on the banks of one of the rivers that makes up the huge Orinoco Delta. Arrived in Maturin yesterday from Caracas (had to awaken at 4:00 a.m. to take an alternate route to the airport because a mudslide closed down the main road (or something, my Spanish is really limited)) and immediately was in a boat fast-laning it to the lodge here. I don't know if I'll be able to get used to cars quickly after this. Amazing to just ride, looking at kilometers upon kilometers of trees and endless river, broken up by Warao huts/villages, some cool wildlife (river dolphis, toucans, ibis, red howler monkeys, among others). Sunsets are especially cool. Our guide on the boat is a young guy from Argentina who speaks decent English, and the boat is driven by a local Warao. We stopped at a couple of indian villages today to shop for local crafts and say howdy. They were ready for our arrival, immediately and somewhat prosaically setting out their wares, and giving us the prices in their limited Spanish. Got some cool stuff. At one of the villages, there was a local kid running along the planks, wearing a 2005 White Sox World Champions t-shirt with a photo of Ozzie Guillen. Didn't have time to snap a photo, but have plenty of photos of other stuff. Also met a random Canadian who was squatting in one of the huts. His name? Jonathan! Young guy who is trying to see all of South America. He doesn't communicate with the locals, just sort of sits there and watches them. He's been there 5 days and plans to stay another two. I'm not sure they realize what's going on. Quite unusual. Francisco, our guide, wasn't too impressed.

I caught a pirhana yesterday but had to throw it back. Too small.

Tomorrow we're out to Isla Margarita, playpen of the European traveller, where we'll mostly bask, and perhaps snorkle a bit.

I just realized I'm not much of a travel writer. Sorry about that.

Hasta luego!!

Oh, here's info on the lodge, if you're interested.

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