Archive for April 2012

From the east to the west

April 30, 2012

New day new entry

17th of April

We get up at 5 am to escape the rain. We never had rain in the morning time. But before I continue with new stuff I have to say that this night was horrible. I forgot to mention, that Basti and me lost one of our camping mat so we had to share the only one which was left. I can tell you that it was freezing there.

Ok here we go….

So the first we walked was the crystal valley. There was everywhere quartz crystal stones. The surroundings around the Tepui looked like a moon landscaped just that there was a little more water and vegetation. Many weird flowers. Then we walked to the edge of the Roraima. First it wasn’t possible to see anything because of the clouds, but a few seconds later the sky became clear and what we saw was such a wicked few…hell. And the country in front of us we could see was Guyana. Because the view was as fast gone as it came our Guide Calio brought us to another viewpoint. This one was even much better then before. We had a view to the twin mountain of the Roraima and everything looked just so faked with the waterfalls which falled down of the Tepuis, rainforest as far as you could look. Yeah that was a good start in the morning. Then we walked back in our camp. It started to rain and we just hang out. In the afternoon the rain stopped so Stephan, Basti, Calio and me walked to the edge where we climbed up and after that we went to a cave with a small lake inside and the water inside the cave is coming out of the edge of the Roraima as waterfall. Because it was already late we walked back, waited for dinner had some shots (just because it was freezing 😉 )

 

18th of April we got up at 4:30 am because we had to leave and wanted to avoid rain. But this time it was raining the whole night. So we drank a hot cup of chocolate (yummy) and waited until the rain was over. Basti and I started at 7:30am after 3 hours Martina, Stephan and both of us reached the base camp (without rain…great!). Alejandro and Vivianne were still high in the mountains. So we four kept walking walking and walking. Basti had some problems with his knees because of climbing down, I was tired but we kept walking. After another 1 ½ hours we were at the first river, we crossed kept walking and reached after 30 minutes the next river… hell yeah we reached the camp (that one we missed the first time). But before we went there, Basti and I took a shower in the river. You cant believe how necessary that was! Basti and me walked to the camp and were happy that we were there. I guess you know already what happened with Alejandro and Vivianne… and jep you are right, they became wet again. It started raining like shit. Stephan, Basti and me played scissor, stone and paper (in German: schnick schnack schnuck) because we had to choose one who built a moat. Stephan lost…but after a while the rain became so hard that all of us helped to build the moat. We had a lot of fun, really! An our later Vivianne and Alejandro arrived, totally wet. Poor argentines, first they lost against Germany in the world cup 2010 and now this, hehe. We played some luegen maexchen (I don’t know the English word for that and I am to lazy to explain that, sry) with some rum and went to bed.

19th April the last night in the tent was over… yyyeaahhaaa!!! We started walking at 7am! I guess the most sentence for this last trek was “Basti, I think this is really the last river we have to cross” but I wasn’t right… almost never… just once… so I recommend everybody, you shouldn’t trust me in such things!

But how could it be that this time the trek was so hard. When we walked this stage when we walked to the Roraima, Basti and I learned Spanish vocabularies but now…

Ok I skip this part, we arrived at the start camp 3 hours later. We took off our shoes and gave them a massage (no no, not each other)! I don’t have to mention that Vivianne and Alejandro became wet, I guess. An hour later the Jeep for us arrived with beer, awesome!!!

A big surprise waited for us at the Touragency in Santa Elena de Uairen! The secretary wanted to have 400 Bolivars (40 Euros) for the camp mat we lost in the heavy rain! I told here that I wont pay this amount. So she called her German boss. I talked with him, he wanted to have 200 Bs I told him I will just pay 100 Bs and at the end we were at 150 Bs! From 400 Bs to 150 Bs… My ass (heist auf Deutsch: verarschen kann ich mich selber)!!!

Then we had to say bye bye to Alejandro and Vivianne, but we will see these guys in Buenos Aires again. Martina and Stephan took the same bus then we did but they had to get off earlier. So Basti an I were alone going to Ciudad Bolivar.

20th April

At 5:00am we arrived in Ciudad Bolivar, still tired! We called our Hostel where we booked all the trips. They told us that we should come to the airport, because of whatever! So after a good morning beer (we had from the evening before) we walked to the airport waited 1 ½ hour and back to the hostel. At that day nothing special was going on just one thing. The sweetest thing we have ever seen appeared. I we both think  that because of that the word sweet was invented ;). We find a Opossum which fitted in our hand. The eyes of it were bigger then anything else. We had a lot of fun with it. We both wished to take it with us but of course we didn’t. We brought it back to nature.

21th April we packed our bags booked the night bus for Mérida and that’s it!

22th April we reached Barinas at … I don’t know, maybe at 13pm there we had to take another smaller bus to Mérida. This trip was another 4 hours but not because it was so far away (maybe 170km) the reason was that we drove through the Andes (Anden). Dam it, great landscape, but here the cut over is also already in progress. When we arrived we called directly Carlos (also from couchsurfing). After a while he answered, gave us his address. We took the cap and I was really wondering because it was the right address… yeahhaaa.

We crashed into a birthday party of Eduardos mum (it’s a flat share here are living 3 guys: Eduardo, Carlos and Nick). But it wasn’t a problem, we complimented her had a cup of soda and a piece of cake. Then Iwan and Alvaro arrived from the mountains (two other couchsurfers) we talked a little bit and then went to bed.

23th April Eduardo went with us to a river nearby, there we had a shower. Refreshing! Then we went in the City and yeah… that’s it!

24th April. Eduardo wanted to go with us to Paramo (a region in the mountains of the Andes). So we drove 2 hours with a bus to there, checked in a hostel, got a cap and went in the national park. In this national park they planted Canadian trees with success and there are a lot of lakes around. There we were at a height of 3500 meters. Air was thin, walking a little bit exhausting and I had some problems with my foot which wasn’t helpful. But the trek was really beautiful and we were almost the only one who walked there. Afterwards we hitch hiked to another very small mountain village with an amazing few and 2 Condores. Condores is an endangered species so they had 2 of them in cages (way to small) that they can make more Childs. Then we went back to the hostel, I couldn’t walk anymore because of my foot the other guys prepared dinner, drank a bottle of rum and good night!

25th April. Iwan and Alvaro went back to Mérida, Eduardo and we both went to the hot springs in the mountains. Awesome, just awesome. We were almost alone there, we took a bath and had just a great (more then a great) view. We were a long time there so there is nothing more to say. We went in the evening back to Mérida, Eduardo brought us to a touragency where we booked for the next day a canyoning tour, had dinner and dot

26th April. Bastian and I got up early. At 9 am we were at the touragency. A Venezuelan couple did the tour with us. These guys were horrible.  The man was not the thinnest and the woman was afraid of everything. Normally the tour is 3 hours we needed almost 5! But the tour was great.

So what is canyoning: You walk in a river all the way down. You have to climb down some waterfalls and yeah that’s it. But its so much fun really. We wished to show you some photos of it, but they wanted to have 170 Bolivares (17 Euros) just for photos? What the f**k!

The next following days was nothing interesting. Just one thing. I drank an aphrodisiac with a lot lot lot of ingredients, but just a few are special: Brandy, wine, beer, eggs of a fish, eggs of a chicken and bull eyes real bull eyes! And then everything mixed. It didn’t taste so bad but was still a little bit weird just because I knew that there were bull eyes in.

Ok that’s it. Now you are up to date.

And of course I know here are a lot of mistakes, but I have to say that I am to lazy after writing 2-3 hours to read everything again to find mistakes. So if something isn’t possible to understand, let me know.

See you amigas y amigos und haut rein

 

 

 

The very right one is the Roraima

Picknick at the Paramo Park at theLaguna Negra

Bastian disguised as tourist

at the foot of the Salto Angel

Paramo

Bastian is eating a flower. Our Guide told us that u could live at the top just eating this

Jepp...we like us! At the Paramo National Park

Have a break, have a look

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From the north to the south

April 29, 2012

A lot happened since the last entry. You maybe remember that Basti an me wanted to go to Trinidad and Tobaco to get some Euros or Dollars because of the Black Market here! Yeah you know, sometimes things come in a different way around then you think. We found out that T&T is way to expensive for us, just to get the money. Venezuela wants to have an exit charge fee of 1000 Bolivar (per person) what means 100 Euro, then another 25 US Dollars for what ever and the same when we want to enter to Venezuela again. So we decided to go to Ciudad Bolivar and from there a Bus to Boa Vista which is in Brazil, to get some Dollars or Euros there. So when we arrived in Ciudad Bolivar (3am), the pick up service from the hostel we called the night before, was already there. So we were very happy to get as fast as possible in the next bed. When we get up at 9 there were the first tourists we saw. Two guys from Germany (Frankfurt and on of them is working for you fm a radiosender in hessen) and three from Switzerland. Here an interesting way of travel from Thomas (one of the swiss guys). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F_1K4KbGC4 He is traveling now for 6 Month and he had a funny idea. To make a zorrovideo. So enjoy the video ;). But the best thing for Basti an me was, that we didn’t have to go to Brazil. The hostel owner is from germany or more precise he lived just 10 kilometers from Bastis home in the black forrest. After that Basti realized, heey I don’t have to speak german anymore I can speak badenerisch… no sry just joking 😉 Soo.. the reason why we do not have to go to Brazil. It was able to transfer money at his bancaccount and he gave us a course for 10 Bolivares (you remember the official course is 4,3 Bolivares for 1 Euro). We both were very happy about that and so we planed everything for the trips in this region. We booked at the hostel the a three day trip to salto angel (with 980 meters the highest waterfall in the world). At the 11th of april in the morning the hostel drove us (7 people) to the airport. Why to the airport? Because we flew to an indigenous village (Canaima with 1500 habitants)  where no road is going to. For I guess all of us was it the first time to fly with a Cessna airplane. Very small, you cant hear your own word but a great feeling. The flight was amazing just because of the landscape. A lot of rainforest, mountains, tepuis (that are tablemountains, I will show you). But one thing I have to mention. There is a big area just rainforest you cant imagine. But almost the same surface area is cutover. That’s really hard, when you see what was ones rainforest, and how big is it now. I forgot to tell you how it was when we flew from Sao Paolo to Caracas. The flight was 6 hours, and 2 hours of that, we flew over a region which was ones rainforest, and know its acriculture surface. I just want to say that because its very common to hear that in newspapers or whatever, but that it is even much worse then they say is horrible. But ok enough bad things… So the flight there was really cool and it took maybe an hour. After the flight they brought us to our accommodations and we had lunch. After that we had some time to go the the “beach”. There was a small beach and an awesome view to three big waterfalls very nearby. After a while we took a boat and drove next to the waterfalls at the other side of the lake. After a little walking, we were at the top of a waterfall, and the view we had is not possible to write in words. Everywhere water, the tablemountains and you tried to catch everything with your eyes, like then you wish to have this view when ever you want to see it. Then we walked a way down and they told us we should take off our clothes. The reason was, we walked under the waterfall. Hell, how powerful water can be, but it was fun and very refreshing. Then we walked back to the boat and walked under the next waterfall. Then back to our accommodations, dinner, babble a little bit with all the Swiss people (hell so many people from Switzerland… this country must be a ghostcountry). At the 12th April we were very excited… Salto Angel was our destination. So we got up at 7:30 am and took the boat.  After an amazing 4 hour boat trip through the rainforest, and some turtles, a lot of Tepuis and much much more wafterfalls flowing down of the Tepuis. Then it appeared…. the highest waterfall of the world. So big, so much water just incredible. When we arrived at the shore, it was just an hour of walking till we were at the foot of the Salto Angel. We made a stop on a plateau just to look all the time up to see how the water falls all the way down… then we walked 10 minutes further and we were at the a very small lake where it was possible to swim and to feel how powerful the water is after 980 meter free fall. After all that, we walked back to the boat drove to the counterpart site where our camp was. We ate chicken which was made at the campfire. Tasty… after that we went to bed… or better to our hammocks! 13th of Aril, I sleept awesome, Basti “a little bit” less awesome! We just had breakfast and then we took the boat and all the way back. I could tell you know how awesome the landscape was but you know already, so I skip this part. The only “new” was, this time we just drove 2 ½ hour. We went directly to the little airport and back to Ciudad Bolivar in our hostel (posada). And this night it became a little bit stressful. Basti, Martina, Stephan and me booked already before our trip to Salto Angel the next trip to Roraima (the highest Tepui in the world with 2870 meters). It seems like that Venezuela has always the highest things, maybe its true. We packed very fast our bags and then to the airport, there our bus was going to Santa Elena de Uairen (very close to the border of brazil). This bus sucked!!! I mean ok the buses hear and all the countrys where its hot are always very cold (I think it was 15 degree there and outside 28) but the air con at my place was driping all the fucking night on me. I can tell you… I slept maybe 30 minutes of almost 11 hours. In the early morning a guy chopped my head…. military checkpoint. All four of us had to go out of the bus (of course just the four white people). They checked our bags maybe because of drugs. After that each of us must go alone with this guy in a small room. Basti was the first of us and I had already a bad feeling. Basti came out everything was fine, the next one was me. I had to empty my trouser pocket he looked at my mp3 player. Ok everything was fine. After that Stephan had to go in and he told us afterwards what happened with him. He had is wallet in his trouser pocket. So the military guy said to him open your shoes and while Stephan went down to open them, the guy took the wallet and took 100 US dollar out of it and threw it in the corner. But Stephan was tough enough to get it bag. Basti and I saw already a lot of corruption here. That sucks really, especial policemen and military are the guys you have take care of. But ok, we arrived then in Santa Elena at the Touragency. After a short introduction our car was coming. All in all we were 6 people Alejandro and Vivianne from Argentina joined us. Our guide was Calio from Guyana (the neighbor country) he was a great guy and 3 people who carried food and so on. The tour was for 6 days! Alejandro and Vivianne offered us while we drove to the start point a couch for Buenes Aires… great!!! When we arrived we found out that we could not start our Trekking tour. It was raining a lot and we had to cross two rivers and their current became too strong to cross. So we just had dinner, spoke a lot and tried to improve our Spanish and then to the tents! 15th of April at 7 o clock we started walking. The view was like always amazing it was already able to see the Roraima, but the mountain was wrapped in clouds. Pretty nice. The first river wasn’t that strong anymore and Basti and I thought that the trek was really easy. The base slope wasn’t a problem. We arrived at the first camp, which we normally should arrive the day before, after 3 hours walking. But we just made short stop and continued walking. After 30 minutes we crossed the biggest river on our trip. After 1 or 2 ours walking Stephan and Martina were much before us and Alejandro and Vivianne were behind us we realized that it starts raining. So we put Bastis bag in a plastic bag and my one under a rain jacket. Then it starts very very heavy raining. So much that we almost couldn’t see the way anymore. And then…. Basti and I made a mistake. We took a wrong way and we were in the middle of nowhere because there was no way anymore. I had nothing on me just trekking shoes and my swimming trunks and the plastic bag with Bastis bag inside. My shoes were completely wet inside and Basti was sweating because of the rain jacket. Then Basti had a good idea to find the right way again. He climbed up a little hill and he was able to see Vivivanne and Alejandro.. how lucky we were. Because of that we lost more then an hour and hour mood was not so good. But ok, we found back and kept walking. And after an hour and a very hard way because the base slope became much harder, we arrived the base camp in front of the Roraima. Stephan und Martina waited already there. We changed our clothes and almost 2 hours later Alejandro and Vivianne arrived. The reason why they were so slow was because Vivivannes foot was hurting. We had dinner and because everyone was tired we went to bed at 19 o clock. 16th of April we started to climb up the Roraima. Now the base slope was just straight up. And we had a good view… no clouds jiphieee. The first viewpoint was at a hight of almost 2500 meters.. great. A sip of water and keep walking. After another hour and another shower because of a waterfall we had to walk under we arrived at the top! The view wasn’t good. It was very cloudy and much colder then at the base camp. After 30 minutes walking we arrived in our mountain camp. Then it started raining again and Alejandro and Vivivanne arrived almost 2 ours later… again totally wet.. poor guys… Ok people.. I am tired, and don’t wanna hang out more at the computer… I continue the blog as fast as possible…. Cheers Basti and the me

Feel like home

April 8, 2012

Hey guys, so here is our  first entry…

sooo finally we did it. we are in caracas. but i should start at the beginning.

to come in to the culture very quickly basti and me wrote on couchsurfing gabriel if we can stay at his couch. after some messages later he wrote that he will pick us up from the airport. so we thought hell yeah that would be awesome…

after saying good bye to sarah, melanie was so affable to drive me to the airport of Frankfurt. We met basti and evelyn there at almost 7pm. after some nice words we had to say also goodbye to melanie.

and after another 2 hours we had to bid farewell to evelyn as well.

at 22:05 was the take off to sao paolo, the flight was ok the food was shit and after 12 hours we arrived in sao paolo at 5:30am. we didnt see much, just that it is a big city. after some games and spanisch phrases later we had to catch our flight to caracas at 14pm. and jes our waiting time in sao paolo was 9 hours.

 

sooo when we arrived at the airport of caracas at 18:55 pm we looked around for gabriel. he told me that he will have a sign where sandro is written on. so we searched the sign.. but after a while we realized that there was nobody who was waiting for us. but we thought… oh come on, he will pick us up otherwise i wouldnt say that on couchsurfing… and hell yeah after 40 minutes waiting, he was coming with henry… FANTASTICO!

soo henry was also a couchsurfer who stayed first at someone else home. sooo after we put our backs in the…rataplan… opel corsa, same car which I drive..(and henry as well, hell these people know which car rocks!) we started driving to gabriels home… yea u know… corsa is a very old car so we didnt complain that the stoped at the motorway and didnt move any longer hehe.. that was a very good first experience. Henry, basti and me pushed the car from the motorway and gabriel was steering the car.

after 2 or maybe 3 hours a roadside assistance service was finally coming. henry and gabriel were sitting in the pickup, basti and me in the corsa. so after almost 20 minutes we arrived at gabriels home. we ate a little bit and were introduced to gabriels mom and then went to bed.

 

4. april

i thought we have a jetleg… after just 5 hours sleep my body thought its enough… both of us couldnt sleep anymore and so we were already at 9 am awake. gabriel made for us arepa which is a typically venezuelan food. its consists of cornflour, some water and some different spices. then you bake it in a pan till its hard. after that its like a bread. you can fill it with scrumbeld eggs, beans, meat whatever you want.. that was really good

after that we drove with the local bus to the city and we had to cross one of the biggest slums in south america. that was like a wave of houses we did not expect!

soo then we were in the city and tried to change some euros but its not that easy as normally. they have here two kinds of exchange rates. the offical one which is 1 euro is 4,3 bolivar. and the black market rate. 1 euro is 12,5 bolivar but this one is „forbidden“. the reason of all that is, that the state of venezuela does not allow the people to draw out more then 2000 euro out a year.  so there is a protest movement and the people buy euros for more then the twice then the government. its a very strange situation and its not that safe to change at the black market but yea… there are some people which know some people who can help you ;). so basti an me didnt know that before, thats the reason why we go tomorrow (9. april) to trinidad and tobaco to buy some euros or dollars… ah i didnt tell you.. of course you cant get dollars or euros here.

so gabriel showed us a park from where we were able to see chávez house. so i have to mention that caracas is not beautiful but the landscape around is awesome. the mountains here are 2500 meter high… just incredible. there were also a lot of people which were wearing purple shirts. its because of eastern… they are very religious. so after some more parks we met karla a friend of gabriel. we were eating some pizza and afterward we went in a bar to drink some local beers. i have to tell you… the people can dance really good salsa… basti and me not… but the people sitting there invited us for a little bit dancing. that was quite fun. a guy gave me his guitar and told that i should play something… belivie me also drunken people would say that it was horrible 😉 at 3 am went to bed…

5. april

this day was very a relaxing day. we slept long get up had some breakfast and learned some spanish, and gabriel and karla some german. in the evening we went in another citypark, and ate afterward arepas, with chicken and cheese (really really awesome) and capacha. its like a pancake with cheese but i guess better 😉

6. april

we get up very early because we wanted to go to the beach with karla. gabriel wanted to stay at home. the reason why we had to get up at 7 was that they wanted to avoid the traffic but the funny thing was that they arrived at 9:30!.. sooo we drove with karla, ricardo and ana (ricardo and ana are studying languages and also german). it took almost 2 hours until we arrived the beach. but the ride was i guess the best. there was just rainforest we drove through… that was really amazing. when we arrived the beach it was totally overcrowded but we find a very good place. basti and me enjoyed the waves. I guess that would be also a good spot for melanie, steffen and nico to surf a little bit. Another very interessting thing were the pelicanes which fly in a swoop into the water to get some fishes. really cool to see…

7. april

gabriel, basti an me decided to go to the mountains here in caracas. so we get up at 7:30 to start as early as possible. after buying some food for the trip and get some sleeping bags and a tent we started at 3pm. so the beginning was pretty easy and a little overcrowded. but after 2 hours it starts to get harder and we were almost alone. we felt like then we are in the rainforest. it was also really amazing. it was everywhere green and some birds i have never seen before. at 18 oclock it was getting more dark and the clouds where also almost everywhere. at some point the vegetation starts to change. it was really awesome but basti and me were also very exhausted. basti looked like a ghost. but we still had to walk for another 3 hours.. higher and higher. we startet at 1000 meter above the sea and climbed up to 2400 meters in 5 hours. you cant belivie how happy we were when we arrived at the camp. basti and me had our lights with us so it was no problem to build up the tent. I guess we all woke up very often because its was a little bit colder then we expected so i got up at 7:10 walked around and enjoyed the amazing view. the view to caracas was at this time was still good. when the others guys woke up there were already everywhere clouds. soooo yeah after a while we continue walking and after another 1 1/2 hours we were at the end of our walking.. we made it… jiphieee… we arrived at the hotel which is at the top of the mountain and took from there the cable cars back to caracas…

 

and here i‘ m sitting and riding you what happend…

 

so today was our last day in caracas. i really really have to thank gabriel. he was a great hoster and he gave us a start for our trip we never could imagine. thank you so much…or how you would say it.. muchos gracias. you, karla, ricardo and ana will always find a couch when you are in germany. Adios Amigos!!!

 

 

 

And you guys see you next time and continoue watching bastis and my roadtrip….

 

cheerio

ps: here some pictures

At the airport in Sao Paolo

basti and me at the airport in sao paolo

Gabriel is making some arepas for us

Gabriel is making some arepas for us

 

at 18 o clock in the mountains nearby caracas

at 18 oclock in the mountains nearby caracas

 

the view to the city of caracas

Our tent in the mountain and the hotel behind