And the picture storm continues.
It seems, my venerated yeomen, that certain events cause you to look back wistfully to your last holiday. Today, I have been dealing with accountants. So perhaps it is no surprise that I find myself shouting “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” (Note 1) You may, especially if you are an accountant, believe this is fanciful paranoia on my part – but it doesn’t make it any the less true.
The stirrings of the memories reminded me that I have not bored you with photographs from my cruise in the Caribbean for some time. So, if you need reminding where we got to, go have a look here. So, if you are sitting comfortably and having difficulty sleeping – I’ll begin.
It isn’t much of a surprise for to learn that day five dawned with us approaching the Venezuelan island of Margherita. The feel of the island was so different from the Caribbean islands we had experienced up until then. There was more evidence of high rise buildings and there was a more industrious look to people on the dock. Though, as you can see from the shots taken on the approach, it wasn’t the most scenic of the islands. (Note 3)
I’d been quite looking forward to the visit to Margherita. After all, Venezuela tends to get a bit of a bad press from the Americans and I was hoping to get an idea as to what is really going on there. To be honest, there really wasn’t much chance to speak to the locals – and even less to talk politics. In the end we went on a ‘Natural Wonders’ tour of the island. In common to a lot of the islands visited, the major tourist attractions tend to be based around the natural environment.
The botanical gardens were interesting enough, but a little on the small side. The attitude towards the wildlife seemed a little cynical to our British eyes, but there are times when I think we tend to think more of our animals than we do for our fellow human beings. Not that I want to debate that just now.
We got to taste a few tropical fruits and sugar cane syrup, all very pleasant – but the earth didn’t move.
We then got taken to a small shopping complex and given the change to exchange our dollars for firewater. I ended up with abottle of orange flavoured rum and a bottle of coffee flavoured rum – at $12 a bottle not too bad. However, for those of you with a shopping bent, Margheriata had the cheapest seed pearl jewellery we experienced – if you were prepared to haggle. For a socialist state, Venezuela has embraced some elements of capitalism with glee.
The mangrove swamp tour was all rather sedate and somehow old fashioned. The facilities were basic as were the little boats that took us out into the swamp (which is really more like a big lake with clumps of submerged trees). The tour took us along a route that the locals had given a number of cute names like ‘lovers’ canal’ or ‘the virgins arch’ or some such. What surprised me was the distinct lack of any insects. I thought swamps were supposed to be crawling with them.
It was election time while we were there. The whole place was decked out in Chavez posters. (Note 4) What struck me most was how arid the island seemed after the previous places we visited. Despite the obvious lack of water, they were still building tower blocks and roads wherever we went.
So here endeth Day Five of what I did on my holidays. TO BE CONTINUED… (eventually).
From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.
NOTE 2 : I have no doubt that some of you went and actually clicked on that rather strange link. It does make me wonder how long you explored that site. Yet when I was looking for that link, I came across a very disturbing old news item. Perhaps I should have just gone for an old favourite to wile away a few hours online and pointed you here. Click to return
NOTE 3: I don’t think I mentioned that the show the previous evening starred a scouse comic by the name of John Evans. It was a good show and funny (no doubt helped by the consumption of a few alcoholic bevereges). He could never claim to have a lot of modern material, but it was a good laugh. If only I could remember jokes, I’m sure I could have a damp patch on your chair. Click to return
NOTE 4: I did ask the guide if there were any other people standing in the election, but didn’t really get a straight answer. When I pushed the subject he said that everyone will vote for Chavez because he has stood up to the American oil companies. It didn’t seem to be a particularly comfortable topic for our guide – who was more interested in making sure that we came back again to spend more American dollars. Click to return