Took Metro to bus terminal (La Bandera Stop) where we got on bus to Maracay at 9:30am (they go every 15 in). Countryside up thru quite dry but still some green mtns...the way some trees are blooming I think spring is just around the corner here. Highway is 6 lane, divided the whole way. Once over mtns. the land looks very dry...long stretches along the hiway are burned sometimes more than 50' out from road, crops (mostly bananas) look stressed for water.
In bus terminal it is hot, dry...search for bus to Puerto Colombia turns up a long line waiting in the sun. A couple of French gals (first real foreign tourists we've met) in line for P.C. also but we are way back in line. After over 45 min wait a smallish bus pulls up and maybe 20 more people who had been waiting in the shade (not in line) rush the bus! The French gals and some others get word from another fellow that there is a por puesto (taxi) which will take them for 40b each (the bus is 30b). They head off and another fellow in line with us asks us if we're interested...yes! We follow and come to the por puesto which is now full (5 people). Pursueing the idea we end up in another one for 50b ea (4 people) and take off.
The ride is up, up, up into mtns which are very green, rain forest. The road is a super-one, like a super-three but mainly just one lane with wide spots for passing, ha! A good paved one and our driver, who obviously has made the trip many times, manages to pass a bunch of cars on the way up (he's really moving)! At the top we run into a cloud, then rain, pretty hard rain...this continues most of the way down the other side (he's still passing cars, ha!). Almost to the town we come to a stop where very recently a car has rearended a truck and then another truck has pancaked the car...the road is blocked, but our driver squeezes by! We arr in P.C. where he drops us in front of Hostal Colonial, we check into a 70b (less than $10 US) dbl (shared bath but w/ hot water!) the cheapest yet! The manager, Omar, gets us exchg. at 7.5:1, so we exchg $100, good thing since we would have to move onward first thing for sure tomor if we hadn't found more bolivars...running short.
We check out the town, lots of people...this being favorite place for Venezuelans on weekends, plus there are some more foreigners here as well! Then end up at dusk here in the internet, first one we've found for almost a week!