Dawn in Puerto La Cruz finds us in the somewhat run down bus station. The extreme change in country conditions from quite modern, western, Brazil/Uruguay to the more C. America look of Venezuela is a bit disconcerting. We have gotten spoiled albeit expensively, the past 5 months in S. S. America! Here the dogs are once again barely alive, skin and bone, tails between legs/cowering, the roads lined with litter, and the buildings seemingly built and just left to gradually crumble away - maintenance is not very often seen. Not many new cars/vehicles either, another W. Africa phenom.
We walk the 4 blocks to Hotel Neptuno, where the guy, Aver, behind the desk first informs us there are no rooms, then there will be after 1:30pm and finally, after talking a bit, he says, 'Come back about 11am' (with a smile)! We walk along the malecon which is still quite attractive, and get a 'Super Americano' breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, and tea!
Returning later, still no room in the inn (now close to 11 and new fellow at the desk)...he says in about 1. We go to an internet for some time, I return 2 hours later and still no room. This time he says in an hour so I sit and wait...half hour later we get our room, number 16 of course! Nice room, big and hot shower as well.
Bon is at internet until almost 6 catching up...the TV in the room has cable so I get caught up as well, ha! Six channels in English!
I had asked the desk fellow yesterday about changing dollars into bolivars and all he came up with was 7:1. Today, before we go to breakfast (same Americano breakfast) the new man, Freddi, says he will try to get ahold of a gal who can give us 8:1. About 11:30 the gal shows up and we exchg $400!