Venezuela - 2013 travel blog


Arriving in Caracas, Venezuela at 11:00 pm on NYE can be a little intimidating to say the least. There is a lot of warnings regarding the airport and Caracas and Venezuela so we tried to be as prepared as possible. We decided it would be best to avoid Caracas (since the airport is on the other side of the mountain) and stay in Macuto. We arranged airport pick-up since we had read taxi's can be sketchy. I had sewn hidden pockets in our undergarmets to safe guard our cash since you really have to pay with cash in this country due to the discrepancy between the black market (16:1) vs. official (4:1) exchange rate. Really, there was nothing else we could do to prepare.

Anyway, to say the least we were pleasantly surprised on NYE. Our driver was at the airport with his sign. We arrived to Hotel Plazamar and a family party was going on - NYE is a family holiday in Venezuela. Giovanna, the owner, was as sweet in person as she had been in email. I definitely suggest this place as a reliable, safe budget option if you are headed to Venezuela, need a place by the airport, and would prefer economical to fancy. Once we dropped our bags, Giovanna invited us to comida typica that they had prepared for the celebration and a glass of wine. We sat outside and ate and watched dozens of homemade lanterns floating in the sky and Giovanna's grandchildren cheer in excitement for each lantern as it passed us by. When there was 5 minutes to go until midnight we were called inside for the New Year's countdown and handed a small glass of sparkling wine. When the clock struck midnight we all gave each other hugs and greeted each other with feliz anos. Then the firework show began. Fireworks were being shot off from all directions and the show went on forever. Finally, around 1:00, exhausted from a full days travel, we turned in for bed although many others in Macuto continued to party late into the night. We could hear the music in our sleep late into the night. It was a New Year's to remember.



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