Trip Start Oct 02, 2005
52Trip End Oct 01, 2006
Since it was quite depressing talking as if only one of us survived, miraculously both me and Andy survived along with all of our family and friends (aren't we lucky) and by our third day in Playa de Agua we had moved to a Posada half the price and set to detailling how we would survive in the theoretical post virus world. After Andy dismissed my initial idea of shoe, clothes and handbag shopping, we had devised our full plan involving lots of diesel engines, growing fruit and vegetables, collecting stray animals, kids, nice people, getting vehicles, motorbikes, food, water etc etc etc
Having decided that it would be wise to see as much as Isla Margarita as possible, after all if the virus broke out here at least we would know our way around, we booked a Jeep tour of the Island for the following day.
Having met the 3 Italian guys who would also be on our tour we headed to Asuncion, Isla Margarita´s capital and home to the second oldest cathedral in Venezuela. Bypassing the Cathedral our first stop was Castillo de Santa Rosa, a now derelict fort set on top of a hill offering spectacular views of the capital and the Caribbean sea and one of seven on the island originally built to protect it from pirate attacks.
We then drove through the lush and very hilly Parque Nacional Cerro el Copey stopping just briefly for a photo before making our way to El Valle Del Espirito Santo, Margarita´s spiritual capital which holds the virgin statue, Virgin del Valle, in a mock gothic church. As people stood in prayer at the foot of the virgin, which to me looked like a dressed up China doll and to be honest just a little creepy, I could not help but think that the Church in contrast was ornately beautiful.
At Laguna de la Restingo we boarded a small boat and drifted through the narrow mangrove channels laughing at the very cheesy names given to the tunnels, such as the brave, my sweet love and tunnel of lovers, and wondering who on earth was given the job of naming them. My money is definitely on a wannabe poet
Lunch was had in a small beach restaurant on Punto Arenas, an almost deserted beach on the south west coast of the island. Sunbathing after my very filling dinner I watched a photo shoot in action just a couple of hundred meters from my sunlounger. As the fairly young female photographer directed a young Venezuelan model in a variety of what I can only term as FHM poses I could hardly suppress my giggles as a giant wave swept the model off her feet. With the model now rolling around in the sand and the photographer continually snapping photo´s I got Andy's attention and we both watched the photo shoot laughing loudly. I was however slightly surprised when the model took the camera off the photographer and started taking photos of her as she stood in the break of the waves posing like a true professional. Now either the photographer was trying to show the model exactly what she expected or for the last 25 minutes I had simply been watching two Venezuelans obviously with very high expectations of breaking into the world of modelling. Fearing that it was most likely the later my attention began to wonder until I spied a man wearing fluorescent lime green speedos. With Andy daring me to take a photo I snapped away at the man feeling only a little seedy, but still pleased that I had photographic evidence of this definite fashion no no.
Having thoroughly enjoyed a couple of hours on the beach we headed to a fisherman's house, off roading all the way. With the jeep tilting to one side, rarely with all four wheels on the ground, and my head repeatedly hitting the ceiling (why the hell weren't there any seat belts), Andy whooped with glee as he continually cried "I want one of these."
Having lost a few brain cells, been deafened by Andy and with a headache on its way I was relieved to get out of the 4 by 4 and on to level land. Andy is so not having one of those if that's how he would drive. Within seconds though it was all forgotten as I took in the awesome views of 22KM of beach (the longest in South America) and checked out the souvenir shark teeth on sale.
Not convinced into buying the shark teeth, the shark teeth necklace, bracelet and earring set or even the bones of a sharks head we headed to "Coco Loco", the crazy coconut shack specialising in rum and coconut cocktails. Mmmm just what I needed to fend off the headache.
The final stop of the tour was Juangreigo, Isla Margarita´s second largest town, situated on the North West Coast, renown for its amazing sunsets. As we waited for the sun to set on a hill overlooking a 5 star hotel resort, complete with golf course, pools, tennis courts and its own private beach, we began to make our plans to come back one day and stay there. As the sun finally set you couldn't help but be astounded by the beauty and majesticness of it all and it certainly convinced us both that in years to come (hopefully when we have some money) that this is the hotel to stay at.