Monday December 2, 2002
Cruising Caracas on the Night of the Strike
Today we knew, was the day that the Venezuelans
had planned to strike in protest of their current leader,
Chavez. Or rather, what they really want us to have an election
to find a new leader (they've already successfully thrown
Chavez out once, but didn't have anyone to replace him, so
they had to get him back). We had heard that we would be safe
in smaller, mountain towns, but if Caracas was dangerous on
an average day- DEFINITELY don't go today. Fair enough. We
had planned to drive to a town along the way and look for
a hotel or posada then. I won't bore you with more tedious
details- we ended up in Caracas, a block and a half from the
square that was the center of the demonstration.
There was another American there, and he
said a store around the corner would be open for another half
an hour. Curt and Steve went to get some sandwich fixings
so we could have something for dinner, and we met in our room
so we could see the streets and watch the news. It was quite
exciting really. And in reality, it seemed fine. People were
driving around honking, and on TV, we could see what was going
on at Alta Mira Square where we were. They were making speeches
and things, but there was no violence.
We had no idea what to expect the next day-
if the strike would continue, and if so- how far reaching
it would be. Was the ferry running? What about the airlines?
Somewhere along the line, we had opted to just get back to
Margarita the most quick route- by plane, if we could. We
figured the good news about being in Caracas during a strike
was that there would be no traffic. Wrong! What a mess. It
took forever. And now that the big part of our adventure was
over, we just wanted to get home.
Once back aboard, I was totally charged
up about our adventure. I thought when we went cruising, this
would have been what our life would be like. It felt like
we had spent a week living inside the pages of National Graphic.
I've always liked to travel, but now I felt as if I'd seriously
caught the bug! I guess I hadn't been traveling to very adventurous