Monday, August 06, 2007

The big V

Against all expectations, the trip out here was almost flawless. Apart from a short delay in departing Paris, the connections were smooth, the flight fine, and the on-board meals some of the best that I have had. Weird: a French airline performing well.

I'm not going to try to emulate the (always excellent) trsvel writing of Niall, because I can't, so let's just say that Venezuela is hot and hilly. A scenic (although not as dramatic as the Faroes) flightpath took me over the Caribbean and on to one of the few pieces of really flat land near it. The trip to Caracas was a scenic 30-minute drive into the mountains, with the road rising from sea-level to 950 metres in the process. The hills around the road were draped with setllements that spilled over the edges like tablecloths; steep valleys were crossed by stilty bridges. Pretty much what you would expect from South America. The capital itself is a chaotic concrete jungle, with the South American-style mix of slum housing immediately adjacent to upmarket hotels. The road system seems manic and random, and the amount of time taken to get anywhere does not seem to relate to distance and time at all.

Over a beer, I tried a local delicacy that us Scots can really identify with: tequenos. These are basically cheese deep fried in a doughy pastry. Delicious, and a testament to the international nature of heart-killing beer food.

Today (which looks like it is going to be very hot and sticky) we travel away from Caraces to (I think) the second city, Puerto la Cruz. Apparently the internal flights here can be "interesting". I don't think it is going to be BA-standard...

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Simon said...

Glad you made it out there safely. Look forward to the next installment.

4:39 pm  
Blogger Jenny said...

I hope you brought your camera! Are you doing the same sort of thing that Niall does?

1:35 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

Simon: the installments are a little further apart than I expected...

Jenny: I did bring my camera. Not a lot of opportunities for great pictures, though. And I am on a whole different level from Niall. He is hired labour; I ponce around in a suit attending meetings and doing powerpoint presentations...

9:14 pm  
Blogger Jenny said...

A suit, really? No one in California wears suits. Well, hardly anyone. So living in NJ for the last few years always felt a bit strange.

6:26 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

I where a suit when the occasion calls for it (not every day, thankfully. I do have to say that I look great in a suit, though.

2:59 pm  
Blogger Nev 360 said...

Hired labour?!

3:44 pm  
Blogger swishfish said...

I'm not criticising your work, Niall; I have respect for (almost) all types of employment. Your position has certainly afforded you a more international and opulent lifestyle than mine, but you can hardly deny that it has more than an element of manual labour to it.

4:02 pm  
Blogger Nev 360 said...

Green, manual labour is not the significant factor in my job. When on the rig, there may be a short, concentrated spell, but on the most part we do data monitoring. Onshore, preparation and liaising with clients is the main part. I've certainly never been called "hired labour" before, and don't believe it represents my position.

12:21 am  
Blogger swishfish said...

Fair enough. Your blog tales are obviously spun to elicit sympathy for your plight, then. I was only attempting to try and make myslef look more important than I am, not make you look less important than you are.

10:51 am  
Blogger Nev 360 said...

Yeah, my blog's a bunch of complete fiction.

2:27 pm  

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