horse apples Scotty. Stop lying to me!Ē
Then he tells
me that I can have a cute full time maid to clean up my mess for another
$4 a day. I told this Texas windbag , Iíll be there Friday! My work buddy,
Leo and I needed a vacation and I desperately wanted to prove that Scott
was full of hot Texas air so we booked a flight!
OK! So hold
onto you wallet! Airfare from Las Vegas is only $530 round trip to Caracas.
It cost me another $56 to take a 737 hop to this pearl in the middle of
the Caribbean. So, for $590, I get to take two giant steps backward into
this supposid third world country. We landed on Margarita Island Venezuela
on Friday. The name alone was worth the price of a ticket. Wonder if Jimmy
Buffet is here? If notÖÖ.Why? This little dot on the map looked pretty
good from the air and a whole bunch bigger.
is about 40x60 miles with hundreds of white sandy strips called beaches,
turquoise water and several big green mountain with scattered villages
and towns. I was expecting a dirt runway with a couple guys in camo
uniforms carrying machine guns. Cool! I like thrills. Much to my dismay,
it was a very nicely appointed, very clean, air-conditioned airport that
made many of the US airports look bad.
us up in his Land Cruiser. (And with no dingle balls and Oh-ugah horn.
Come on Scotty. This is supposed to be third world and weíve all seen Romancing
the Stone!) Scott drove us 6 miles to a very nice hotel in Polamar, a cosmopolitan
city of 200,000 with high-rise condos and hotels. I kept looking for the
third world? Itís here somewhere? Our hotel Marbellamar was a very nice
hotel with open-air lobby, swimming pool, restaurant and bar, parrots,
concierge, travel agency and more. Well, I didnít catch Scott on the car
but I sure can get him on this hotel. This place ainít cheap!
The front desk
clerk said a room was 70,000 Bolivarís (Bís) a night. What? My hand started
shaking as I reached for some money. (I had exchanged $100 at the airport
with some money-changing guy) So not being familiar with the exchange,
I had to do the calculator thing. (We changed our money at the rate of
2200 Bolivarís to the dollar) The room came to $31. Per person right? No.
It was for two people. Stick aroundÖÖit gets worse!
We spent 3
days at this hotel and then decided to try another so we moved to Katarama
Hotel. A smaller hotel with a nicer pool, breakfast was included, pool
bar and a larger room with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room with
American TV for 60,000 Bís ($27) a night for two with breakfast. We spent
the next 7-days here. If it got any cheaper they would be paying us! We
rented a car. Scott took us to El Yaque, which was far from Yuckie. A beautiful
sandy beach known for wind surfing, great beach restaurants and girls using
dental floss for bathing suits so we stopped for a cold one. A beer was
1000 Bís ($.40) so we had six. I was wondering if any of those girls did
any house cleaning? On the way back we needed to get gas for the Avis rental
car so we pulled into a gas station where they still give you full service.
While a girl washed the windshield and filled the tank I went into the
convenience store for a cold beer.
store is like any 7-11 or Circle K in the States and is very well stocked.
The official Venezuelan currency exchange rate is 1920 Bolivarís to the
dollar. You can exchange almost anywhere for 2200 to the dollar. Scott
was getting us 2500 to the dollar. So when we paid for the gas, the girl
squeezed 2483 Bolivarís of 91 octane into the tank. About $.99 for a tank
of gas! The beer was $500 Bís ($.20) When was the last time you got a tank
of gas and a cold beer for under $1.25?
today. Scott had gotten me again! I was wondering if girl who pumped our
gas, cleans houses? Now I understand why Venezuela has won the Miss World
competition more than any other country! They have some beautiful people
even if all they wear is dental floss or a gas station uniform. At night,
after a wonderful Italian dinner with a bottle of wine for $16, Leo decided
to go home and I decided to go to Senor Frogís. One thing I noticed is
Margarita Island is very family oriented. I have never seen so many men
out entertaining their daughters! I am really too old for Senor Frogs but
I failed to see any age gap.
A beer there
was the most I spent anywhere and it was 2000 Bís ($.80). If you like discoís
and loud music, thatís the place. Right next door there are two wonderful
outdoor restaurants as well. Very cosmopolitan/European style. By the way,
nightlife really starts at midnight and goes until the wee hours of the
morning. From there I went to Margaritaville and the band didnít start
until 12 pm. And no, Jimmy Buffet was not there but he would love it.
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