Ciudad Bolívar

Casco Historico

After much trouble trying to rent a car and make various other complicated travel arrangements, to no avail, Kris and I just packed a couple of backpacks last Monday the 21st, and went to the central bus terminal in Puerto La Cruz at 7 a.m. We’d decided to catch the first available bus (that didn’t have huge queues) to any of the states in Venezuela that were on our wish list.

There were no buses, except to Venezuela’s capital, Caracas (definitely didn’t want to go there!) but, as luck would have it, a por puesto taxi (literally ‘per position’: one seat in a regular air-conditioned car that takes four passengers, $3.00 each) was leaving for Ciudad Bolívar. We were thrilled, as this destination is at the top of our Venezuela list, so off we went.

Casco Historico

Ciudad Bolívar is the gateway city to Canaima National Park, which is the place to experience, among many other stunning natural wonders, the famous Salto Angel, the world’s longest waterfall, as it plummets silently for nearly a kilometre, down the sandstone rocks of Auyantepui in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State.

Casco Historico

We arrived from Puerto La Cruz three hours later, then spent most of Monday at the city’s small airport—where all the tour agencies for the remote Canaima are located, and little four-seater planes take off throughout the day, carrying people across the vast wetlands and the Gran Sabana, through which there are no roads—haggling and pitting one agency against the others in order to crank the prices down as low as possible. Finally we made our choice, pushed one agent against the wall (metaphorically!) and booked with a small agency run by a family of Peruvian immigrants ($200/pax)

Casco Historico

We had to spend a night in Ciudad Bolivar, and would leave the following morning. We took a taxi to the casco historico, the old colonial part of the town, built on hills overlooking the Orinoco River, and booked at Posada Don Carlos, a really lovely bed & breakfast located inside a meticulously restored colonial house on a quiet street.

Casco Historico

We deposited our bags, had a shower, changed, and then went out to wander the streets of the old town, with camera. Also, we were looking for dinner of some sort, as the Posada doesn’t do lunch or dinner. The rest of these photos are pretty much more colonial streets and houses…

Casco Historico

Casco Historico

Casco Historico

…except for this last one, where we turned a corner at the top of a hill, and I managed to snap a bit of the state’s beautiful bridge, Puente Angostura, before night fell. The great river it spans is The Orinoco, river of legends, songs, explorers, and dreams of centuries.

Casco Historico

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27 thoughts on “Ciudad Bolívar

  1. I love that colonial architecture. I have seen it in downtown Colombia, in a neighbourhood built by the conquistadores, and fell in love with the houses. I have never been to Ciudad Bolivar, but it looks so charming. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. The architecture’s a bit ubiquitous, and I’m afraid that by the time this long trip of ours is over, readers of this blog will be harta de tal casas, but I can’t get enough of them…me encanta estas casas. Thanks for dropping by to have a look!

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  2. Nat, when you mentioned “Orinoco” I opened my iTunes and played “Orinoco Flow” sung by Libera and Enya!
    The street colors of the town are luscious! And the little downhill narrow street has a
    twin here in the little town here of Pangil…I was just there last March and wish I had taken a picture of the little narrow
    streets and colorful houses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dad, I’m glad you enjoyed the pics! There are so many, but yes, I will post them, a dozen at a time, for a week, and what doesn’t get posted here will, of course, be in flickr. We are getting ready to go to Merida, next.

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        1. Darwin’s still home…at least our houseboat’s still floating in Sadgroves Creek! But we have been living like nomads since last year, sailing around the world and, as you see here, are in Venezuela right now.

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  3. totally gorgeous! tis the stuff dreams are made of- took me on a journey of spellbound disbelief! Thanks so much for sharing your journey- this armchair traveller vicariously enjoying the marvellous places you two adventurers get to!x safe travels

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was delighted to get a reasonably interesting shot of the river…the Orinoco, like any big river, is very unphotogenic from the ground…just a flat expanse of silted water, hard to present in an attractive way! Rivers are best taken from the air, I guess.

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    1. Me, too! I never thought I’d get to see Salto Angel, being in front of that waterfall was surreal, I kept pinching myself to make sure it was happening! Took about 250 photos, so will be posting my own versions of this “postcard-perfect waterfall” soon!

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    1. It all went perfectly, and I suspect that spontaneity was a big part of the success, though Kris also did a lot of research about the place and prices, so as not to be completely gullible…a little of both, I guess, is good. 🙂

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