Chica's Gap Year Part II 2005/06 travel blog

Porlamar,Isla Margarita

Playa Caribe near Juangriego

From Los Frailes looking back at Isla Margarita

Milagros and her brother

Simonetta and Mauricio on their honeymoon

Only and hour and a half from Cumaná by fast ferry is Isla Margarita. At first I wsn't going to bother going. I had visions that it was going to be like Benidorm or some other high-rise holiday hell hole. I was pleasantly surprised. This is perhaps the most touristy part of Venezuela and lots of people from Europe come here so menus and signs are in english, dutch and german. I thought I would avoid the capital Porlamar thinking it would be the high-rise hell hole but ended up going there as it was raining on the northern part of the island. There are a few high-rise buldings though not that many and nothing like Vegas, Miami beach or Benidorm, you'll be relieved to know. My pal Diego had told me about the shopping and assured me it was cheap, the truth is, imported brand names are very expensive in Colombia so many Colombians come here to go shopping. I didn't think it was that cheap. I went into a Clarks shoe shop and left promptly after being outraged at the prices when I converted them to UK pounds! I did by some sunglasses in Centro Sambil for what I thought was a good price (at the time...).

The beaches were fabulous. Especially Playa Grande about 3 kms from Juangriego, reminded me a lot of Fernando da Noronha in Brazil. Lovely. Tried to settle down to do a bit of reading and just ended up falling asleep and then chatting to Mauricio and Simonetta from Italy who were on their honeymoon.

Next day, we decided to go on a trip to Los Frailes about 4 kms north east of Margarita. The trip out on the boat was rough, everyone got pretty wet. Los Frailes are supposed to provide the best snorkelling in the country.... it was ok, maybe divers got more out of it. The water was a bit cold so you couldn't stay in long. I overheard a french guy talking about barracuda. I'd heard somewhere that they are vicious fish and had the dubious pleasure of watching a small one devouring another fish right in front of me, thank goodness I'd taken off anything shiny, didn't fancy a bite from one of those.

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