|Merida is often referred to as Venezuela´s adventure sports capital. I decided to have a go at paragliding while I was here. On xmas eve, as the sun was setting, I ran and jumped off the top of a 1600m high mountain. It felt bizarre doing this and I was extremely relieved that the instructor, who was safely in situ behind me, had fastened all the equipment correctly. I then had 35 minutes of gliding as the sun set behind the mountains that surround the city of Merida. This was an awesome experience. I was pretty ill on xmas day but I did force myself to go on a walk through the city and was able to catch the last 5 minutes of mass at the cathedral. I had booked myself on to a 4 day excursion of an area called Los Llanos on boxing day so I went to bed early on xmas day night in the hopes that I would get better. But boxing day saw me hooked up to an iv drip in Merida hospital. I had no idea what was going on. People kept talking to me as they injected stuff into me or took samples from me. I just smiled and said ´no entiendo´ so they talked a bit louder, which didn´t help. But I was prescribed medication which would kill whatever it was that was making me feel like crap so I decided to get a bus and catch up with the group for the rest of the Los Llanos trip. I´m glad I did. Los Llanos is a vast low lying Savannah plain and is teeming with wildlife. We did a boat trip, a day safari, a night safari and I even had a go at horse riding on the plains. I saw caiman, river dolphins, anaconda´s, capybara´s (which look like giant rodents) and loads of different species of birds. Too many to mention but the most impressive were the scarlet ibis which are a magnificent shade of red. At the end of the tour it was time to leave Venezuela. Next stop Colombia, who i´ve recently learned have had war declared on them by Venezuela. Not what I wanted to hear as I was about to cross the Venezuela/Colombia border!