We made the 6½ hour journey to Caracas in a startlingly quick 15 hours (we love Venezuelan transport!!), and luckily Lorraine came to get us from the scary bus station (thank you!). We enjoyed Caracas much more than we thought we would, thanks to Alan's kind hospitality and our tour guides (Lorraine and Alan!). We ate the best meals we've had since we've been away (incredible fondue up the mountain, and, of course, Alan's chilli con carne!), swam in the pool, got caught up in the crowd at one of Chavez's speeches, visited the Bolvar museum and some impressive art galleries, tried (unsuccessfully) to get to the mirador at the top of Torre Oeste (but enjoyed the view from the 48th floor anyway!), walked around the city at night (never would have done that without Lorraine!), loved the xmas lights over the river (they made a light river over the water, with waves that seemed to move as you drove past, and ducks, frogs, fishes, dolphins, etc floating above them - very effective!), and learned that Lorraine talks to the TV at night!