We're finally going round the world! travel blog



Da and Luis, our guide, enjoying the view

The inside of an incredible little stone chapel built by hand by...

... and there's the outside

Traditional dancing (maypole dancing is apparently international!) to celebrate a saint's day

A handcarved statue of a dog that Bolivar liked so much that...



A condor (he's in a cage to teach Venezuelans that they shouldn't...




A frielehun (possibly spelt wrong!! - furry plants that grows at this...



Our German group taking a break

A deer...

... the deer's in there somewhere!


Tara sneaking up on a horse










Yippee!!! (end of the first day, we got to go to these...





The puppy at our first lodge (he is so cute - but...


Howler monkeys


A few caiman on the way to our Los Llanos lodge!!

This one was hoping one of us jumped over the bridge




Our lodge in Los Llanos





A snuffly pig that eats all the potted plants

We set off on our horse riding trek



















Our roof-top nighttime safari (and our local guide)



The curly lines are actually bugs flying around and the bright dots...




Our boats for our river safari





Wild capybaras






River turtles





Beautiful pink-grey river dolphins





Piranhas have teeth??

A savannah hawk catching a piranha






Black Ibis (the cousin of the scarlet ibis in Trinidad)


A lady who lives on the edge of the river (really in...
















Searching for an Anaconda

Pretty blue water flower

The great crab that bit Tara (he he)















The pet anteater in our lodge (they found him when he was...








Our broken engine, and a delicious sugar cane snack (eaten with the...

Caribbean men - any chance to lie down!!


Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.30 MB)

Savannah hawks in Los Llanos fishing...

(MP4 - 1.32 MB)

...still fishing

We travelled down to Los Llanos via the highlands, stopping to look at an incredible stone chapel (and to have hot chocolate!) in Mucuchíes, to visit some condors, and to walk down to Laguna Negra, where we saw a deer, lots of ponies, and some special ducks. We stayed the first night in Barinas, in a lovely posada with a very sweet puppy, and that evening went for a swim at some local waterfalls and pools. The next morning, we set off to finish the journey to Los Llanos, arriving at our camp 5 hours later to be greeted by a tame capybara! Everyone had a rest, except Tara who helped our local guide get the horses ready for our afternoon ride (and nearly missed lunch in the process!). Los Llanos is a huge, flat grassland with lots of rivers and pools. In the wet season a lot of it is flooded, but now (near the start of the dry season) the pools are smaller, and the numbers of animals - birds, caiman and capybaras particularly - is incredible. Our afternoon ride was a very enjoyable introduction to an incredible place, and in the evening we saw another side of it on a night safari: we sat on the roof of our 4x4 and watched the red glow of hundreds of caiman's eyes lookin back at us! The next morning, we went out in a motorised canoe, and were awstruck at the numbers and diversity of birds: scarlet and black ibises, spoonbills, savannah hawks, ospreyes, different types of kingfishers, storks, herons, a little owl, and lots of others whose names we can't remember! We also saw LOTS of river dolphins playing and fishing around the boat, the ever-present caimans, iguanas, and capybara families, a shy coatie, and a wild great anteater (who was incredible!!). In the afternoon we went in search of an anaconda (which Gran will be pleased to hear we didn't find!!). Tara went with the guides on their search (and saw a ferdinand snake a little closer than she would have liked!), and Darius and the rest of the group went piranha fishing (he caught a grand total of zero - and lost his hook!!). We tried the piranha for dinner (it tasted like fish), and that evening a hand-reared giant anteater visited the camp. Seeing her so close was incredible: they are amazing animals, with huge waterproof palm-leaf-like tails that they curl over themselves when they sleep, and enormous upper forelegs and front claws a couple of inches long. On our last day, we travelled back to Merida... very, very slowly, and with lots of breaks because our engine kept overheating.

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