|We joined throngs of Venezuelans dressed for an antarctic expedition on Merida's cable car system (feeling a bit underdressed in our jumpers and sandles!).The cable car went up in four stages, and the views were stunning! Each stage was colder than the last, but we survived without getting hypothermia (tho we didn't stay out long at the top - it was windy at 4700m!!). Once we'd had a look around at the top, and taken our photos, we took the cable car back down to the third stage to find the start of the route to Los Nevados. We decided to hire mules and a guide (because we weren't sure about the 5 hour trek at altitude, NOT because Tara thought the mules were cute!) - but then spent a lot of the time trotting after the mules (one of which was a pony) because we felt bad making them do all the work! Four hours, and lots of truly beautiful mountain scenery later, we arrived at tiny picturesque Los Nevados (with Darius swearing never to go near a mule again, and Tara burnt scarlet!). We stayed with a local lady who was building a posada, watched the sun set over the mountains from our doorstep, ate in her kitchen, and watched the donkeys, ponies, mules and cows passing the square (with the occasional man in tow). Los Nevados is the most peaceful place we've ever been. The next morning, we returned to Merida by minibus, which was slightly more painful than riding the mules - and much scarier! (the road was very narrow, very bumpy, and always had a sheer drop on one edge!).