Sunday, November 11, 2012
November 6th – Isla Margarita
In spite of the signs telling us how well he was doing for the country, what we saw on the streets told us a different story. Potholes everywhere, clapped out cars held together with bits of string sharing the roads with 4x4s with blacked out windows, more dead dogs by the side of the road than I've seen in any other country (plus a dead horse), and most houses protected by bars across their windows and razor wire. For a country with the biggest oil reserves in the Western hemisphere, it didn't make sense.
But, in spite of the mismanagement of the country, it couldn't stop the natural beauty of the island shining through – this is a place of gorgeous beaches, attractive mountains covered in tropical greenery, and plenty of old colonial heritage. As we explored, we visited centuries-old Spanish churches and fortresses from Colonial times, modern holiday resorts and rundown towns - it was only a brief glimpse into Chavezworld, but it makes you think that this beautiful country and its lovely people deserve better.