Sunday, November 17, 1996

I slept in again, then we drove a bit more around the area. Driving is really a trip here. There doesn't seem to be any speed limits, even in the city. Traffic lights are merely a suggestion and are rarely observed. Offensive driving is the rule. People often create four lanes of traffic on two-lane roads.

Safety is of little or no concern on the roads. It is not uncommon to see three people on a motorcycle weaving through traffic, none of them wearing helmets. If someone's headlights burn out, they often drive without them. My companion's Fiat isn't even equipped with seat belts.

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A drive-in theater (left) and the lake (right)
from a hilltop near Valencia

We ate lunch at a decent Chinese restaurant before heading for the zoo in Valencia. I was less than impressed with the zoo. The bird exhibits were nice and I saw a few animals I had never seen, but all the big cats and monkeys had all lost their minds and were pacing in their cages. Very sad.

We spent the rest of the afternoon driving around the environs of Valencia. I found it to be very interesting, though I don't think I would care to live there.

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Valencia from a rooftop

We left at 8:00pm on the bus to Merida from Biglow. What a madhouse! There was no way that I could have found the right bus on my own. The bus was very cramped for such a long-distance overnight trip. It was clean though, and had COLD air conditioning, and they showed movies in English. Television in Venezuela is dubbed in Spanish, but movies have subtitles, Lucky for me.

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