If you ask any Latin American at this moment: Which country in this continent is facing the strongest social, economic & political challenges? It is likely their answer would be: Venezuela.
Hence, my decision to make a 1700KM detour from my original itinerary: Instead of driving the 650KM directly from Cartagena to Medellin. I would do it in 2350KM with a detour heading North-East to Caracas. The road less travelled by I guess!
People had been warning me throughout Central America that Venezuela was a country to avoid. People in Venezuela I was put in contact with also warned me against going, including a diplomat at the Canadian Embassy.
But, my experience in Honduras and in San Pedro Sula gave me grounds to believe that I would be able to go though this experience with a positive shift.
I also relativized the fact that I was probably more at risk when driving my 600 lb bike into sharp curves on wet and foggy mountain roads at night. (I have done that more often then I should!)
Indeed, Venezuela is going through some difficult times, particularly with currency devaluation that is really hurting not only the economy, but the morals of people in many ways.
I recall a moment I was waiting in line at the cash in a supermarket, and the gentleman infront of me was told by he cashier that he had to put back one milk carton because there was a limit of one per client.
However, life ultimately does go on. And Venezuelans have a very unique strengh in their resilience. Part of that I think is rooted in a sense of belonging to a social project that has its ups and downs, but is their own, for better or worst. A sort of collective source of pride that comes at a rather rugged price.
My wish though, is to set intellectual analysis and commentaries aside for this album, and for you to simpy enjoy a bit of the ordinary. Not to ignore the issues, but to bring balance to the perspective that one may have on this very beautiful and rich country.
See Album on facebook: HERE