December 26-27, 2007
I had a bus ride northbound that took way too long to go the short distance to the coast. The roads were actually in better condition in Venezuela than in most countries in South America, but a combination of a lack of any semblance of organization at the bus stations, tollbooths, police checkpoints, speed bumps, and broken glass causing flat tires meant that it was impossible to drive more than ten minutes without stopping. Despite my best efforts to leave Ciudad Bolivar early this morning, I didn't get to Puerto La Cruz until dusk.
Puerto La Cruz was located on the Caribbean Coast, so I figured I should stay one day to check out the beach. It looked like a nice place at night, but I soon found out that the city's above-ground sewage system emptied directly into the ocean, making the water unswimmable. In fact, I only had to walk around for a little while to realize that the entire city smelled of festering shit. That was too bad because the natural setting was nice enough to make Puerto La Cruz a tourism destination for foreigners, if only the Venezuelans could clean up their act.