Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Accidental Tourists

When travelling to the World's Highest Waterfall (TM), it's very important not to do any of the following:

1. Fail to go to bed on the evening before the 4.30am start

2. On the evening before the 4.30am start, drink so much gin that you spend the entire night telling your wife you're going to kill her, oh, and you hate everyone and everything else too.

3. Pack only one pair of pants between three of you.

4. Leave all your money, passports and credit cards behind in the swanky, air-conditioned beach apartment you've rented for ten days but in which you will only in fact spend three nights due to your ill-advised spur-of-the-moment decision to take a trip to see the World's Highest Waterfall (TM).

4. Ensure that the taxi you hire to take you on the four-hour drive to Ciudad Bolivar is a) 80 years old, b) driven by someone who has never been to Ciudad Bolivar and has no idea where it is, c) entirely devoid of oil and water and d) likely to break down in the middle of nowhere in the baking hot sun with no prospect of rescue.

5. Think that the creaky 100-year old biplane that is due to fly you through the jungle to the Falls will still be waiting for you even if you *have* turned up five hours late due to your 1920s Buick taxi having broken down in the middle of nowhere in the baking hot sun for lack of oil and water.

6. Assume your taxi driver knows where the airport (I use the word loosely) is.

7. Believe all those rumours about the 100-year old tourist biplanes crashing frequently into the jungle leaving no survivors. I've had a good look at them and apart from the odd missing wing or tail, they look as safe as houses.

8. Upon realising that you are stuck in sunny Ciudad Bolivar (think Kabul meets Swindon, with parrots) for an entire day with no money and no food, commence divorce proceedings against your wife on the condition that you will get half of her possessions (which at the moment consist of one pair of pants and an iPod Shuffle - I travel light, me).

9. Laugh hysterically at the English translations of the menu in the one-parrot hotel you've had to hole up in. Sample dishes: "Fish Mountain To The Oriental" and "Padded Meat To The Sicilian".

Still, as the American guy in the marina said: "If everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane." How true.

11 comments:

Fizzy good said...

Ain't life grand?

earlyman said...

iPod Shuffle.
Is that the new dance I see those crazy cats doing down in the basement clubs of Yateley?

james henry said...

I've looked at that picture, and clearly the only way water can get to the top of that hill in the first place is by peasants taking it in buckets.

cello said...

Just yell, if you need rescuing.

Konrad said...

Fold your hands child, and walk like a peasant.......
As I saw your "never done" list. I've never been in South America and I've never seen the Angel Falls. Are they larger than life, or larger than the Niagara Falls?
My parents hopped the Niagara Falls.

cello said...

Just in case you've been stuck in Cuidad Bolivar eating Padded Sicilians all day, I thought I'd cheer you up by telling you that James has now listed this blog as one of his recommendations. Flashy.

If that doesn't work, remember you are coming home very soon.

earlyman said...

Ladies & Gentlemen,
If I could introduce you to a good friennd of mine....
Miss Kraken Kabuskey......

Karen McCluskey said...

Hallow Patty...

Just thought I'd post a little comment to tell you how wonderful I think your blog is! Well Done!

Shpeak to you shoon...

xxx

patroclus said...

Gosh, hello everyone, and a special warm welcome to Konrad and Kazza. Konrad, the Angel Falls are *way* more hardcore than Niagara. You wouldn´t really want to go over this lot in a barrel. They´re almost more hardcore than Victoria Falls, which still have the edge due to being located in a Country Of Exaggerated Political Instability, Economic Turmoil And Civil Unrest (my favourite sort). But more of that anon.

(Actually I haven´t been to Niagara. Better make that number 10.)

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