Ciudad Bolivar to San Cristobal, VZ - 869 Miles
After hanging out in Ciudad Bolivar and Canaima for a few days, we were all itching to get back on the road. According to a few local riders, the best way to get across the country is via the main auto pista that goes through Caracas. I hadn’t planned on going this way but the shorter alternate route was supposedly in poor condition with lots of potholes.
Another lunch stop along the road somewhere in rural Venezuela: As usual, the food was good and very cheap. I find the arepas here in Venezuela to be tastier than the ones in Colombia. They refer to them as ‘arepas dulce’ AKA ‘sweet arepas’, so I suppose they use some sugar in the baking process.
We stopped for the night in a small town about 20 minutes outside of Caracas, as we warned that it’s a very dangerous city, especially for us tourists on expensive looking BMW motos.
The traffic in the Caracas was some of the worst I’ve ever seen. The practically free fuel means a lot of cars on the road, thus there’s tons of congestion. Luckily for us, the motos can easily split traffic and the local drivers are courteous, so it’s easy going. Another thing I noticed is that the roads are very good here in Venezuela and the highways are some of the biggest and best in all of Latin America.. not something I was expecting.
After making our way through Caracas, we stopped along the side of the highway to say our goodbyes. Victor and Ernesto were heading North towards the coast and I was going West towards Colombia. I really enjoyed riding with you guys and hope the rest of your trip goes well. Take care!
I made it to the small city of San Cristobal which is about 20 minutes from the border with Colombia. I planned to stay here for an extra day or 2 so I could shop around for tires and maybe find a bigger battery, along with a few other errands.
I had a few Brazilians tell me to buy my tires in Venezuela since they are very cheap here. After searching around the city for a few hours, I managed to find a Continental Trail Attack rear tire and a Pirelli Skorpion front tire for very low price of $130USD. That’s for both tires! You couldn’t even get one of those tires for that price in the US.
I also met a couple more Venezuelans who were super friendly and hospitable (as I have found most to be). I had just picked my moto up from getting washed at the car wash near my hotel and I was sitting at a traffic light when my moto decided to die. The battery had gone flat again and the bike wouldn’t start. I pushed the bike up on the sidewalk and parked in front of a cafe. The owner came and asked me if everything was okay. I explained the problem and he took me under his wing. This is how I met my new friends pictured below.. however, I’m struggling to remember his name as I am now writing this blog post nearly 2 months later.. sorry! Edit- Omar and Richard! My new friend had lived in New York for a few years, so his english was pretty good which helped out the situation. He called his brother who came over to the cafe on his moto and he offered to take me around the town to find a place that would charge my battery. Score!
After stopping at a few shops, we found a place call Abel Motos which took great care of me. They not only offered to charge my battery for free but also gave me some free stuff like stickers, pens, etc. They were excited to have a crazy gringo traveler in their shop on a big moto. Once again, the hospitality and friendliness of the locals here in Venezuela has been amazing.
After hanging out in San Cristobal for a few days and getting the moto squared away, it was time to hit the road and cross back into Colombia. Woot!