Delta del Orinoco

In the Eastern part of Venezuela there is a state called Delta Amacuro, in this state you can find the Orinoco Delta which is a landform that forms from deposition of sediment carried by the Orinoco River. This delta is the second biggest in the continent.

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In this part of my country you can find endangered species like river dolphins, giant river otters, jaguars and Orinoco crocodiles. Not only that, once you are there you can hear the roaring howler monkeys welcoming the dawn at 3 in the morning (to give and idea they sound like lions fighting in the middle of the night).

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River dolphin also known as pink dolphin

This place is not only interesting for the amazing landscapes and its fauna, it is also home of the ‘Waraos’ , also known as the “boat people” because of their intimate connection to the water. Babies in this community learn how to swim before walking. Going there and having contact with the Warao people is like going hundreds of years back in time (by the way this community have been around for more than 9000 years). These people barely speak spanish they have their formal dialect. Once you get in contact with this community you gotta be open minded enough.  Waraos do things in a whole different way, for example they don’t have knowledge of numbers or time, and they guide themselves by using the positions of the starts and the level of the water.

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Typical Warao home – an open sided hut on stilts.
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Inside a Warao home

Also they truly believe in black magic and shamanism.  Actually, the dad of one of the families we visited told us the story about how his son died; the shaman living across the river kills Warao kids with black magic when he is envy of their youth. To be honest I don’t think this can be possible. There are many reasons why these kids can die like their exposure to parasites, lack of health care and contact with foreigners that bring new illnesses. As an example during colonization the contact with the white man was one of the main reason why many of the indigenous died.

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‘Warao’ family riding a ‘curiara’ during sunset time.

 

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The river gives the Waraos everything they need, their diet consist mostly on fish and everything they can take out of the moriche palms tree like it’s fruits, worms and flour.

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Typical Warao food

If you ever decide to visit Venezuela and are wondering how to get to this remote area, no worries, it is very easy and many tour agencies offer 3 days tours with their own camps for about $150-$200 (prices might change due to the country’s inflation).

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Orinoco Camp

I know Venezuela is going through tough times right now, but when everything gets better I encourage you to live this experience. I assure you that after this you will be wondering if everything what you worry in your daily life is worth the stress, because this place and specially these people give you a whole new perspective on how to live and has you realize that you don’t need much to be truly happy.

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Thank you for reading!!

 

 

Visiting the End of the World

Ever wonder what is down south? Maybe you have heard of Argentina which is famous for it’s meat and Tango but there is much more. The touristic attractions not only are in Buenos Aires. In the south close to the Antartica is this beautiful town called USHUAIA located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the southernmost tip of South America, nicknamed the “End of the World.” This lovely town is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and Beagle Channel.

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What to do in Ushuaia?

Now let’s get down to business… What can you do there? First of all, the town is small and the locals are nice. They usually offer rides to the tourists at no cost.

Before our trip we heard about the famous seafood in Ushuaia so as soon as we got to the town we enter the first restaurant we saw and order a plate with centollas. Every restaurant in Ushuaia offers this type of food, a plate costs around 20$.. Yes, Ushuaia is not that cheap but it is completely worth it you will never in your life try something like it.

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They taste better than they look!

Then there is the Bagel Channel, where you can book a tour in one of the tour offices located near the waterfront, this catamaran trips will take you around the Beagle Channel and give you nice views of the mountains, cormorants, penguins, orcas, seals, sea lions and Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse.

Beagle Channel

On our second day, we decided to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. We got lucky on this one because a local we met the day before gave us a private tour. She also told us that the reason she moved to Ushuaia was that park, and I don’t blame her; it’s landscapes are breathtaking. The park is located 22 minutes west from the town over the borderline with Chile. If you want you can camp inside the Park but the best option is the town itself.

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Last but not least is the Esmeralda Lake with it’s turquoise water is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever visited in my life. It’s muddy trail takes you to different landscapes where you can see lots of beavers’ dams (Beavers were introduced by humans in 1946. The beavers already threaten around sixteen million hectares of indigenous forests)

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Depending on the trail conditions the walk is about 2 hours without much elevation. To get there from the town you can simply hitchhike or take a bus from the downtown.

Finally after 2 hours this is what you’ll find!

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Credits: Genius behind the camera Kevin Leverenz

Couch Surfing as a Solo Female Traveler

Every time I travel people usually ask me… How do you do it? (Financially) the first answer that comes out it’s well I use Couchsurfing so I don’t have to pay for accommodation… The questions keep on and on being the most relevant Is it safe?.

I’ve been an active member of CS since 2011 I have hosted back in Venezuela, assisted to meet ups , surfed and never anything bad has happened to me. The only awkward situation I can recall is while traveling in Colombia my host and his girlfriend were giving me signs for a threesome, as soon as I realized it I decided to go for a walk and didn’t come back until midnight.

That is one of the most important things while surfing in CS be aware! Read the references, check all the pictures, read the profile throughoutly, that is what I do. Besides the incident mentioned before nothing else has happened to me I’ve only had good experiences. Actually several people I met through CS are my current friends and we are in constant communication.

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Death Valley with Californian CSurfers

The other day I was reading the article

Couchsurfing’s Sex Secret: It’s The Greatest Hook-Up App Ever Devised

with opinions like “I simply do not know of an easier way for a guy to get laid with exotic women in exotic countries. Long live Couchsurfing!”

Not only that but usually I hear from male couchsurfers things like It’s hard to get a host when you are a guy. Luckily for myself I am a girl and yes is very easy for me to find hosts everytime I travel.

I can also say that nowadays more than before I receive more and more messages from guys saying that they just want to meet up, maybe some of them do, but you can tell their intentions when most of them finish their messages with winky faces (if you know what that means) that is not what CS is about if you want to hook up just download  Tinder, for all those women reading this, do what you feel comfortable with.  If you see something out of place while surfing just keep a plan B like a hostel or a second host. Keep in mind that you don’t need any kind of requirements to become a host in CS. Also culture plays a big role in how your hosts will treat you (Latin America and Western Europe) have given me the best experiences.

This website came out of kindness and connections between travelers sometimes just follow your common sense. There is nothing better than staying in an unknown city with a local, they are the ones who know the best spots and things to do.

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CS meet up in Germany

 

 

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In Argentina with good friends and CSurfers