From Ciudad Bolivar we took a bus to Ciudad Guayana and then a “Por Puesto”, a collective taxi to Tucupíta, the only major settlement in the Orinoco Delta. At our hotel, the Amacuro Hotel, we arranged a trip into the Delta with a local “Pirata”. These are independent guides not working for an official agency, which were almost all closed due the city celebrating its 159 anniversary the day we arrived. Another reason was the major price difference between the two: we negotiated 500.000 Bolivares per person for a classical 3 days / 2 nights tour, while an official agency offered us 900.000 Bolivares.
The anniversary celebration drew throngs of people to the river banks where vendors sold beer and delicious food. Of course every 50 meter you had a speaker playing at max volume. In the beginning we thought we were approaching a band playing but it always turned out to be a stereo.
We were extremely luckily in many ways. First of all our group only consisted of three people, Gilles, Heidi and Bernhard, a German who spoke fluent Spanish, which helped a great deal. Second because we were guided by Luis, the most experienced guide you can wish for. He knew every plant, animal and also cooked delicious meals. The amount of food served has been simply too much for us, but obviously normal for Venezuelanos, maybe this is one of reasons why we find most people here simply overweight. Luis brother Antonio was the captain of our little boat, which had two engines, as required by law, but no roof to protect us from the rain or sun, which at times would not have been a luxury.
The morning we left, we drove for three hours in torrential rain. We were soaked to the bone despite our raingear. Our lucky streak continued and by noon the sun was shining again. We stopped for lunch which Luis prepared over a camp fire. It was incredible what he produced under such conditions, at this point we knew we were in good hands.
In the late afternoon we arrived in a Waroa village, where we spent the next two days and nights. The Waraos are the local “Indigenas” of the Delta and have settled there for 500 years and mainly live of fishing. Observing the life in the Warao-village for these two days was the highlight of the tour, although there were no facilities whatsoever. Toilets were outdoors at the end of the village and taking a shower meant pouring a bucket of water over our head.