Following our trip to the jungle and Angel Falls, next stop was Ciudad Bolívar – the capital of Venezuela’s South Eastern bolivar state.
To get there we took a 4 seated Cessna over the 30,000 km² Canaima National Park that borders Brazil and Guyana. It was a journey that would last over an hour.
This photo was taken from inside the plane. Given there was only JD, myself and a pilot on board I was nervous to say the least. Noticeable perhaps from the lopsided smile! The pilot didn’t help quash my fears by spending too much time foraging instead of looking where he was going. Perhaps he’d done the journey so many times he longer needed to concentrate.
Ciudad Bolívar was originally founded as Angostura but renamed in 1846. The name comes from the Angostura trees that grow in the area. Angostura bitters were invented there and it’s also where the first Venezuelan newspaper was printed.
Despite the fear, the views from the Cessna were incredible and the pilot landed the plane perfectly.
We were met at the airstrip by a guide who took us to Plaza Bolívar located in the heart of the old city. There we found a statue of the Liberator Simón Bolívar who had declared Ciudad Bolívar the interim capital of the newly formed republic in 1818.
It was incredibly hot, not helped by our jungle attire – it really wasn’t trouser weather!
There is a cathedral located on the eastern side of Plaza Bolívar – music can be heard in the Plaza if the doors are open. A plaque marks the spot where General Manuel Piar was executed.
Whilst we were in Ciudad Bolívar we visited the Angostura Congress House where I tried and failed to make a guard laugh. I thought leaning over his shoulder would do it but alas I was wrong!
We also saw the San Osrido Museum, where Simón Bolívar stayed for a time, and the San Isidro house where he wrote the Angostura Speech. Now a museum, it was a great opportunity to glimpse into the colonial lifestyle and have a nose around some rather pretty gardens. Casa Piar is where General Manuel Piar stayed before his execution.
The Angostura Bridge over the Orinoco River was a wonderful sight. It links the Bolívar State to the rest of the Venezuela. We traveled over it on the way to Ciudad Bolívar and when we returned to the airport bound for Margarita…