In October/November 1995 I travelled in Venezuela. This south american country can be reached at a comparatively low price via  Isla de Margarita, a popular holiday island. Starting there, one can travel the whole country comfortably and cheap by plane.This is caused by the fact that Venezuela is a country with rich natural resources and therefore gasoline is cheaper than drinking water!
Unfortunately, one can't get along very well on english and some knowledge of  Spanish or Italian is a big advantage. Anticipating this, I had written down the address of my german speaking guest family on a note, but  this didn't help much since the number of illiterates seems to be quite high . After my taxi driver managed to figure out my note with the help of a few colleagues, he drove me to the hotel. Judging by the duration of the trip, I could easily figure out the fact that Venezuela is a big country!  The fare rate is agreed upon before start of the trip and paid on arrival, preferrably in US $. In October 1995, 100$ were worth about 17000 Bolivar.

Simon Bolivar Simon Bolivar at Merida
Simon Bolivar Statue in Canaima Simon Bolivar monument in Merida

Simon Bolivar is the founder of  modernen Venezuela. There are countless memorials dedicated to him and even the (albeit pretty weak) currency is named after him.

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