As the old expression goes: If you work with turkeys you might as well drive with eagles. Well, it's something like that. The stretch of road from Boconó to Mérida that we took wound its way through the mountains and the valleys. The curves seemed more fun than dangerous.
From whence we came. As you begin driving into the Andes you can see unmistakable changes in the scenery. Along the Transandean highway you pass stone-strewn fields growing wheat and coffee, and tile-roof houses clinging to hillsides before reaching the páramo, the arid region above the timberline at about 3500 meters (11500 feet).
The highway took us to an elevation of 4007 meters (13,146 feet) at Paso Pico El Aguila (Eagle Peak Pass). This is the highest point you can get to by car in Venezuela. Simón Bolívar came this way in 1813 on his Admirable Campaign which ended with his march into Caracas. It must have been a shortcut to have come this way. There is a monument dedicated to him at the pass. It is a statue of a condor holding a plaque with a picture of El Libertador. Below is a picture of the statue and, across the road, the Capilla Virgen De Coromoto. It was a bit of a climb -- at 13,000 feet -- to the chapel, so we decided to visit it next time.
Coca-Cola at the top of the world. There was a store and cafe at the pass where you could duck in for a hot chocolate. The picture below was taken from the statue. The chapel was on top of the hill on the left. Our Toyota Yaris is in the parking lot.
A typical house in Llano del Hato.
DIRECT LINKS TO PAGES:
RETURN TO THE JUNGLE
LA VICTORIA/SAN MATEO
BACK TO CARACAS
DRIVING WITH EAGLES
ON THE ROAD