Today I had the opportunity to go to the famous Monte Avila in Caracas. Despite the drought, you could see it’s a beautiful place, where nature barely feels the control of human hands.
We made it to the summit on the Warairarepano Cable Car. I hadn’t ridden in one since my school days, there at our former camp-school in Tarara, a beach community on the outskirts of Havana. Of course the one here in Caracas is incomparable given the altitude that it ascends to: more than 6,500 feet above sea level.
Even so, I would have preferred to reach the summit along the footpath on the side of the mountains. I would have also given my who knows what to have shared that with my friends. We would have waved at the tourists from below, with our day packs strapped to our shoulders, and when reaching the highest peak we would have taken a detour to steer clear of the tourist center, with all its shops and its ice-skating rink.
That’s what I expected and found at this mountain top: an enormous commercial building and a promenade with a view of the city of Caracas – invisible on days like this without rain. On the other side though, you could also make out the town of Galipan, which was much more striking and I’m sure a place I would have visited with my friends.
I don’t have the soul of a tourist, that’s why I didn’t enjoy the place there where at noon people gather to eat most delicious and expensive snacks.
However, later in the day, and close to my hotel, I discovered an amazing place: Caobos Park.
Despite not being so well known, this small forest is full of attractive sculptures —lying behind the Fine Arts Center— with enormous Mexican mahogany trees, fountains, children playing, birds, people walking their pets and practicing sports, and couples peacefully sharing their love, and spending the sunset in this oasis pleased me even more than up on the Mount.
The people in the park are much more approachable —they’re nice everywhere— and allowed me to photograph their pets. They explained to me that Papelon de Limón is lemon juice sweetened with sugarcane molasses.
What caught my attention was that we could interact with the sculptures without a security guard or any railing preventing us. I believe that on some of my days here in Caracas, I’ll begin or end them in the shade of the enormous mahoganies in that park.
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