Caridad

Monte Ávila, in Caracas, Venezuela. 1
Monte Ávila, in Caracas, Venezuela.

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.

Monte Ávila, in Caracas, Venezuela.
Monte Ávila, in Caracas, Venezuela.

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.

Caobos Park in Caracas, Venezuela.
Caobos Park in Caracas, Venezuela.

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.

Click on the tumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

Caridad

Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

3 thoughts on “Missing My Friends on Mount Avila

  • Venezuelans and cubans should definitely be building as many ties as possible — and aiming to join in full political-economic federation as soon as is practically possible. And they should then be working to include the other caribbean and latin american countries as well.

    I also wonder what could become of the Warairarepano park with some proper socialist ecological thought and planning put into it. I’m sure the first thing they could so is lose the ice rink…

  • The idea that people might have the ‘soul of a tourist’ or not is an extraordinary one to me.

    Yordanka, despite not having the tourist soul, you loved Caobos Park, for, I think, most of those things you love about home. Your stories and photography are tremendous. Looking forward to more of your feelings on being away from Cuba.

  • Buen reportaje y maravillosas fotos, Yordanka, se ve lo similares que somos entre criollos. Aprovecha aún más tu viaje y déjanos conocer más de ese hermano país. Saludos

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