Monday, July 02, 2007

Son Mexicanos?

Our adventure day in Merida was by far our most productive day. Upon waking, Luis imposed a moratorium on drinking until 7am the next day. Tanto (Roger), Backdraft (Kotas), Bloody Knuckles (Luis), Freddy (Wes) and the Mexican Assassin (me - duh) set out on a canyoning trip through a river in Merida. The excurison required us to don wetsuits (not a pretty sight) and hike uphill, downhill (you know its downhill when the land ahead of you is lower than the land you are standing on), through streams and under misbehaving brush. We had one of our few encounters with wildlife when Luis took pictures with some hill-dwelling family's goat. I surmise that our lack of wildlife encounters had something do with the sight of us in wetsuits.

The canyoning itself involved hiking through a river and down waterfalls, repelling through waterfalls, jumping off boulders, and sliding down waterfalls. At one point, our guides instructed us to jump off a 20 foot peak into a hole in the river that was no larger than 4ft by 4ft. Pretty damn amazing. We survived the trip without serious injury, although Luis did take out some pent up aggression from the dumb blonde dropping his camera by punching a rock. We had another encounter with wildlife when we broke for lunch - the guides whipped up some jamon sandwiches replete with fresh tomatos, onions, avocado and you guessed it, mayonnaise. In what became a theme for the day, Luis decided to harass some red fire ants.

After returning from the canyoning trip, we were pretty knackered so we rested in some hammocks at the posada with some beers. So much for the moratorium, it lasted all of (insert amount of time in which we did not have access to beer).

Not quite satsified with surviving the day to that point, we, along with several other gringos, decided to go paragliding. We drove up to a 1600 meter cliff and then ran off with venezuelans and parachutes attached to our backs. I wanted to fly with the flag tied around my waist but my pilot had a better idea: he jerry-rigged (debate ensued over the spelling of jerry-rig) the flag so that it would fly free behind us as we sailed over Merida. The other pilots joked that if the Mayor saw us, he would order the military to shoot us down. The pilots were a bunch of life-loving hippies. When Patrick, of some unknownst to me Asian descent (guessing Korean), had trouble launching, one of the pilots quipped that it was due to his inherent vision impairment caused by his lack of round eyes. Brought back memories of Kamikazies.

Special mention that Minnesota Andy wins the POTY award for puking midflight.

After returning to tierra firma, the pilots took us to their neighborhood bar where we saw the most badass SUV ever - untill we saw the rear window which was adorned with an ad for a baby store. Becuase one of the Land Cruisers (complete with military style backseats) that took us up to the cliff had yet to descend, Tanto, Backdraft, Bloody Knuckles and I hopped on the roofrack. Anything goes in Venezuela. At the bar, Luis lunged at another opportunity to harass some ants and did a Mexican hat dance on an ant party. If anyone out there knows why Luis hates insects so much, please explain in the comments.

Famished after a day of adventure, El Cuatro along with Fabio and Juan headed out for a steak dinner. We ordered a couple rounds of tequilla shots which caused the waiter to think we were mexican. We convinced him we were swedish.

We are currently rolling 12 gringos deep in 2 land cruisers on a 4 hour trip to Barinas for the US - Paraguay game. Sam's Army indeed.

None of us have shaved since arriving in Venezuela. When the US finally gets some points, we are going with moustaches.
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1 comment:

Andy said...

Hey man, I was just making room for more beer. Plus, I was paragliding after riding 7 hours with food poisoning (a.k.a. Montezuma's Revenge) on a bus from Maracaibo to Merida. A real pussy would have stayed back at the hotel cuddled with a nice warm blankie.