Currently viewing the category: "Venezuela"

Dear friends,

Tomorrow our supervisor will arrive to save this crashing project normally referred to as my master thesis project. We will probably work on fluorescence spectroscopy while waiting for the equipment to arrive. I think it is a really good bad alternative because it is really close to medicine. You can use this technique to visualize malignant skin cancer.

Since I had another week before reality was coming my way I escaped Quito once again. My very good friend Calle has the good taste of taking correspondence courses while staying in Merida, Venezuela so I went to visit him.

The irony of it is that when I arrived he was waiting for some equipment (books) to arrive so he could continue his physics studies. Physics was the last thing on our mind however when we met up at the airport in Caracas. I was absolutely sure that Caracas was in the middle of the country and when we flew over water for the last 20 minutes of the flight and landed in something called Maitequia I was kind of nervous. I was wrong though and Calle was there to greet me.

He had planned everything already so we went down to the Carribean coast to stay low (apprx -20 meters) for a while. Buses are boring and rum is tasty was our motto so we started catching up on the bus while downing a big bottle of rum. It seemed like a good idea at the moment but 3 hours later without a toilet on the bus was almost torture in the end.

The first day we stayed pretty much the entire day in, on and under water. First by snorkeling at a beautiful and very well preserved coral reef. We encountered among many things a really cocky fish that didn’t care that we were about 100 times bigger, if we came close to his little rock (his hood, ya know whatt’am sayin’) he swam up to our faces and made an aggresive move. Like, “Wanna piece of me, huh, HUH!? Just come over here and I will woop your ass!!”. Hilarious!

Calle is a skilled scuba diver and has most of the courses you need to do cool stuff under water. I am happy when I remember which part of the suit to breathe from. With my basic certification I can scuba dive in open water in fairly shallow water. With an additional course you can dive at night, with an additional to that you can dive in caves. With years of experience you can maybe dive in caves at night.

We started off with a night dive and the second dive that night by going into a cave. With the supervision of a dive master and to dive master students however but far above my skill. It was really great of course. We saw murenas in the coral “trees”, lobsters and the coolest thing of it all. Plancton the glowed in the dark. You shut off the lights and move your hands around you in the bottom and it sparkles and glows around you. Kind of like ‘Tomtebloss’ in a way. Awesome! Going in and up in a airpocket in the cave was also great.

The morning after we dove in a much easier site with a great view. It felt like swimming around in a giant aquarium. The sense of being in another world has never been so real.

The same day we took a freezing bus (why are they always overusing their AC’s??) to Merida where Calle normally resides to chill and hang out with his girlfriend Johanna. It’s good to bring warm sweaters on the buses but even better to bring some more rum and this time they had a WC!

In Merida we lived kind of a luxurious life. Eating really, really good dinners, drinking some more beer and just taking it easy. The last day our adrenaline glands were crying for some attention so we went up paragliding. It was absolutely great, somewhat a relaxing experience with a marvellous view but when the pilot started doing some tricks it was just great. Like going with a roller coaster but without a track and 100 meters up in the air!

Thank you so much for this week Calle and Johanna! I highly appreciated your never fading generosity, hospitality, friendliness and, not to forget, supply of Nutella. Nos vemos en Quito!