For August I hadn't plan anything and the idea was to look for what I wanted to do after the bike trip, depending on where some friends would be and my state of mind to do something different. I definitively had a hard time to choose, especially because of the expenses involved but thanks to Morgan I bought my ticket for Venezuela and to go learning Spanish on Isla Margarita. I found this island since I was also looking for kite spots ;-) I can't do just one thing at a time...
After a big help from Morgan to send back home what I wouldn't need for my last couple of weeks, we headed to the airport to check-in both each with our airline. What a very very bad surprise I had! Continental Airlines made me mad! During the summer and for some countries all year around, they have an embargo on the oversized luggage. It means you can't check-in any of them. So guest what... of course my kitebag is an oversized one! I stayed at the counter arguing everything I could but they didn't want to do anything except to put me on another flight tomorrow if I needed more time to find a solution for my kite. One of their propositions was to leave the bag at the airport in a corner... sure! I won't ever fly with Continental Airlines, they are the worse airline I've seen so far in term of sport baggage. Don't fly with them if you're kiting, surfing, biking... The only item they will take is a golf bag. What I was supposed to do now with my kitebag worth more than my flight ticket and 5 hours left? I first thought to not go to Venezuela since I would never leave my kitebag at the airport, but I wanted to go and learn Spanish. Finally, thanks to Julia, Morgan's roommate, we went again to FedEx so I could mail to my sister the kiteboard and I kept the kites themselves with the harness and the bar. I should be able to find a board in Venezuela, or I hope so at least... One hour before my flight everything is sorted out and I'm ready to be on a plane for several hours, back to the sea again :-)
Out of the plane... huuummm it's kind of back to Asia style, back to easy life and "try not to be screwed nor robbed" ;-) But that's the kind of country I start to really like, not "overcleaned" and very alive! I got my ticket for Isla De Margarita but I start to realize that it will be hard to survive in this country if I only speak English. They don't seem to speak that much English at all! One of 10 behind the counter... gloups!
At the airport on the island, it's Sabina, the director of the school who comes and picks me up and we go for a nice breakfast at the "Saint-Germain" bakery in Pampatar: croissant, expresso and a fresh orange juice; what a good start! After we drive to my host family and I have the pleasure to meet Graciela and her big house with my very nice room for the next 3 weeks.
On Monday morning, direction the school and I have the chance to have a teacher for myself since I'm the only beginner :-), Gonzalo. It feels a bit strange to be back in school to learn something after so many years working (or traveling I have to say...). Spanish looks pretty close to French but I mess up a bit with my Swedish using sometimes the short Swedish words when I don't know the Spanish one. The day after, another student, Ruddy, comes in the class since it's too much for him in the intermediate class and prefers to start with the basics again. He can speak a bit but doesn't know any rule/grammar.
The rest of the week goes on, Spanish lessons in the morning from 8.30am to 1pm with 2 breaks and in the afternoon it's beach time. First trip on Tuesday is to Playa Parguito, chill out, some drinks, a couple of swims in the Caribbean Sea. On Wednesday it's Playa El Yaque for me to go kitesurfing. The morning I pack only one kite regarding the wind in the prognostics and I'm leaving without anything special... Well, I couldn't rent a board since I didn't have any ID with me, moreover the wind was stronger than I thought and I should have my small kite. It's off-shore/side-shore wind with 0.1% chance of rescue from a boat... And the wind looks gusty. I'm jealous of the other few kiters on the water but I compensate with more caipiriñas ;-) On Thursday it's Playa Parguito, a less crowed one with almost no wave. Relaxing, reading, talking and drinking... Drinking is the main activity of any Venezuelan on the beach, and not only the young ones!
On Saturday, it was time to check out the clubs in the island and we even met my teacher, Gonzalo, in one bar. And back home somewhere around 5-6am after a very good night!!! Sunday... Sunday... No real hangover, but even if it's windy outside I'm not in shape to go kiting so we just go and crash on a beach, Parguito, super crowed this time! We play UNO twice and frenchie (me) wins twice even though they were all against me in the second round but bluffing still works ;-)
And before going home, we go and play Bingo!!! Lot of laughs !
So far, kiting = 0 but I'm not looking at the forecast not to be too excited since the spot at El Yaque isn't great at all. But having fun = 100% :-)