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Windsurf in Margarita, Venezuela

 
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Joshuite



Joined: 08 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Windsurf in Margarita, Venezuela Reply with quote

Come to Margarita island, Venezuela for a great windsurfing experience. Here is a link to a video there....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOLn43DejOQ
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human_catapult



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 374

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the US have an embassy in Venezuela right now? I'd love to go there, but I have a life to live and not enough time to be a political prisoner...
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Joshuite



Joined: 08 Jan 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Political prisoner? Reply with quote

Hi, I'm not sure what you mean about becoming a political prisoner, but they do have a U.S. embassy here. Traveling here is actually pretty safe and easy, it just helps to do a little research first. And talk to someone here, or who has been here.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1324
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margarita is taking a hit lately with bad press. There was one armed robbery in El Yaque. ONE. That would be considered safe conpared to Oakland. Also the local merchants are taking it serious and have increased patrols in the area to keep their area safe for their visitors.

Now the state department news tends to make me nervous about Caracas with robberies happening in and around the airport and in the city. But if you travel via VELA they pick you up at the airport, take you to a hotel that has security AND a closed perimeter and then pick you up again and take you directly to the aiport ticket counter. I would feel more nervous if I was handling my own travel.

Now that might not be as safe as some like, but it's not like you are going to be kidnapped at the airport. A little common sense goes a long way....
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1324
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Margarita is taking a hit lately with bad press. There was one armed robbery in El Yaque. ONE. That would be considered safe conpared to Oakland. Also the local merchants are taking it serious and have increased patrols in the area to keep their area safe for their visitors.

Now the state department news tends to make me nervous about Caracas with robberies happening in and around the airport and in the city. But if you travel via VELA they pick you up at the airport, take you to a hotel that has security AND a closed perimeter and then pick you up again and take you directly to the aiport ticket counter. I would feel more nervous if I was handling my own travel.

Now that might not be as safe as some like, but it's not like you are going to be kidnapped at the airport. A little common sense goes a long way....
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poussin



Joined: 14 Sep 2000
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Margarita Reply with quote

Sailing at Margarita IS really nice-the water the beach etc.
The windsurfing beach is beautiful, and the people who work at the beach are friendly.
However, the rest of the island is a bit run down and DIRTY. I was surprised to see so few tourists in a place that is driven for the most part on tourism, (which isn't a bad thing of course, but a little erie in a way).

There are many abandoned buildings where construction was started and later abandoned.
These places are located on really beautiful beach front properties that look as though they were going to become prime resorts.

The condo that we stayed in had barbed-wire AND electric fences all around-just as so many other decent properties had.

I'm not trying to rip on Margarita, afterall, it is physically a beautiful place.
I went there with my family, and did have a good time, but you just can't help but notice these things.

I had a chance to speak with a few locals who told me that things have gotten a lot worse in the last few years.

Traveling there through Vela is a good idea. I think it would just make the journey a smooth, easy ride.

Getting back to the windsurfing, the beach there is really nice and also a great place for kids to learn because of the shallow, warm water, and friendly staff of any of the rental places. There is also the great after-session bars and restaurants right on the beach.

So there's my 2 bits worth.

Happy New Year!

Greg
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mtnview



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Yaque definitely has a 3rd world feel to it, but that's part of its appeal. No Marriotts, no Hyatts or anything like that, just a very mellow dirt road town. If that's what you're after, Margarita is paradise.

The wind blows sideshore across the beach with lots of trees upwind which means that even when it's nice and windy out on the water, you can come back in to the beach and grab a seat or table at one of the bars/restaurants and not be sandblasted. It's also nice and warm, day and night, unlike Baja or Hawaii this time of year.

On the political prisoner side, it's a valid question. The whole island was shut down for a season due to political unrest about 8 years ago or so. I've been there since then, in the "Bush/Chavez" era, and had no problems and felt no less safe than in Baja (probably safer), the windsurfing town itself is very safe and folks wander the roads to the various restaurants and bars until the wee hours.

My guess is the political situation is better now with Obama coming into office. Right after the election Chavez made a statement congratulating "the black man" for his win and saying hopeful things (never used Obama's name, just called him "the black man" a bunch of times, the guy's a nut case). Chavez is unpredictable, but if you're transiting straight to Margarita and there isn't a Venezuelan election happening you'll likely be fine.

- Dave
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victor



Joined: 03 Aug 1998
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

El Yaque population density, 27 per square kilometer

Oakland population density, 2751 per square kilometer

Safer than Oakland because they have a better chance of finding the robber.
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Epenrose



Joined: 05 Nov 1997
Posts: 403

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went a few years back and thought it was delightful.

Stayed at the hotel up the hill. Room was simple, very clean, great view, incredible breakfast and no Marriotts or Hyatts near, doesn't get much better.

Beer was a buck, cold, and what else does one need! Great place to take someone to learn if they don't windsurf.

What's this gringo political prisoner crap, come on, world news is free on PBS now, you can see there's a whole world outside of here.

As long as Gavin Nuisance and Kamala Harris aren't spotted on the island it will remain safe.
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mtnview



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What's this gringo political prisoner crap, come on, world news is free on PBS now, you can see there's a whole world outside of here


Yeah, and stuff happens in the outside world, like the coup attempt that forced all the windsurfing operators off the island for a season 6 or 7 years ago. Probably would have been a great time to go if you didn't mind carrying your own 9 milli...
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