Many, many moons ago a good friend of mine heard about a place called Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela…that was dirt cheap and full of beautiful beaches and women. This was long before Chavez destroyed the country and back in the good old days when there would be a coup…then peace…then a coup…As long as you traveled in between coups you were generally fine. We assembled an interesting crew of 4 for the trip (yet can only find pics with 3 of us) and went just as Margarita Island was getting developed.

We stayed in their top hotel (at best 3 star) and ate like Kings since things were so “cost-effective” against the mighty at the time American dollar. Steaks were very good and so damn cheap we even had them for breakfast for $3 bucks a piece! Cerveza was crazy cheap… $.10 cent for Polars on beach, I think $.30 in restaurants. Service was a bit slow and I remember the waiters being dumbfounded at how the beers were piling up (cheap beer +guys who can drink like Vikings [well 2 out of the 4 of us] + long wait times for the steaks = lots of imbibing) as we waited for our Chateaubriands(each?).

Again…this was a while ago…I remember having lots of fun going out in town and striking out trying to pick up “Nice Catholic” girls on vacation…with their families…I mean everything that worked in NY…nothing…still fun trying with my broken High School Spanish. Hitting the beaches…turned out better ones on other side of Island…where the Locals and mainland Venezuelans went. The highlight of the trip was a trip to a tributary of the Amazon. We flew in on a big prop plane from I’m guessing the 50’s with a Pilot…I’m guessing his 70’s. The flight was like a roller-coaster due to all the turbulence. How no one got a shot of famous Angels Falls or the incredible flat topped green covered mountains that rose out of the jungles looking like Lost Worlds is kills me.

Upon landing we hiked around the rain forest and went swimming( I remember something about two of our crew “play” fighting and one flipping the other into the river) in the Amazon. Which at first we were like “no way!!!” until we were told no to worry about piranhas… the local Indians over fished and ate them…native guides swam around looking for water snakes. I guess this is a bit of a rambling…so long ago..but it came up in conversation with one of my buds from the trip recently…hopefully you enjoyed it and the pics and it possibly stirred some memories from some of your first travels and inspires you for more…as this trip did I…

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