Maracaibo, World Magic Festival

June 2002

From town to town, the climate changes as we move and becomes increasingly hot ! In Maracaibo, the temperature breaks records. The city is built next to the gigantic lake. Pirates were calling in that old harbor, or even came to pillage the town. But nowadays, nothing remains of that time. However there is a little historic city centre more or less renovated. The Baralt Theatre presenting the World Magic Festival is located just next to this old city centre. This theatre, in the Art Nouveau style, is also just restored.

We have experienced two very special visits, North East of Maracaibo, next to the Colombian border :

The Guarijo Market at Los Filudos : the Indians come from the surroundings mountains for their shopping. It is a true popular market, not for tourists at all. Will we dare to take pictures ? We are welcomed with great laughs and amused postures. On that market, one can sell and buy food (vegetables, fruit-bananas and vegetable-bananas, etc) or every day objects like sandals with rubber soles knife sliced from old tyres.

The lake dwellings at Sinamaïca can be visited on engine dugouts : the houses over the water are built mostly in wood and plaited palm leaves. They have tiny gardens; children dive and play in the water; hammocks are hanging everywhere, in the houses as well as under the canopies. Children coming back from school or women with their shopping reach their homes on dugouts. The school and the church are also built over the water. Along the lagoon’s shores, gigantic trees have their branches dipping in water; some of them even replant itself and become new roots.

These sort of places actually exist ! Like in our dreams or for documentary films ?

For general information about the tour, see : Caracas, “World Magic Festival”