Friday, March 13, 2009

Welcome to Hotel Parador Taguapire

El Palmar is the closest town to the Imitaca Forest Preserve. It is the staging area for expeditions into the preserve, particularly for those who seek the mythical and often elusive Harpy Eagle, the world's most massive eagle. We had scheduled two days in the hopes of locating one of them.
Constructed of cinder blocks, the rooms in Hotel Taguapire resembled a jail cell painted a violent shade of pea green. But, a little cheer was added with and equally violent shade of nearly royal blue, perahps a cross between indigo and hunter green. The door was built of steel. There were no worries that anyone could possibly break into your room.
We shared our room with at least two other companions, one of which was a tree frog that lived in the shower. Apparently camera-shy, capturing his image was a lesson in high speed photography. That first flash drove him right up the wall, literally, with the camera woman pointing the lens increasingly higher with each click of the shutter.
Our other companion was our spider friend that hid in the corner near Sam's bed. I assured her that he/she wasn't poisonous and would almost certainly be gone in the morning, even though I had never seen this kind of spider before and had no knowledge of its biological history. Fortunately, she was no worse for wear in the morning when, indeed, the spider was gone and it was not in her boot.
The saddest thing about traveling in a third world country is all the wasted plastic. Because we couldn't drink the tap water, bottled agua was our friend. Unfortunately, the hotel provided the agua in tiny little bottles - many of them. We suspect that there is no such thing as recylcing in the small towns of Venezuela.

Now, lest you think poorly of our accommodations at Hotel Parador Taquapire, the host and his workers were quite gracious and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. They put out fresh fruit several times daily which attracted a wide variety of colorful fruit-eating birds, including the Venzuela Troupial, a member of the oriole family. To see a photo of this bird, visit Jerry Oldenettel's website and scan through the Venezuela album.

One day, four of us decided to play hooky from the dedicated birders that comprised the remainder of the group, opting instead for a leisurely morn watching the feeders and the birds that occupied the habitat beyond the fence. Our host plied us with endless cups of coffee, soda, beer, steak and fries for lunch, smiling all the time as we practiced our novice Espanol.


Diego Calderon said...

THANKS for posting this nice blog about your birding trip to Venezuela.. I am Diego, the Colombian guide that was leading a group of 4 Danish birders while you were there in Taguapire... great to see those pictures!!!... I was there again this year leading another group and we did a great tour again ( more than welcome to take a look to my Colombia website ( saludos, Diego.

Janny said...

Hi. Our website is Greetings!