Monday, 22 March 2010

Cruise - Isla Margarita #12...

Just 25 miles off the Venezuelan coast, Isla Margarita is an intoxicating blend of Latin American spirit and laid-back Caribbean charm.  Known as 'the island of pearls' due to its numerous oyster beds, Isla Margarita is the largest of Venuzuela's 72 islands in the Caribbean.   It is actually two islands joined by a very narrow sandbar - most towns and villages are to the east, while the western side is largely undeveloped and has been protected as a national park, La Restinga National Park, which covers 26,000 acres.   We had booked a trip to Restinga to take a speedboat through the beautiful lagoons and mangroves.

We met our fellow travellers for the forty minute journey to Restinga National Park and once there, after donning a life jacket,  we boarded a small speedboat for our trip.

There were only six passengers per boat plus the boat man,

who pointed out things of interest during the hour long trip round the mangroves, like this pelican

and even fished an oyster and a starfish out of the water to show us - of course he put them back once we'd taken a photograph.

The views on the open stretch of water we crossed to get to the mangroves were magnificent.

Then we got the to intricate part where the boatman had to manoeuvre his boat through the canals and passages.

The whole place was just beautiful and huge, I'm sure we could have travelled round for days and still not seen everything!  Unfortunately we had to leave on the next leg of the journey, which took us to a beautiful secluded beach about 25 minutes away, where we had about 90 minutes to relax and take some refreshments - i.e. beer and rum punch.

I just had to get in that crystal clear turquoise sea.

whilst MWM sat watching me from a safe distance, you remember he doesn't swim.

There was a small restaurant on the beach which had it's very own parrots and a monkey.

MWM and I walked along the beach collecting shells, of which there was a great variety, and then got a nice lady to take our photograph in the sunshine before it was time to head back to the boat.

We packed up our belongings to board the coach but not before two enterprising local children grabbed our feet (as though they were shoeing a horse) as we climbed the steps to the coach to brush sand off our shoes with a handbrush for a small fee!

Once back at the boat there was just time for our usual ritual of something to eat before we relaxed on our balcony with a cold drink, and of course we had to have a nap before getting showered and changed for dinner.  After dinner we watched the show and a new comedian in Connexions before retiring to dream of lagoons, mangroves and pelicans.

The following day we would visit St. Vincent, the last island on our cruise, so I hope you'll join me.


Anonymous said...

I love the oyster and the star fish. How wonderful my friend. And that water is so blue. And then the change going through those canals is just wonderful. Picture perfect setting. Beautiful stop. Oh we only have one more...shoot. But what an excursion it has been :)

Dumdad said...

You packed so much into this cruise - and you've still not finished. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I must go anywhere and everywhere that has margarita in the name!! Fab pictures... only a lot jealous ;0)

Monalisa said...

Sounds wonderful.

Another place I must visit...

Akelamalu said...

It was such a beautiful place and I think our favourite trip of the cruise Thom :)

We certainly tried to pack a lot in Dumdad :)

Anything with Margarita in the name sounds delicious doesn't it Eternally Distracted? ;)

I hope you do get to visit MonaLisa, I'm sure you'll love it!

Gledwood said...

O wow! ... That looks/sounds like the Original Isla Bonita!

No wonder... I see why you name yourself by an Hawaiian monika now!

Linda said...

You can tell from the big smile on both of your faces that you two were having a fantastic trip and who wouldn't with all of the great things that you got to see? That does indeed look like paradise to me - minus the monkey, I'm not a big fan of monkeys I'm afraid! Looking forward to your next island!

Julia Smith said...

My best friend went to Venezuela for her honeymoon (23 years ago!) but I'm not sure if she managed to visit Isla Margarita. The mangroves area is spectacular. Your husband is good to head down to the water with you - I'm not sure how my agoraphobic husband would manage. I doubt he'd leave the cabin unless we were going to a little town or some other evidence of civilization.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

love this and i have not been there either! so many little islands in the caribbean, all lovely too!

smiles, bee

buffalodick said...

Never heard of that island...looked pretty undeveloped- and beautiful!

Ron said...

oooo...I can actually smell the aroma of coconut suntan lotion wafting in the warm tropical breeze!

Lovely photos, Akelamalu. I especially enjoyed the ones of the starfish and oyster.

You and MWM look so into your "element" within the tropics. You can see the glow in your smiles!

Thanks for sharing another day on your vacation, m'dear - enjoyed it.

Looking forward to St. Vincent!


Akelamalu said...

I chose my Hawaiian moniker before I ever booked the cruise Gleds. ;)

I wasn't too keen on the monkey either Linda.

MWM will go in the sea up to his knees Julia, he is very wary though. ;)

You have seen lots of islands we didn't Bee, I'll have to go again! ;)

We hadn't heard of it either until we booked the cruise Buff

Oh the smells Ron - heavenly! We so love being in the sun. :)

Dulce said...

All I can say O M G!!!!!!!!!
Gorgeous pics... so warm...lovely weather... need to be there!

cathy said...

Beautiful! So glad you are having a great holiday.

secret agent woman said...

Well, of course - we're not going to abandon ship right before the last stop.

Joy DeTete said...

If I were you I totally would have kept the starfish!
But I understand putting it back.. I was in that position once before and tossed it back to sea.

Looks like a beautiful trip though!--lucky you!

Cloudia said...

I need a man(grove) LOL!

You look brilliant in the turquoise sea!!

Aloha from Hawaii Sistah

Comfort Spiral

Gledwood said...

Yeah I know you did, but you see, you CAME HOME... even though the Caribbean is about 5000 miles from Hawaii it's still a tropical isle, yknow...

... Also I have to say those pixx are just about the nearest thing to paradise on earth I've ever seen....

happily retired gal said...

Oh my ... I confess I've been captivated by your recent vacation posts and am sorely tempted to book a cruise for myself because I've not been to all these marvelous places and think I'd love to go. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
Hugs and blessings,

cheshire wife said...

What wonderful memories you must have. Those parrots don't look real!

Spiky Zora Jones said...

arrrrrrggghhhh: You lucky girl. I can't take being on land anymore..I need a boat under my legs sweets. You have given me Cruise fever...I miss it so much.
the pics were fab and the turqoise water is beautiful, isn't it? I love it all.

want want want...don;t you just love the drinks on the boat and islands. Yum.

can't wait for our next know ididn;t know there werew that many islands. ;)

later honey. xxx

Deb said...

I have never heard of the Isle of Margarita ~ but I have now added it to my list of places to visit. No margaritas, only rum punch ? I have so enjoyed this virtual cruise. Thanks for taking us along with you!

A Lady's Life said...

those mangroves are always so mysterious You wonder what lies under the water there.
Great holiday! :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Look at the sun on that water. It's glistening and beautiful. And so are you, dear lady.

MarmiteToasty said...

Goodness what a most beautiful place..... you both look gorgeous and happy and WARM lol


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