The cloud rolled in suddenly. As it encircled our vehicle the mountains and rich vegetation disappeared.
We had arrived at the Caracas airport at 4:30 am our time. Immediate bird watching presented a challenge, but I refused to miss any birding adventure.
Rod, my husband, daughter Mary and daughter-in-law Tina chose to go to the hotel after we cleared immigration. Naps sounded like the right agenda for them.
Ben, our son, and I took off immediately with our guide, David. As the only opportunity to look for birds in the cloud forest during our week in Venezuela sleep seemed like a waste of time. We drove roads winding up to 6,000 ft. for over an hour west of Caracas to the Codazzi Monument Forest.
We stopped first in the German village of Colonia Tovar to purchase lunch stuff. Then on to drive, walk the road, call the birds and point the binoculars and cameras.
I decided to capture the vegetation and scenery in my camera. Ben could deal with the much harder work of shooting photos of the birds we saw. Not easy for him either because of the density of the vegetation. Our most difficult and exciting birds were two antpittas…the slate crowned antpitta and chestnut crowned antpitta. My elation hit a high note when I spotted a yellow-headed caracara before the guys. His flitting around way-back in the brush meant the only picture I have of him is in my mind.
By 1:30 pm exhaustion hit me. I gave in and climbed into the vehicle with Jose, our driver. Ben and David still trudged the winding, up and down road. The rocky, rutted dirt road wound up and down through vegetation so thick that visibility was only a few feet into the forest.
By evening we returned to the Hotel Ole Caribe in Macuto. Located on the Caribbean coast, it is only half an hour from the Caracas airport…if you don’t count time for heavy traffic. A glass of wine and a lovely dinner by the hotel’s pool refreshed me. A good night’s sleep – then bring on the adventures in store for the next eight days.