Los Roques Island Trip, October 2004 

Friday, September 26th   -   Sunday September 28th, 2004

This is the picture page for my trip to Los Roques Island with the Caracas Hash (running) group.

(click any picture to get an enlargement)

It's 90 miles (150kms) from Caracas to Los Roques.

Los Roques is a National Park Archipelago (many islands).

Thanks to Oscar & Andre for organizing the trip.

Click here for a little article on Los Roques

To begin the story ... there were over 40 folks on this trip.  We all left from the airport outside of Caracas, but the flights were scattered over two days and  with two different airlines.

The Friday gang met at the airport with no hassles.

No boarding call, they just open the door and out you go!

Our flight was in this vintage DC-3, 1948 version!

The weather was nice for the 40 minute flight; after our 7-course meal service (yeah, right!), we heard comments about ...

... seeing the beginning of the Los Roques Archipelago.

There were so many islands ...  which one was ours?

Nope, not this one.

"Borrowed picture", so no enlargement available.

We actually crossed over the entire Archipelago before we got to the island of Gran Roques.

A safely grounded group.

Welcome to Los Roques!

A quiet place (only 2 vehicles).

Gran Roqes has an airport, harbor & a town; the main beaches are on the other islands.

The main feature of Gran Roques is "the rocks".



The town is home to about 1000 people, but MANY tourists come in for the weekend.

The town is centered around this square.

Private residences were scattered amongst the posadas.

Most posadas were re-furbished homes.  They were uniquely decorated and had space for about eight people .  

Today we took only one place.  When the rest of the group comes tomorrow, we will probably take six more places.

The homes along the ocean were very quaint and picturesque.

Some posadas had nice garden  restaurant areas.

We made our way to the posada (hotel) and moved in.  After accomplishing our assigned errands, we were ready for the beach!

We met our hired boat at the harbor.  Since there are no nice beaches on this island, you hire a boat and tell them which island you would like to visit.

Our boat dropped us off at the closest island, which was less than 15 minutes away. They even produced umbrellas & chairs for us..

We could see back to Gran Roques; a very nice view!.

One group began to set up a tent ... with no instructions!

The other people practiced water polo & syncronized swimming.

" Come on back... I didn't mean to throw the ball so hard!"

The beach didn't have too many other people on it.

Along the beach we found the best place to snorkel.  We ended up going all the way around the island and saw many schools of fish.

Right off the beach you had nice sandy bottom until a rather sharp dropoff.  Across this bay was an island with a little fishing village.

Superhero hides wife!

The signal is either "peace" or "please get me 2 ice cold beers".

What a life ... if we had more beer maybe we would still be there...

... and these guys might even  have the tent up by now!

We took a group photo before packing up & heading back.

Goodbye sun! We look forward to seeing you again tomorrow.

After cleaning up we had a GREAT meal & crashed early.

The next morning (Saturday) we awoke fresh and ready to begin the day's activities.  

Some committee members went to the airport to meet the rest of the folks; others worked with the beer and food.  Even though plans for the posadas were pre-arranged yesterday, there were still some hassles to deal with ... only in Venezuela! 

Oh yeah, anyone heard complaining will be expected to host the next "outta-town" event... yikes!

We then had an extremely wonderful breakfast of fresh juice, arepas, cheese, ham, pancakes and bagel-like croissants.   No comments necessary about this supply of goodies.

People are all refreshed and ready to go to the beach.

Our "models" are displaying the latest T-shirt from Nicole!


After breakfast a whole armada of boats arrived to pick us up.

We rode out to one of the outer islands, which was about a 30 minute ride.  The drivers raced, which made the ride interesting.  The hardest decision ... which beach do we take over?

We chose the point of this lovely island & set up camp.

The last boat finally arrives.

The men unloaded the cargo... as they did hundreds of years ago when the Spanish pirates operated off these coast.  The difference here is that we had women issuing the commands!

Guarding the cargo from El Sol!

The last of the frontier is claimed and we settle in...

.. should we use SPF 8 or 15?

From the distance it looks like a settlement has arisen...

... at a closer look, one has... it is a group of "friendly Hash aliens" representing ethnic groups from around the world... oh no!!!

These pelicans & gulls attack a school of fish.

"Watch me attract the birds with these chips ... hey, where did they all go?  ... I even took a shower this morning ... dang birds!"

The birds retreat to this hill...

... which actually turns out to be...

... discarded sea-shells !

Eye test... how many birds are fully in this picture?

Back to the beach... some are swimming in the deep water...

... or are they waiting for this guy to chase down the ball.

Most groups have settled in and are in deep-relax mode.

Some others are trying to avoid the scorching sun.

Others are using the sun as an excuse for a "cold one".

Looking down the beach we can see a number of yachts showing up... they know better than to come down to this area!

Andre's is ready to launch water polo balls at any invaders!

There are a few homes...

... that belong to local fisherman; a great place to live!

Moon rocks?  
Talking about a "full moon" ...

... the guys wish all gals would  like this type of "freedom".

"But Mommy, all the girls at "home" swim this way!"

Do these little girls realize the dangers that lurk in shallow water!

A horn sounds, which signals that the relaxing portion of the day is over ... but why should this calm, relaxing scene be disturbed?  

Answer: This is a Hash weekend, isn't it? After a relaxing early afternoon in the blazing sun ... the Hash will soon be ON! 

The assembly is slow to come to order; a group photo is first ==>

"Mother" outlines the rules and introduces new members.

Since it was hot the words were kept short and we were OFF!

An empty camp; exactly what the organizers expect to see.

The initial path for everyone led down the beach...

... a false path delays a few.

The walkers grouped to discuss the US elections.... ??

"Hee hee, nobody saw me get a drink from my boat"

The yachts were very nice, but we didn't see any people.

These "protected" walkers find a lined sidewalk going inland.

Confusion ... the arrow seems to point into the water..!..?...

... but the leaders keep going and everyone follows them.

The ocean comes back into view.

We can barely see our camp.

Back onto the main beach.

The people cooling themselves in the water (probably from the yachts) offered words of encouragement... "cervesa! cervesa!"

As soon as people returned they got a drink & hit the water.

A camp of dirty laundry.

The group is then called out ...

... of the water and "circled up".

The preliminaries went fast and the hares were called up...

... thanks again ... drink please!

The group discussed a missed turn... the walkers were, indeed, meant to enter the water!  The people in the lead group ... 

... were asked to join the hares for "punishment".

Sexy feet!  Hey, all sexy suits...

... come up for a drink!

More thanks given to Andre!

Before we knew it, the sun started getting lower and the boats came back to pick us up.  

There were thoughts of mutiny and defiance, but then the thought of dinner made everyone agree that it was time to leave.

Trying to distract the driver!

Nice view of Gran Roques

The village looks pretty calm & peaceful.

Fisherman at work.

The guys bring up the last of the load... what, leftover beer?

A group decided to hang around for sundowners.



The serenity of the situation (and the birds) made for a memorable sunset... 
after which the group parted for clean-up and resting prior to dinner.

The posada owner worked her magic and provide our large group with another fantastic meal.  
As the food was consumed, the Hash wine flowed and the stories got wilder by the minute.

After dinner we were enchanted by Mercy and her belly dancing.

"As if we could ever get our bellies to move like that!"

The entertainment continued with some local drummers.

People had energy to burn, as almost everyone got up to dance.

After a while the kids went to bed and many adults, although sunburned and tired, went to the one of the three discos.

We ended up taking over the place and worked up quite a sweat; aerobic dancing! A few of us stayed long enought to close the bar.

The next morning our room got quite busy.  It had started to rain and those sleeping on the roof were coming back down.

Others who were responsible for this morning's "hangover hash" were getting ready to fulfill their "haring" commitments.

I wasn't feeling too good, but went to the meeting point.

Ah!  They cancelled the hash... good, now I can go back to bed.

I didn't understand what this black guy was trying to tell me.

When I returned later... I found a whole group of people ...

... returning from the run & downing Carol's Bloody Marys.

Ooops, I guess I had read the sign incorrectly... oh well! 

We had another nice breakfast ...

... and watched the harbor...

... and town come alive.

We had one more beach day in front of us, so we packed up our gear and awaited our pickup boats.  We would have to return early today to catch our flights.

In VE, the girls think about "enhancements" at a young age.

In a few years Daddy would go to jail for this!

We got to the beach and routinely settled in.

When Mommy was not looking, Iain tried to convince Jennifer to practice a few Scottish dancing steps in preparation for St. Andrew's Ball.

Unfortunately around this time is started to rain... and rain it did!  But that didn't keep the folks from swimming, snorkeling and having an overall pleasant day.  Many were happy the sun wasn't out, as it was cool and the sunburn from the previous day was starting to set in.

But ... there was one more festivity to celebrate ... Christening!

There was a bit of confusion when they called up ... 

... all the people who don't have Hash Names or "handles"

Wow, there are a lot; the leaders have names in mind though! 

The act of "christening" occurs after a person has shown commitment to the group and has attended a number of Hash events.  The leaders try to watch people's behavior and assign an appropriate name ... so it's best not to do something stupid when you first join!

The "christening" happens in steps.  Some flour is initially poured on your head; then an announcement is made with your new name and why it was chosen; then some beer is poured on top of the flour and is rubbed into your hair ... it adds body & protein to your hair!

They progressed down the line as one-eyed Freddie looks on.

They got Jim, but Carmen almost ducked out of the way... Gottcha!

Mia is last & knows what she will tell her mom... "Lucky La

The boats then came to pick us up for the last time.  The rain came down even harder ... but luckily the storm wasn't a hurricane.  

 Everyone was totally soaked, but totally satisfied. 

We all packed and went to the airport's boarding area.

We boarded the plane during a lull in the rain.  The next thing we knew we were buzzing ver the places we had visited.

We thought we recognized some islands, but there were just so many !

The Los Roques archipeligo is indeed a very special place ... we will return!

Socializing on the plane was enhanced by  ...

...  the discovery of some extra rum!

Can you believe this?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats" 

Heck No, it is time for a few hashing songs!

"What? they won't sit down? ...  ha ha, we will teach them"

At this point the plane takes a huge dip.

Wow, I don't mind this kind of turbulence!

Hey, let's do that again!

Luckily we all survived the flight and got home OK... but everyone was quite exhausted.  

Not too many errands got accomplished on Sunday night!

Thanks again to Andre ... we appreciate all the effort you went through to organize this trip!


That concludes the Los Roques story.