CASTILLETES

Thanks to the invitation by the Club Maracaibo 4 × 4 and specifically my friend Roberto Riso, fellow highly regarded international and mechanical expeditions, I went in the company of Alexis Alfonso from cruiserheads.com to the beloved land of sun, Maracaibo. Many do not know, but the longest beach in Venezuela strip is located northwest of Zulia State, an area that is called Castilletes, and has over 80 kilometers of white sand and blue sea is just the beginning an adventure in the western point where Venezuela is born.

The trip to Castilletes is a tradition and always made around October 12. The output of the first caravan would be at 6 in the morning, but we prefer to sleep a little longer and take the last almost at 9. When paying the registration fee around the bullring, we were informed that there were a total of 223 registered vehicles, an incredible number of 4 × 4 gathered to travel in convoy to the same place. We started rolling slowly but steadily, entering through the Guajira Sinamaica, Paraguaipoa and crossing over the river El Limon. I felt quite strange rolling through this area, because unlike the previous times I came, was heavily guarded because of an official act to be done in those days.

Within hours of driving, including some stuck and stops for pictures, we could glimpse the beach. An extension of clean sand and winding and the first camps where they were. The sea looked calm, clear and warm, like a giant pool waiting for the bathers. We assemble camp and enjoyed the beach with friends. The next day we decided to visit the landmark number one that marks our border, for which you can take a boat that crosses the lagoon or like us, overlanders at last, you can get rolling on dirt roads and sand dunes crossing several times the imaginary line that separates the two countries. We had the opportunity to photograph us with some marines in the neighboring republic as we approached the famous geographical location, near there also shared a few beers with Colombian national police who were at their command.

And at the foot of the famous formations known as Castilletes, we came upon the ruins of a church which is said was the first to be built on the continent. According to historical data Alonso de Ojeda reached these lands founded the town of Santa Cruz in May 3rd, 1502, if so this is the first settlement on land in South America, where houses, town halls,  a fortress and a church  were built on the strategic shores of Laguna de Cocinetas. After several conflicts between men of power who were on the soils of the today known as Castilletes  decided to leave such a beautiful place.

It is necessary to leave the vehicle and walk uphill as 50 meters to reach the top and admire the landmarks. The view is amazing, you can see the lagoon and all trucks camping on the Venezuelan coast side  and the desolate but beautiful bay on the Colombian side. We take photos of rigor and resume our way to the camp. We enjoyed a pleasant grill and talked until dawn with the company of a cool breeze.

On Sunday we picked up camp and started our way back home. I must say that although the number of people was considerable it is to admire there were no problems of violence or discussions despite the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Everyone enjoyed his camp without disturbing others, like a big family where you walk along the beach waving to distant cousins ​​respecting the environment and leaving everything as it was and even better. I give my congratulations to the organizers of the event, the Club Maracaibo 4 × 4. I also want to thank all my friends "maracuchos" with which I have intimate ties appreciation for so many shared experiences. A: Roberto Riso, Lorenzo Caballero, Jesus Villalobos, Enrique Soto, Stalin Urdaneta, Jorge Velasquez and Roberto Perez all of them in one way or another make of my trips to Maracaibo a stay much more than pleasant to them and their families, thank you very much .

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