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Park Los Aleros, an encounter with the traditions of the Venezuelan Andes

Park Los Aleros, an encounter with the traditions of the Venezuelan Andes

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on September 23, 2014

Alexis Montilla, from the state of Mérida, Venezuela, was born in Chacopo in 1944 and he always dreamed with building a town that could revive memories of the Andean's lifestyle and customs in the 30s. 

In this way, it was created Los Aleros, that last July 28th celebrated 30 years since opening, and the celebration will include a  recognition to its founder, who with effort and har-work made this Andean icon that has entertained the people from Mérida and the tourism in the region.  

Besides, other theme parks or attractions in the city of Mérida, such as La Venezuela de Antier (The Venezuela of Yesterday), La Montaña de los Sueños (Mountain of Dreams) and y Parque Natural Yaracuy (Natural Park Yaracuy),were created inspired in the initiative of this entrepreneur.

The tour begins by bus

To go to Los Aleros you must take one of the 10 small buses of the given time that, through a steep path, transport the visitors in five minutes to the town where the time stopped.

Be ready to walk, with comfortable sport clothes and a coat (if it is cold), and prepare yourself to discover scenic places, full of stories, tales and wonders, some funny some creepy.

The walk begins in Banco El Aguila and the office or Passports. There they assure " they are the only bank where the clients are plucked" and where you can exchange bolívares into Morocotas (gold coins), the official currency of the town.

Don´t forget to ask the officer to stamp the seal in your passport, to record your visit. Next, the searching of a treasure is waiting for you. Somewhere there is a legendary treasure of Morocotas that must be found. Only the bravest try and is not recommended for people with heart conditions. But in the  Zafarrancho you can be scared while having a snack.

For the little ones, the Alerito de la Nana is the new sensation. This small house is available during tourist season.

Meanwhile, you can try your luck in the Rabbit Roulette. When you pass by the Bomba (gas station) you will see the original fuel pumps form the 30s still working; and pieces, lubricants, spare parts and other objects from that time.

The cane mills were very traditional from the Andean towns in that time. In Los Aleros you can watch the making processes of its derivatives- sugar-cane liquor, alfondoques, molasses toffee, chuchuhuaza, brown sugar-that are for sale.

One of the few stone mills, moved by the water forces that stills works in Venezuela is located in this theme park. This wheat mill makes the grain into flour to make the famous and delicious Andean Arepas cooked in firewood stove.

In Casa de los Aperos and Taller Artesanal are exhibited the tools used to build Los Aleros, as well as the photographs of its evolution.

Another typical room is the Room of the Bride (Alcoba de la Novia), where all memories, dresses and portraits of Ilva Delgado, the first bride of the town, are kept. If you are lucky, you might be invited to the wedding of somebody from Los Aleros, so go to the Barber Shop where you can find the most estrange tools used to make haircuts in styles such as "totuma" (rounded), "cocoliso" (bold) and "trasquilao" (scalp).

Sit and choose what you want

The movie premieres of the moment are in the billboard in the movie theater El Duende Misterioso (The Mysterious Elf), but, once in a while is the Elf who surprises.

To go

If you want to buy typical souvenirs Las Topias has craftwork and sparkle candy. If you prefer and old portrait, you can have one using old outfits in the Photo gallery Don Trino. The Voice of Los Aleros, "is the radio station that covers the trasandina road-wide," it plays the hits of the moment. In the Federal Post Office you can send a telegram.

In Rincón de las Hilanderas you can see the art of shearing, washing, combing, spinning and knitting clothes with wool from the sheeps.

If you are brokenhearted, the Broken Heart bar guarantees you that you will never get out sober. And meantime you taste a "callejonero", the Rock-Ola will sound. A machine from the early 20s makes the local newspaper in the printing house El Surrucuco. You can have your passport picture in the square of the Characters from Merida. In the Bodega Los Pensamientos you can find cakes, sodas, coffee, tea, ointments, potions, coffins, kerosene stoves, sardines, earth soap, candles and chimú.

Well done, now go to the Enchanted Cave.

A stop for a taste

The bakery El Horno Panadero has iced buns, paledonias, quesadillas and fired Andean bread. To eat à la carte, the Restaurant and Cantina la Zaranda are waiting for you in the highest part of the town with corn grains and wheat, smoked cheese in frailejón, pizca andina, fry trout or gen soup.

You can enjoy the dessert in la Heladeria and Dulcería La Copa del Paraíso that has in its hall a car of 1926 in which you can have a picture dressing like in the old times. There is a statue of the Liberator in the Bolivar Square; by the way one of the few that are known. In the House of Music, there is a rare collection of phonograph and jukebox , old radios and musical instruments.

The walk ends in The Chapel. Ask for Saint Charbel, patron saint of the town.

Coordinates

Carretera Trasandina, km 25, vía El Páramo. Web: www.losaleros.net; e-mail: contacto@losaleros.net. Telephone: 58 (274) 789.3252. 

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