All good things must come to an end, and so must this tour. Today we packed up and headed on the bus to compete with the traffic headed to the coast for celebrating Carnival, a 5-day celebration observed in Latin America. The traffic was extreme; even our police escort couldn’t help much. They were happy, though, especially my main man Aldo Buso:
Unlike our nighttime arrival, the trip home occurred in the daytime and we were able to see much more the countryside and outskirts of Caracas that we missed coming in. It was fascinating. Explosions of color rivaled the tin roofs and multitude of satellite TV dishes:
We saw many pedestrians roaming the streets, along with young people dressed in costumes with parental chaperoning. The roads in the neighborhoods were mostly empty, however; it seems most were in their cars or on their bikes on the way to the beach.
After the long journey, we made it back to the airport. To our great surprise, El Maestro Abreu was at the entrance to give the orchestra and staff a goodbye handshake and hug. What an amazing man to do this; endure the hour-plus traffic-laden journey after attending our final party the night before to see us off. It was heartfelt and meant so much to all of us.
After going through security, we boarded our chartered jet and embarked home. It was a beautiful day in Venezuela:
After a fuel and food stop in Mexico, we landed at LAX to the sound of applause and cheering from the passengers. An unbelievable musical experience now lay fully behind us.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final installment to our time in Caracas including thoughts from select members of the Philharmonic!