Had breakfast and then sped northwards to Puerto Ordaz. Usual Gran Sabana plateau then rapidly downhill to the Guayana jungle plains. Mildly winding roads through tropical rain forests. One stretch was close to Guyana border. Snapped photos when we passed a town called El Dorado (there's even the maximum security prison for VE here). This region, together with the city of El Callao, is still a major gold mining region. VE produces 10% of the world's gold. We stopped by a private illegal mine here, just next to a state-owned one. Took some pictures. We could get down 30 meters into the mine on a rope if we wanted but all three of us thought it was too dangerous. These miners worked in a team and even women (a few quite pretty) were involved. Hard work.
City of El Callao – miners' town. Lots of jewelry shop. Billboard of Russian-VE joint venture.