Ondas del Lago
Maracaibo From The Air
These are photographs of Maracaibo
taken from the air. Taken in different eras, it's interesting to see
the areas we were so familiar with, and where we spent so much time,
from this perspective. Also interesting is the progression of
changes between the different Creole Camp/Creole Club photos.
Oster Bayne contributed this fabulous aerial-view photograph
of the Creole Camp, taken sometime during the mid 1930's. A
historical treasure, it was originally thought to have been
taken in 1940. But under high magnification, it was noted
that the houses have porches, which did not exist after 1938
(see photo below showing House 16), and a few 1930's-vintage
automobiles can be seen. Also, when this photo was taken,
there was no pool nor checkerboard-tiled dance floor in
front of the clubhouse.
Oster further writes:
. . points to note which 'younger' folks will recognize are:
Bachelor Quarters to the left of the camp with space in
front in which we held our movies until about 1950 when the
projector house was moved top the tennis courts.
Behind the Batchyquarters are the original workshops and
Commissary as I recall.
centre are the Company Offices with tank on stilts behind
which were still there in the early 1950s.
the extreme right is the Camp or Company Managers two
storied House. You can just see the shades over the windows
and the opulent gardens that were still there in the 1950s.
The house opposite the Manager's is house 22, first in the
row, where we lived in 1951 to 53. Below that is House 21,
then 20 where we lived from about 1947 to 1951. Opposite
that is House 16 where we lived (also opposite the club)
from about 1940 to 1947 about the time of the photo.
the centre is the club and tennis courts with the garages in
front of the courts. Its hard to make out the pool but I
know it's there as I have photos of me in it as early as
(Click on this photo for a high-resolution
view measuring 1851 X 879 pixels (4769 Kb) for
detailed viewing. If you have a good graphics program,
simply right-click on the enlarged image for a sub-menu
to download it so that you can further magnify it with
even greater detail.)
Click on the thumbnail below for a
1008 X 484 marked-up version of the image above (164Kb),
as originally sent to me by Oster Bayne. This image,
modified by Doug Becker, shows location pointers to help
identify prominent landmarks as well as a compass rose
to orient the viewer.
can also click here to
download a 489kb higher-resolution zipped image for
viewing with your graphics program.
Note in this image that names marked
within parenthesis are 'future' sites; i.e., the name(s)
mentioned had not yet been constructed at the time the
photo was taken.
I invite further additions, corrections,
or enhancements to this modified view. My thanks to Doug
for his efforts.
aerial view of the Creole Camp area, which was found and
sent to me for inclusion here by Doug Becker, is another
historical treasure. It comes to us courtesy of Phil
Wolcott, a Creole geologist. Phil lived in
eastern & western Venezuela from 1938 to 1956, and again
from 1963 to 1969. In between those years, from 1957 to
1962, Phil lived in France. He and his wife Mercedes now
live in Marco Island, Florida.
This photo is
believed to have been taken sometime in the early
1950's. The autos that are visible on the streets are
from this era, and a fence can be seen around the club.
According to Doug, this fence went up sometime between
September 1949 and December 1950.
By the time
this photo was taken, the new Coromoto Hospital had
been built. The living quarters for hospital staff can
be seen to the left of the hospital. The club pool &
tennis courts can be plainly seen, as well as the
clubhouse, which by now had doubled in size from the
previous photo, renovated with a mirror-image addition.
Also, note the clear view of the movie screen by the
tennis courts. The dance floor in front of the clubhouse
is still a concrete slab as it had not yet been tiled
and enlarged with the checkerboard-patterned tiles many
of us later became so familiar with.
My thanks to
Phil Wolcott for allowing us to post this photo here,
and to Doug Becker for making it possible by discovering
it and sending it on to me.
Click here to
download a 2,916 X 2,334 pixel (9.27" X 7.78")
high-resolution zipped image of this photograph for
magnified viewing. As this file is 3.037 MB, a
high-speed Internet connection is recommended.
image of the El Saldillo area of Maracaibo was donated
by Pedro López, of Documentación Activa, Instituto
de Investigaciones, Facultad de Arquitectura y
Diseño, Universidad del Zulia, in
Maracaibo. The Gral.
Rafel Urdaneta bridge can easily be seen crossing
the Lake in the background. Taken in 1962.
We're greatful to
Pedro for allowing us to share it here.
aerial views of the Creole area were originally
contributed by Leonardo J. Carrillo S., of
Maracaibo. All of them came from a book produced by the Lago
Maracaibo Club entitled "Más
de 70 Años de História: Ayer, Hoy, y Siempre Celebrando
Tres Etapas de Evolución y Desarrollo" ("More
Than 70 Years of History: Yesterday, Today, and Always
Celebrating Three Stages of Evolution & Development").
This highly interesting & informative account of the
history of the club can be seen by clicking on the "LMC
- MORE THAN 70 YEARS..." tab on the Main
Menu on the left.
I'm extremely grateful to
Mr. Carrillo for providing these photographs which show
all of the many, extensive changes that the Creole Camp
area has undergone over the course of the last 35 years.
exact year of this shot is unknown but it
appears to have been taken prior to 1985 as
the old clubhouse is still standing, as are
both of the old Bachelor Quarters buildings.
As the movie screen doesn't yet show any
"wings" on it, I'm guessing that it was
taken in the late 1950's or very early
1960's. It's somewhat similar to the way I
remember the area except that I remember the
screen with the "wings" on it. So I knew it
a number of years after this shot was taken.
Carrillo advises that only one of the old
Bachelor Quarters buildings remains today,
and is presently the site of a European
consulate (previously it was the location of
the German School). The General Manager's
compound is now being used by A.Z.U.P.A.N.E.,
a humanitarian association for special
children. Where the old main Creole office
buildings once stood there is now a small
shopping center called the "Mini Centro
The exact date
of this following aerial view in not known
either except that it was taken sometime
during the latter part of the 1990's.
prominent feature is, of course, the large
movie screen. The rebuilt clubhouse with the
yellow roof is clearly visible to the left
of the screen, extending well behind the
roof. To the right of the pool, between the
pool & the tennis courts, can be seen the
new two-story gym/changing rooms that were
built. Even the large mango tree between the
dance floor and the pool is visible. Note
also the large homes that were built behind
the movie screen that replaced the old camp
homes, and the homes that now stand
immediately in front of the club entrance.
Mid-background is the Coromoto Hospital.
New apartment buildings can be seen further
back in the distance and beyond that, the
These are additional photos
taken in 2000 from the same book
previously mentioned above,"Más
de 70 Años de História: Ayer,
Hoy, y Siempre Celebrando Tres
Etapas de Evolución y Desarrollo", that
were sent to me by Marcos
& Elizabeth Salom,
Maracuchos now living in Madrid.
Marcos was Chairman of the Board
of the Lago Maracaibo Club from
1999 to 2001, and it was under
his tenure that this book was
We're all extremely grateful to
them for the hard work they put
into scanning and sending these
photographs to us. This is not
to mention all the hard work he
put into improving, maintaining,
and carrying on the history of
the club that all of us remember
This is another aerial
view of the club taken from the
north, looking south. One can
see the housing buildup around
the southern and western edges
of the club. The western edge is
the front of the club on the
right, where only a large,
palm-shaded lot once stood.
This is an "elevated"
view rather than a true aerial
view of the pool, but it was so
good I thought I'd include it
here. It offers a good look at
the construction of the side
wings of the movie screen, and
also shows the red & white
checkered dance floor, exactly
as all of us remember it. If you
look closely on the right
(narrow) edge of the pool, you
can see the jumping blocks that
were put in for swimming
competitions. This was where the
diving boards once stood, and my
guess is that the decision to
install them was probably the
main reason the diving boards
were taken down. By this time,
the pool had also received a new
interior lining, including
attractive cobalt-blue tile
edging around the top edges of
the pool, best visible in the
This is another elevated
view and it shows how nicely the
tennis courts have been
maintained over the years. The
courts had been modernized by
changing their surface and their
colors, and the building behind
them was constructed, with a gym
upstairs and bathroom facilities
on the main floor.
OK...so this isn't an
aerial view, or even an
"elevated" photo of the pool.
But it is a great shot
that offers an excellent view of
the competition jumping blocks
at the edge of the pool that I
This low oblique
aerial shot of the Hotel del Lago, taken from
immediately offshore over the lake, shows the rear of
the hotel in excellent detail. It also gives a great
view of southeastern city skyline. Taken in 1987, it
comes from the front album cover of a promotional LP
entitled "En Maracaibo Encuentras...Hotel
del Lago" that was produced by Grupo