For many people, a fun summer activity may involve riding a Ferris wheel or stopping to watch magician, mentalist, or daredevil perform at a carnival. For tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, a fun summer activity is walking on top of a giant Ferris wheel, a task he completed the morning of April 29 in Orlando. Wallenda is a 7th generation member of the famous Flying Wallendas, and his great-grandfather Karl Wallenda actually died while performing a tightrope stunt in Puerto Rico at the age of 73.
Wallenda began his trek across the Orlando Eye at eight in the morning on Wednesday, riding a capsule to the top where he would walk along the rim. The sky was cloudy, and the wind was estimated to be about 20 miles per hour, but Wallenda told the Miami Herald that the conditions were “not too overwhelming.” He went on to state that the surface was very wet and that his shoes had gotten soaked during the walk.
Street magicians, mentalists, and daredevils are often self-employed, so they choose to perform where the largest crowds can be drawn. An estimated 100 people attended to watch Wallenda cross the 400 foot wheel. The walk took four minutes, though Wallenda paused twice: once to wave, and once to take a selfie.
Unfortunately, for many Venezuelans, travelling to see a daredevil like Wallenda perform is becoming close to impossible. Due to the sudden decrease in the price of oil in 2014, Venezuela is facing a shortage of dollars and is trying to reduce the number of transactions utilizing foreign currency.
Many airlines have decreased the number of flights out of Venezuela to prevent the government’s debt to them from increasing. Other airlines require tickets to be purchased in dollars, making them difficult to obtain.
One airline ticket to Miami costs more than the average Venezuelan’s annual income, running about $8,300. With the inclusion of hotel, entertainment, and food, the cost of a Miami vacation for one practically doubles, and the prices only increase if black market currency is used.
Venezuelans who wish to vacation out of the country often ask relatives in other nations to purchase their airfare for them, though this is not always possible.