Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela
I cant believe I have been in Venezuela for almost three weeks now and have not communicated with you all on my journey – I think I may have fallen into the Venezuelan mind set that not only is tomorrow another day but the day after next and the next….
The people here are way too chilled and so enjoy a more relaxing way of life. It does however seem in most parts that your role in society is defined by your gender as you often see men drinking beer in the street cafe´s while the women look after the children while chatting to the lady next door. But hey everyone thinks it seems to follow the general South American lifestyle or attitude but it is the first time I have had to wait 1½ hours for a hamburger or change my watch by only 30 minutes at the border so that they are in a different time zone – well they are in more ways than one. It is what makes the country unique and the reason why I have loved my time here.
Entering Venezuela from Brazil was a relief for me as for one I was now once again in Spanish speaking land and for another I did not quite gel with Brazil.
It was my time for a chilling out period and what was not a better way than exploring the beautiful landscape of the Gran Sabana. The Gran Sabana is in some cases pretty much flat vegetation intermingled with hardy colourful plants and waterfalls. I should not forget Mount Roraima where travellers around the world flock around the world to climb for magnificent views.
But for me it was the waterfalls that made it interesting. From the red floored waterfall Salto de Jaspe to the sharped angled waterfall of Salta de Kama and of course the most famous – Salto de Angel (Angel Falls). The highest waterfall in the world it falls from the Tepui some 980 meters to a rock pool beneath. Being the dry season there was not as much water as normal but the sheer fact you had to crane your next to see the top showed you just high up it actually was.
My trip to Angel Falls was great. Leaving from Ciudad Bolivar I caught a small 6 seater plane to Canaima National Park – I could not believe what a smooth ride it was and how breathtaking the scenery was, as we flew over green forests, meandering rivers and the flat rock formation of the Tepui.
It was an extremely hot day when I arrived so to cool down I took a motorised canoe across the Canaima Lagoon and walked under Salto de Sapo (one of the curtain waterfalls) for a throughly soaking shower. After sunning myself on the other side and drying my clothes I then had to retrace my steps underneath the waterfall in order to get back to the lodge for dinner.
The next day I was extremely excited as we were going up river to finally get a glimpse of the falls. The boat trip took about 4 hours and it was partly relaxing yet energetic as we maneuvered through the rapids trying not to get too wet as we dodged the bucket loads full of water splashing into the boat.
Once we reached our base camp it was about a 1½ hour walk through the forest to get to the view point. My pictures do not do complete justice to the view but as I was looking at the waterfall I will still remember my mind saying ´Wow – look how high it is!` I was pleased to have finally seen Angel Falls and that night I certainly looked forward to sleeping in my hammock in the open air to dream about waterfalls and surfing rapids.