Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Salto Angel (18.12.2013 - 22.12.2013)

We left early in the morning with two canoes. On the five hour up river we stopped three times. The first time we had to walk a short distance to lighten the canoes so they could pass through some bigger rapids. Conveniently there was a gift shop selling craft on the way ;) We resisted the temptation. Later we stopped to take a plunge in the so called Happiness Pools. But most of us where already wet from the different rapids encountered on the way ;)
When we stopped for lunch later the westerner wer all drinking water and the rest of the group coming from various parts of latin america all leaped at the Coca-Cola. Our guide also always stressed that there would be enough Coca-Cola, something you need in the middle of nowhere...
Not much later we arrived and prepared for the one hour walk up hill. But not everybody in our group was in good shape. Some had quite the struggle, I guess all the Coca-Cola doesn't help.
We marched almost to the foot of the waterfall, the highest in the world! It plunges down 970 meter from one of the many plateaus which are around 2000 meters above sea level. Quite an impressive sight. Some took another bath before we descended across the river where our basic camp for the night lay. After some chicken roasted over the fire and the common Coca-Cola (sadly no beer or spirits in the camp) we lay down in the hammocks for the cold night.
The journey down river the next day was much faster and we reached Canaima before midday. After lunch we boarded another Cessna to fly back to Ciudad Bolivar. Sadly we hadn't booked an overflight of the waterfall by plane beforehand and short on cash couldn't afford one on the spot. So make sure you have this included in your package!
After another night in Ciudad Bolivar our ways parted again, Joel and Patrick went to spend some days in the Orinoco Delta where as the two of us had to organise our way back to Caracas.
By chance we ended up at Peters lovely Posada close to Ciudad Bolivar. We stayed three nights and finally got with his help a bus ticket to Caracas.
The four of us met again at the airport to spend the last night in Venezuela together. We bought a big bottle of rum and Coca-Cola and headed to the little beach close by. We had purchased a set of Uno to play but where surprised that it had only two colours, kind of pointless this way...
We got up with a little hangover and three of us headed to the airport. Patrick had to stay another night as Alitalia had postponed this flight for 12 hours.
We knew the airport was chaotic but it even overthrew our expectation. It took us half an hour just to find the right line and another three to check-in. Of course our flight was then delayed for three hours.
Once in the air we where relieved and looking forward to spend christmas and new years eve with my family in Curacao.

We took a bath below the second waterfall!