Venezuela - Canaima & The Angel Falls
Apr 10, 2005
|In Ciudad Boliavar we were met by the agency ADRENALIN EXPLORERS. A guy named Luis picked us up and took us to the office where we had breakfast and used the internet. We cannot reccomend Adrenalin highly enough as they were excellent to us and organised everything.
We did not have any Venezuelan Bolivars so Luis took Nick on the back of his motorbike to a cash point. As Nick took some money out, there was a guy lying on the floor who had been beaten up and had all his stuff knicked. He was drunk, but we called a taxi and sent him to a hospital. We then returned to the office and we were all then taken to the airport. We had only paid for a car trip and then a short flight, but Luis said that he would include the flight all the way there. The two of us, and a spanish guy we had met were in a 5 seater plane with all the food. The trip took about an hour in all.
Canaima is a lovely setting next to a large lagoon with palm trees in the water and a back drop of waterfalls. Our camp was basic but fine. On the first day we took a stroll down to the lagoon and sunbathed for a while. As we walked back we saw a monkey and her baby in the tree next to us. They were just as curious as us. In the evening we had dinner and then went to bed in hammocks.
The following day we had a very nice breakfast and waited for others to arrive. They arrived at lunchtime, an Italian couple and an Swiss girl. We then all set off in a canoe across the lagoon with our guide Olga. We went close to the waterfalls and then stopped by the side. We then walked behind the waterfalls which was amazing. The first one we walked behind usually has too much water, but we were lucky. The second falls we walked behind (the Sapo falls) were also quite impressive. We also saw several yellow and black frogs (frog in spanish is Sapo) to Monica's delight ! This area was the setting for the film 'Last of the Mohicans' as well as for Jurassic park and several other films. It was a beautiful place with large plains and table top mountains stretching into the distance. After a short walk, where we also saw 24hr ants (they delivery a nasty bite which causes headaches and fever for 24hrs) we got back in the canoe and went up the river. The scenery is just breath taking. Large table top mountains with waterfalls cascading off the top everywhere, whilst we navigated up the river lined with thick vegetation on both sides.
Several hours later we arrived at our camp which was in the middle of nowhere but had the basics, like showers, toilets and hammocks to sleep in. The owners dog, cheetah, met us and wouldn't leave us alone ! We had a good dinner and played some cards before lights were turned out at 9.30pm.
The next morning we again had a lovely breakfast (the food on the whole trip was varied and lovely). We then got in our canoe and powered up the river for a further two hours, getting splashed by water from the rapids on the way. We stopped at an island which has a good viewpoint of the Angel falls. After a few pictures we started the trekk up to the falls. It took about an hour of walking through the jungle, but boy it was worth the effort ! As it had been raining for the last couple of days (rained every night) there was a lot of water and they are really powerful. It had been raining all night and was cloudy in the morning but once we arrived the clouds parted and we had a great view of the entire waterfall. We took several pictures and sat watching the waterfall for a while before returning to the island where our boatmen had chopped down a tree, set up a fire and roasted some chickens for us ! Again lovely food !
The boat took us back to the camp where we relaxed, ate dinner and played cards with the others. Another group had arrived so there were about 15 in the camp. We were told that during high season there can be about 150 in the camp. It didn't look as though there was space ! It rained all night but the hammocks were ok so we both slept.
We returned to the base camp the next morning, having to stop along the way to walk around a particulary bad set of rapids (where someone had died the year before). Back at the base camp we packed all our stuff and set off for the airport. Again we got the flight all the way back to Ciudad Bolivar, with a good pilot who showed us a few moves in the plane !
ADRENALIN EXPLORERS - Extremely helpful, they did everything in their power and more to make us happy.