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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Venezuela - 24 March, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Gecko Tours camp site, Ciudad Bolivar N0805.439' W06329.407' 63 m
Airport, Ciudad Bolivar . . . 15 km (by car)
Canaima . . . 250 km (by small plane)
Isla Anatoly, Parque Nacional Canaima N0615.187' W06250.934' 414 m 5 km (by canoe)
-  Salto El Sapo . . . 2 km (by foot)
Isla Anatoly, Parque Nacional Canaima N0615.187' W06250.934' 414 m
-  Canaima . . . 5 km (by boat
Finish Isla Anatoly, Parque Nacional Canaima N0615.187' W06250.934' 414 m 5 km (by canoe)

Leg 3 Total:

10,299 km

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

32,220 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny, very hot and breezy.  Cool at night.

 

 

Today we head off to Parque Nacional Canaima and Angel Falls - the world's highest waterfall.  This will turn out to be quite an adventure over a number of days - the last of this trip.  We have an early start.  Breakfast is at 6 AM and we are ready to go at 7 AM.  But then, as can be usual with large groups, we hang around for a while getting everyone organised and then loaded into a couple of vehicles for the ride to the airport. 

 

We arrive at the airport just before 8 AM and hang around as the flights are organised.  We will be going in a number of small planes - five people to a plane.  We board our plane, a Stationair, and are off just before 9 AM.  We are flying south, virtually retracing the route that we had driven over the last day and a bit.  The flight lasts a bit over an hour and is pretty dull until we approach our final destination.  Then we see the many table mountains rising up from the ground and just at the end we get an excellent view of Laguna Canaima and the many waterfalls pouring into it.  We land at the Canaima airport just after 10 AM - we touch down on the dirt strips at the edge of the paved runway. 

 

Venezuela02_Canaima1_01_Lagoon_4527_Web.jpg (80844 bytes)

After getting out of the plane and collecting our bags, we wander over to the small terminal to gather together.  After paying for the park entrance fees, we walk the short way to the Laguna to hop into the motorized long boat that takes us to Isla Anatoly on the edge of the lagoon.  The boat ride across is great.  As we head out we pass the locals women doing their wash in the river and the young children playing in the water.  Then as we head across the lagoon we pass right in front of the many waterfalls that feed the lagoon.  And we are here in the dry period - we can only imagine what it must be like in the wet season.  It is an awesome sight.

 

Venezuela02_Canaima1_03_Lagoon_Jac_4529_Web.jpg (90004 bytes)

After passing in front of the falls, we head over to Isla Anatoly, where we will be staying for the night.  We unload our stuff and head up to the camp, where we will be sleeping in hammocks.  After a short briefing on the camp and what we will be doing, followed by a light snack, we head down to the water to relax for a while.  It is a great spot.  We go for a swim in the lagoon (a little chilly!!!) and then lay on the rocks basking in the hot midday sun.

 

Venezuela02_Canaima1_06_FrogFalls_Jac_4532_Web.jpg (63289 bytes)

Then back up to the camp for lunch and a short rest before we head out on our afternoon excursion.  We are going to visit Salto Sapo (or Toad Falls).  We walk up along the island to the top of the falls.  As it is the dry season, the stream of water is only a shadow of its most mighty form.  We head out onto the ledge from which it tumbles over 65 feet into the lagoon below.  We sit on the rocks and watch the falls and lagoon from above.

 

Venezuela02_Canaima1_07_FrogFalls_4533_Web.jpg (83862 bytes)

Then we cross over the river, hopping from stone to stone.  Once on the other side, we head around the edge and down along the falls to about half way down.  There we are looking along the falls.  People are swimming in the lagoon below, dwarfed by the falls.  We then head into and under the falls.  A path has been carved in the rocks under the falls.  We pass through now in the dry season and it is spectacular - it must be stupendous during the wet season.  We pass under the falls and through to the other side where we head down to the lagoon.

 

Once on the beach on the edge of the lagoon, we go for a swim.  We decide to swim out to the base of the falls - a bit far, but we think worth it.  As we approach the falls, the sight is awesome.  It is even more impressive from just below it.  We swim up to the falling water and discover that there are a series of ledges that continue under the water.  We are able to stand and then sit under the falls.  The falls are full of green moss that provides a wonderful color to the black rock and white rushing water.  We sit there for quite some time enjoying the pulsating power of the falls falling on our backs and our ears.

 

Then it is time to swim back to the beach and catch up with the others.  We dry off, out our sandals on and head back to the camp.  Once back at the camp we hang out for a while.  They have hung up some more hammocks, so we pick one out and organise our stuff.  We then decide to head into town.  They give us a lift in the boat across the lagoon and we go and explore.

 

There is nothing much and we see what is to be seen in less than half an hour, so we head back down to the beach and have a drink and watch the falls and the lagoon as the sun slowly sets.  The come and pick us up and bring us back to the camp by 7 PM.  A short time later we have dinner by candle light.

 

After dinner, we decide to head down to the lagoon to watch the falls by moon light.  It is fantastic sitting there watching the white water thunder over the edge of the cliff into the lagoon below with the moon light shimmering on the surface of the lagoon.  We reluctantly head back to the camp to go to sleep and get some rest for the big day ahead tomorrow.

 

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