August 2002 - big trip - diary - venezuela - august 2002


Dawn breaks...

...over Canaima... we take our boat

Friday 2 August

An unpleasant 4.30 wake up was necessary if we were to get to Angel falls at the best time for the light to be on it. It was well worth the early start, though, the sky was beautiful as we got onto the long dugout boat with our indigenous Pemon guide, his totally uncoordinated minging doris and a well travelled English couple.

Cloud shrouded tepuy

Tricky navigation

Awesome scenery lines the route

Tepuy with teeth

More rapids...

...and lumps of rock

After only a short trip upriver we had to alight the canoe and be taken by tractor overland a half kilometer or so, while our native boatmen navigated the craft through some 'dangerous' rapids, so we probably missed one of the most exciting parts of the trip. Two hours further upstream of the wide, slow flowing Rio Carrao in the chill wind saw us arrive at the Orchid garden, although it wasn't the season for them. There we had a breakfast cheese sandwich that the insistent local parrots enjoyed more than the tourists.

Branching off the main river up the narrower Rio Churun we were nearing the falls but progress was slowed by the shallow water. A couple of times the propeller was damaged by submerged rocks, despite the watchful lookout in the bow. Luckily the locals are well used to this and carry 4 spares for just such occassions. The bowman was almost clonked on the head as the bow slid under a large overhanging rock, having to take emergency action and jump out of the boat.

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