Looking back: Venezuela 2007 (2)

So we had a short stopover in Canaima before we continued our trip to the highest waterfall in the world: the Angel Falls (Salto Angel). We were a group of about 20 people to continue by logboat up a river for about three hours.

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Canaima was the last outpost before we entered pure wilderness. The landscape is breathtaking. Many mountains have a distinct shape and for this they are called: the tépui (table top mountain).

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The boats went at a rather high speed which made it even more exciting especially when the river got smaller and smaller and we passed many large rocks- In general, the boat trip felt short as after every curve of the river you had more amazing views. The only downside was that we hardly saw any animals during the whole trip – probably because of the motors of the boats they were scared away. But then, suddenly, after another curve of the river we saw them. We had arrived to the Angel Falls!

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The Angel Falls are the highest waterfall in the world with an uninterrupted fall of the water of nearly 1000 meters. They are named after Jimmie Angel, a US pilot, who was the first to fly of the falls in the middle of the 20th century.

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Upon arrival we finally saw the first animals during the trip! A bunch of vultures was apparently waiting for any tourist that might be too faint to climb up to the base of Salto Angel. The path was over roots and through the cloud forest.

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We were so lucky with the weather. We could see Angel Falls in their total grandeur. This is not always the case because due to the altitude the top of the Angel Falls is often covered in clouds. Unfortunately, we could not swim in the basin where the water dropped as it had rained before and the water masses made it impossible. On the other hand, due to the masses of water the Angels Falls were maximally impressive. Apparently, sometimes it is so dry you would only see a trickle.

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Before we entered our night camp we could refresh ourselves in the river. The current was really strong so you had to hold on to a rock. Upon arrival at our night camp the hammocks were already set and the chicken was roasting over a fire site. We were surrounded by total darkness and protected by men with machine guns. I was not sure if I could sleep at all in a hammock, but the next morning I felt relaxed and it was much better than expected!

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After breakfast in the morning we got back into the boats and returned to the lagoon of Canaima. We had a small break at a cute little waterfall that felt like out of a movie.

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We stayed two more nights in Canaima and explored the lagoon and its entering waterfalls. Salto Ucaima was quite impressive because of its breadth.

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But Salto Sapo (Frog Falls) was a special experience because you could walk behind the water curtain! Due to the wetness we could not take a photo behind the curtain so I took a photo from Wikipedia to give you a cinematic impression.

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Photo taken from Wikipedia

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Furthermore, the village of Canaima was rather boring but during the boat trip we got acquainted with our fellow travellers where we spent the evenings with. Especially, Michael enjoyed drinking with a German dentist and his girlfriend – so much that they finished a bottle of rum that night with the two of them. Too bad for him that he missed out the next day´s adventure! But that is a different story…

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