It is about time to mention a few more restaurants where we had really good food. Two of them even have a more local flair as they are not overrun by tourists.
Arcano, Carrer dels Mercaders 10, 9, 08003 Barcelona
Michael was completely hung over when we had to travel further. We had booked a trip to an indigenous village called Kavac. Well, it was a replica of an indigenous village built for tourists. So, in the morning we stepped into the Cesna again together with two American girls who had to join us as there were no sleeping places left in Canaima. Something went wrong with their booking apparently and thus they were moved to the other village with us.
The flight was very pleasant again and we could enjoy the beautiful landscape, Michael a little less though… As we approached Kavac we suddenly realized that we will land on a natural runway – this was really exciting as we never did that before. So, slightly worried we descended to the ground.
We made it safely – actually the touch down was not much different than with another plane – apparently Cesnas are made for these kind of runways 🙂
We were welcomed by an indigenous man and his wife who both only spoke Spanish. Luckily one of the American girls was Puerto Rican and could help out with the communication. The village comprised no more than 20 huts – the main one serving as the restaurant. The two American girls, Michael and I were the only guests in the middle of nowhere and after dinner had been served the couple announced that they would drive home to a village about 30 km away leaving us in a ghost village without means of communication nor knowing where we really were. Now that was thrilling!
But before dinner time we had an afternoon excursion. Michael had to stay behind to sleep off his hang over and missed a hike in the surroundings of the village to a hidden waterfall.
The guide, the Americans and I walked along a river for quite a while until we came to a spot where we had to step into the river and had to hold on to a cable to enter a canyon.
At the end of a canyon we reached a little lagoon where a river dropped over a cliff. It was the most wonderful experience to discover this place! Unfortunately the photos I tried to take closer to the lagoon were not good as the water sprayed so much onto the lens of the camera.
On the way back our guide showed us a sacred place where an angel was supposed to fall from the sky.
The angel fell and left her marks in the stone: two round wholes where her breasts touched the ground…
When back in the camp we had dinner, Michael woke up from the dead for a while and then our lonely night in the wilderness started. Actually, I just closed the door of our hut and tried not to think about what may be out there 🙂
Luckily the night was eventless and we met the American girls for breakfast before we started to another excursion with guide. Unfortunately, I forgot his name but he was truly amiable and especially funny.
We were taken to another waterfall, this time where we also could go swimming.
The special character of this waterfall was a natural slide leading into a basin just before the abyss where you could swim.
We spent an enjoyable hour, feeling like happy children in a paradise, before heading back to the village where we would be collected and flown to Ciudad Bolivar. Looking back and after having travelled in so many regions of this world afterwards I still believe that the Canaima Natural Park is one of the most marvelous parts of this planet.
We stayed overnight in Ciudad Bolivar which was our final stop of our third voyage to Venezuela. Ten years later I would love to go back again. Venezuela is always in my heart. But at the moment it is impossible. The country has been ruined by the Chavista government, poverty has risen to the extreme, the inflation per year is 1000% and it has the highest murder rate in the world now.
However, somehow I know I will return one day. There is still one great adventure left: Los Llanos.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We stayed two more nights in Canaima and explored the lagoon and its entering waterfalls. Salto Ucaima was quite impressive because of its breadth.
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.
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…