First Day on the River
Angel Falls Travel Blog› entry 11 of 19 › view all entries
August 6th, 2007 – by: paulmclaughlin
We got changed into our swimming costumes and went off into the canyon behind the airstrip, wandering up behind a guide. Dry rocks gave way to wet ones and we got into the water, with a rope to hold on where necessary.
We wandered back down & went to see an impressively large, wide waterfall. Like many in the jungle here it would be bigger than any in England but here it was nothing special! Moving back down some more we came to a swimming pool in the river. A few of us climbed up at the side to jump in from about 4 metres, but we were nowhere near as high as our guide!
After lunch we climbed onto the back of a beat up 4x4 pickup truck. I would have been more reassured if it had a tailgate but you can't have everything, can you? We also gave a lift to a couple of the locals who were going the same way. We had a gorgeous view of Auyentepui behind us, and drove over some of the ricketiest bridges around! The highlight of the drive was when we stopped to get a closer look at a baby Boa Constrictor that was on the side of the road - it wasn't enormous but still good to see one in the wild.
We dropped off the girls in Karmarata, and picked up a couple of people to travel with us - a retired tour guide and his wife. The village was half empty because people work in the fields at points throughout the year, then come home. The remaining population all seemed very friendly and waved as we passed - the occasional satellite dish seemed very incongruous though!
We got to the river where our boat was fully loaded, and got in. The boat ride was intimidating because I didn't know what (if anything) would stay dry in our luggage. It was a real jungle experience, with parrots, falcons, vultures, swifts and kingfishers flying around. Mammal or reptile life was conspicuous by its absence though. The water lapped just below the edge of the boat, with occasional splashes over the side to soak us!
After an hour of two we reached Iwana-Meru camp, between Amauray Tepui and the Rio Akanan. We had a break to drink a beer while our hammocks were set up for us. Dinner was a fantastic flame roasted chicken and vegetables.
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