Roraima - Day 4
Roraima Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
August 3rd, 2007 – by: paulmclaughlin
We followed Carlos jumping from rock to rock, first taking us out to a quartz valley, sadly decimated by people before the national park was designated and restrictions put in place. The ground is still littered with crystals, with a few larger clumps to give an idea how it used to be.
We walked on, to the western edge of the tepui. Rain clouds obscured the view but they cleared slowly to give a view around the crescent shape of the walls of the tepui towards the north. Waterfalls tumble down all around, and I carefully stayed back from the edge.
We moved a bit further south to another edge, but the clouds didn't really clear this time. We waited by an overhang so we could shelter from the rain and had a cup of coffee, with a dash of rum for those who wanted it! Despite the rain I could still look down a crack in the rock to see clouds hundreds of metres below and not much else!
Moving on, we stopped at some natural rock pools called the jacuzzis, allowing some people to take a plunge in really cold waters. We came back to our camp for yet another great big lunch, and took a nap in the afternoon giving it time to clear up before we set off again.
Our route took us out across the rocks southwards to the edge, at the highest point on Roraima and the whole Gran Sabana, called El Carro because it looks like a car! Walking poles weren't much use here as it was more of a scramble again. As we approached the cairn at the peak, the clouds broke and we got a fantastic view straight down to the Sabana, more than a kilometre below. I stayed safely back from the drop!
After spending a day up here my perceptions of the place have totally changed. What looked at first like a landscape of black rock, muddy pools and boggy plants is now one full of landmarks in the shape of different rock formations such as the back end of a horse, a hiker, or a Japanese pagoda. The variety of plants it enormous too.
There are ferns, orchids, sundew and pitcher plants, ones that look like fuchsias and many more I can't identify at all. There are plenty of endemic birds and frogs that can't jump, and pleasantly no biting insects! The trees are few and far between, and the ones you do see are stunted and twisted.
We walked a total of about 4 miles today, and as we settled in during the evening, thunderstorms growled, miles away, adding to the atmosphere of the place.
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