September 29th, 2008 – by: sissanoel
Four of Los 5 Fantasticos getting ready to board our plane for Angel Falls (Noel took the photo).
First day of our Angel Falls trip today. Caught a light plane up to Canaima National Park this morning - our pilot was great. He chatted his head off, pointing this out and banking suddenly and steeply in whatever direction is fingers were pointing at regular intervals! Unfortunately, none of us could hear a thing he said over the engine noise, so just nodded and smile every now and then! Arrived to find the park fee has gone up to B35, but managed to scrape together enough to cover the five of us (we`re renamed ourselvs Los 5 Fantasticos - Noel, Melissa, HJ, Adrian and Scott) and gain entry to the park. Our guide took us to the lodge where we had to wait for an hour for another group to arrive, then headed off in canoes up the river.
The toattacking macaws at Wey Tepuy Lodge, Canaima. Every time Noel went to take a photo, they´d chase his toes and then start laughing!
Had to walk one half hour section as the river rapids are too severe, then got back in the canoe for about three hours. The boat was severely overloaded with 13 passengers, the guide and 2 boatmen and all our luggage, food and equipment, and Scott and us had to sit 3 across one bench. Our bums were extremely sore at the end of the journey because couldn`t move an inch. We got absolutely soaked, not only from rain, but from the constant waves of water coming over us from the boat swell. Be warned, if you do this trip, make sure your camera is kept dry - HJ´s has stopped working because it got so wet, and you really don`t get warned about how wet it can actually get. Got to the falls quite late, so our guide ran up the mountain, forgetting that he actually had a group behind him that were not mountain goats.
The canoes in which you ride up-river to the falls.
We had quite a few issues with this guy, suffice to say Terry will be hearing all the details when we get back to Bolivar. In the meantime, the falls themselves were nice but not that impressive. They are highest single drop falls in the world at 983m, but with none of the power and force of Iguassu. As it turned out, we got almost as good a view of the falls from our camp next morning as we got after climbing for 1 1/2 hours today. Slept in hammocks tonight - actually was quite comfortable, Melissa slept better in these than on the night buses.
Noel went up early this morning, when the sun was shining onto the falls, which gave a much nicer view. He came back pretty grotty though, and really enjoyed a morning swim in the river. The boat trip back took around 3 hours again, along the same path as we came.
Walking around the rapids - too dangerous to take the people through.
Stopped at a lagoon for a swim, and back to the lodge in Canaima
in time for lunch. This afternoon, our guide took us across the lake in front of the town to a nearby waterfall where you can walk behind the flow. The water in one section is really powerful, and amazing sensation to walk through it. Definitely need to wear bathers, because you get absolutely drenched. Tonight we just sat around talking and eating a couple of snacks. Everything is very expensive here, as it is flown in, so after dinner, the boys played some chess then we went to bed early. Slept very well after our couple of days of activity.