Angel Falls at sunrise.

Angel Falls Travel Blog

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Hiking in the morning moonlight.
Hello All,
I woke up in my hammock on Isla Raton and looked at the clock on my iPod.  It was 4:20am, and I could hear laughter coming from one of the other hammocks.  I got up and hit the bathroom to beat the rush, and Pedro announced that it was time to wake up a few minutes later.  Pedro had to announce the wake up call a few more times, simulating a living snooze alarm before everybody was moving, but sure enough we were on our way to Angel Falls by 5am.

The sun was not up, but the remaining moonlight made flashlights unnecessary.  The temperature was comfortable for me in my shorts and t-shirt, while some others opted for long pants and jackets.  We stopped to take pictures of some of the foiliage along the way, especially the myriad types of mushrooms and other fungi near the path.
On the way to Angel Falls. It was actually a bit lighter than the camera could capture.
 There were more tree roots then you could possibly imagine along the path, and I was very thankful that my right ankle had fully recovered from the mysterious cracking injury a week prior.

After about 35 minutes the path turned upward, as we moved up towards the falls the anticipation grew. The sweat started to pour from my head, spurred on by the heat of the rising sun.  When I reached the top of the trail the view was awe-inspiring.  From a huge, slanted rock to the southwest the Angel Falls tumbled from the top of the Auyantepui 3,212 feet (979 meters) into the morning sunlight.  The first drop of 2,421 feet (807 meters) was mind-boggling.  The water pulsed in waves that came very close to turning entirely into mist before crashing into the rocks and then reforming into a wider shorter second falls.

Nearly 200 photos were taken at that point.
Full view of the Angel Falls, and I just noticed I'm in the pic also. :)
 And the view of the Rio Churun valley to the northeast was just as amazing.  Obscured entirely by clouds and fog, and with the sun rising over another arm of the Auyantepui warranted several pictures as well.  We stayed for over an hour trying to understand, and put into words the experience of the morning.  The walk back to the camp seemed easier as much of it was downhill.

Upon reaching the small river we had previously crossed the water level had gone down about 6 inches in the three hours since the initial crossing.  We thanked Pedro for the timing of our trip, as we were very lucky to see the rain swollen falls.  Pedro estimated the falls at about 60% capacity, which was very good for this time of year.  In the rainy season we would have been drenched by mist at our viewing spot.  And in the dry season the falls dematerializes into mist before reaching the rocks.
The Angel Falls in all of their morning sunlight glory.
 It was a perfect time for us.

We packed everything up into our plastic bags, but had high hopes for the weather on the return trip.  The hope of remaining dry evaporated quickly as we were pounded by three or four waves right at the start.  The water was higher this morning than it was yesterday, and it made the going very smooth.  Pedro announced that we would be able to go straight through the rapids we had to bypass yesterday because of the higher water level.  We did stop to rest our behinds at the home of a traditional Pemon Indian family.  And we observed the way they lived in the traditional house.

We lost a plastic bag going through some rapids, but scooped it up and continued on our way.  It was Pedro's bag, and his double bagging proved very successful in keeping the contents dry.  We got back to the camp in short order, and there was another large tour group waiting to start their trip.
Close up of Angel Falls launching from the top of Auyantepui.
 This group was about 25 people, and we discussed how we were very thankful for the small size of our group.  Jules & Jules were staying behind to relax for one more day, and after about 30 minutes the rest of us left for the airport.

We had a bit of a newer plane for the ride back, and the weather was nice.  We flew directly into a small rain squall that we could see coming.  It was a bit rough, but very exciting.  Upon landing in Ciudad Bolivar we took a taxi back to the office and I checked back into the Posada Dona Carol and enjoyed some A/C.  I went to the internet cafe to catch up on some email and touch base with civilization before heading back to the posada.  Tania & Kate then met me there, and we exchanged photos on my laptop.
Small clouds dance their way past Angel Falls.
 I burned a few CD's for Kate, and we recapped the trip through the pictures.  At about 9pm we decided to get some food and took a taxi out of the downtown area to get that done.  We exchanged email and said goodbye, and I walked back to my posada.

I then talked with the owner of the Posada and tried to figure out my options for moving on to Isla Margarita tomorrow.  There were no flights from Ciudad Bolivar on Thursday, but I could take a Por Puesto (shared long distance taxi) to Puerto Ordaz for a 9:35am flight.  There was also a 8am bus going to Puerto La Cruz, and from there I could take the ferry Isla Margarita.  I put off the decision until the morning, but decided to not set my alarm.  I would value this night of comfortable bed and air conditioning, and see what happens.  

Later, Phil
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Hiking in the morning moonlight.
Hiking in the morning moonlight.
On the way to Angel Falls.  It was…
On the way to Angel Falls. It wa…
Full view of the Angel Falls, and …
Full view of the Angel Falls, and…
The Angel Falls in all of their mo…
The Angel Falls in all of their m…
Close up of Angel Falls launching …
Close up of Angel Falls launching…
Small clouds dance their way past …
Small clouds dance their way past…
Me with the second of the falls in…
Me with the second of the falls i…
The pool at the bottom of the seco…
The pool at the bottom of the sec…
A sunrise shot over the Rio Churun.
A sunrise shot over the Rio Churun.
The Rio Churun valley in the morni…
The Rio Churun valley in the morn…
Flower close up on the walk to the…
Flower close up on the walk to th…
Our luggage is wrapped up tight an…
Our luggage is wrapped up tight a…
The camp at Isla Raton.  And wow, …
The camp at Isla Raton. And wow,…
Chillin on the long motorized can…
Chillin' on the long motorized ca…
Great reflection shot along the ri…
Great reflection shot along the r…
At the Pemon Indian settlement.  T…
At the Pemon Indian settlement. …
Jimmie Angels restored plane stand…
Jimmie Angels restored plane stan…
Angel Falls
photo by: siri