Paradise by the Lagoon.
Canaima Travel Blog› entry 15 of 27 › view all entries
June 16th, 2008 – by: gopackjo
Today I woke up and headed for Adrenaline Tours a block away from my Posada. I got there at 7:30am, and met the others in the tour group over a nice little breakfast. They were Jules & Jules (Julian & Julia??), newlyweds from the UK, Anna & Philipp from Switzerland, and Tania & Kate from Australia, and all spoke English very well.
I decided to leave my computer with the good folks at the office, and packed much lighter for the journey. Tania, Kate, Jules & Jules got their taxi to the airport, and shortly after Anna, Philipp and I left as well. The Ford Fairmont we took was the biggest wreck of a vehicle I had taken yet, but it got us there in short order.
J&J were still at the airport waiting when we arrived, and the five of us were to fully occupy the next flight to Canaima.
While I was growing up both my father and grandfather were private pilots, so I love to fly. The smaller the plane the better as far as I’m concerned. And commercially they don’t get much smaller than this. I thoroughly enjoyed the view, but not the leg room, from the co-pilot seat for the 65 minute trip. As we approached Canaima the view was stunning.
Canaima is a Pimon Indian settlement of about 1,500 people that cannot be reached by road. It is the main staging area for trips to Angel Falls, and part of Canaima National Park.
But the thing that brings it all together is the seven gorgeous waterfalls that spread out over the west side of the lagoon. It is here that the Rio Carrao splits into four different branches and spills over a substantial ridge into the Canaima Lagoon. Breathtaking is not even close enough to convey the beauty and majesty of the sight.
We were met at the airport and taken to our camp, the Tiuna Lodge. From the large hammock deck we had a view of the lagoon and one of the waterfalls, and could faintly hear its rushing, crashing waters.
Back at the office, when I was told that everyone else in the group was sleeping in hammocks for both night I acquiesced and agreed to do so also. Now there were four people in the group we asking where their beds were, with J&J being the only hammock aficionados in the gang. I claimed one and tried it out. I deemed it comfortable enough for the night and kept my mouth shut.
After a tasty lunch, we met our guide Pedro, and left for our first trip. We cruised around the lagoon before disembarking and taking a 30 minute walk to the Salto El Sapo waterfall. We wrapped our cameras in plastic, or dumped then into ziplock bags and took the walkway behind the falls.
When then took another short hike to the smaller Salto El Sapito, and climbed to the top to play in the water above. We then walked back to El Sapo and did the same. The tannic acid colored water was cool and refreshing, and begged to be played in. We then walked back to the lagoon and trekked over to Salta Hacha.
Hacha was a much larger falls, with a great deal more water flow, but we were going behind it as well. This trail was a bit better than the other one, and even set back a bit more, but the volume of water guaranteed a wet experience for all. Another falls, another fabulous view, and my plastic wrapped digital camera seemed none the worse for wear when I removed it from its ziplock bag.
After returning to the camp, we had dinner (another tasty meal), and set up for bed. The setting was very nice, and the day’s experiences ran through my head as I drifted off to sleep. Can tomorrow possibly match up? Stay Tuned…
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