Some misery for the travel gods.

Angel Falls Travel Blog

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Jules reads in his hammock before seeing the parrot. And unfortunately named dog Scheisse naps below him.
Hello All,
Last night was my first night ever sleeping in a hammock, and it really didn't go too bad.  I slept pretty well, but decided early in the night that I was going to need to douse myself in 100% DEET insect repellent in order to make it through.  One of the agencies I had consulted in Ciudad Bolivar had made mention of mosquito nets, but the one I booked with said that we would not need them.  Two things are certain about me, if there are insects around they will find and bite me... and if everybody else is comfortable, if will be sweating uncontrollably.

I ended up with a few bites, but it certainly could have been worse.  I slept in shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, and actually did utilize the blanket provided for a little while as well.
Semi-Friendly parrot says good morning.
 I was awakened in the morning by the squacking of a parrot that sounded very close.  After a few minutes of trying to ignore it, the sound got even closer.  I looked around only to find a good sized parrot perched on the rope holding Jules' hammock.  My first thought was that it was a wild bird, but upon closer examination I could tell one of the wings was clipped to prevent it from flying.

Jules was awake and reading, and unaware of the parrots presence until it moved a bit further down the rope.  Jules is apparently a bit skittish about birds, and to be honest I probably would have been a little freaked out as well.  In the past I have owned and raised birds with a girlfriend, and I feel very comfortable with most of them, but I have a healthy respect for how much one of those beaks can hurt when they want to inflict some damage.
This is a big creepy insect that seemed to like being photographed.


About that time, Jules' wife woke up and we pointed at the bird about a meter away from her climbing on her husbands now vacated hammock.  The bird saw her as well and proceded to show off for about 15 minutes, squacking and swinging from the bottom of the hammock.  The rest of the group slowly made it's way out of the dorm for breakfast, which was quite good, and we were all up by 7am ready to go.  The weather looked good, but there were some clouds in the sky that caused a bit of worry.

While waiting we had a photo session with a large winged insect that was on the floor, and prepared for the day.  Pedro arrived at about 8:30am and let us know that we would be waiting for another couple flying in this morning before leaving for the Angel Falls.
Map of the trip to Angel Falls.
 We did the calculations in our heads and figured out that this new development seemed likely to cost us the possibility of visiting the falls today.  We weren't too happy about this, but remained optimistic.

We finally left just before 11am for the falls.  We packed up our things and out them into a large plastic trash bag to make them (hopefully) waterproof.  And brought some smaller plastic bags for oour cameras and such.  I grabbed an extra trash bag in case of rain.  We took a short canoe trip across the lagoon, walked around the falls to meet another canoe, and we were off up the Rio Carrao.  The rain started shortly after, and I tore a head hole in the trash bag and wore it like a rain coat.

The rain stopped just as we reached the first rapids.  We got out and walked to bypass them for about 45 minutes, while the lightened motorized canoe navigated it's way through the rapids.
A collection of canoes wait for passengers to make the trip.
 We got back onboard, and the rain again started.  It was raining very steadily, and quite hard, and the trip was miserable.  The scenery was spectacular, and the low clouds, and the surrounding high Tepuy's (mesas) added to the otherworldly feeling.

We encountered many smaller rapids along the way, and the boatman and his assistant deftly used momentum and lifting the motor at key times to avoiding bashing our prop.  After reaching the more narrow Rio Churun the rapids became more frequent, and we even had a moment that look pretty bleak.  At a particularly steep rapids we lost momentum and drifted backwards towards some rocks before they regained 'traction' and pulled us up through.  We thought that the plastic bags would be seriously put to the test at that juncture.
One of the Tepuy's obscured by low hanging clouds.


We started to catch views of Angel Falls from the boat, and the majesty of the 3,200 foot fall became apparent.  The water flow was very good, and we guessed that it would be even better because of the rain.  The rain was just starting to let up when we arrived at our camp for the night at Isla Raton.  Isla Raton is a small island at the junction of Rio Churun, and the small tributary coming from Angel Falls.  The camp itself was very crude, with no electricity and just a few rustic restrooms.

Pedro told us that we would not be going to the falls tonight, and that getting up at 4:30am and making the hour trek would be our best bet.  Jules & Jules got out a portable Monopoly game, and I got out my iPod and small speakers.  We all sat around the large table talking and comiserating until dinner was served.
This Tepuy was a little more rocky then the rest.
 The new Polish couple pulled out a bottle of Scotch, and it was a friendly happy scene.  Once into dry clothes, we all were very comfy and ready for bed.

After the sun set, we walked out to a spot next to the river to view the falls under the full moon.  The clouds didn't completely move out of the way, but we still had a perfect view from our spot.  Pedro pointed out that we were the only 10 people in the world to be looking at the world's highest waterfall.  It wasa great feeling.  Tomorrow is the early one hour hike to the falls, and hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Later, Phil
Lasttraveller says:
Cool blog, I thinking of going here, how much is the trip and do they book airline for you?
Posted on: Dec 16, 2009
nicolecarp says:
I would love to be able to say I have been to Angel Falls, thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Jan 20, 2009
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Jules reads in his hammock before …
Jules reads in his hammock before…
Semi-Friendly parrot says good mor…
Semi-Friendly parrot says good mo…
This is a big creepy insect that s…
This is a big creepy insect that …
Map of the trip to Angel Falls.
Map of the trip to Angel Falls.
A collection of canoes wait for pa…
A collection of canoes wait for p…
One of the Tepuys obscured by low…
One of the Tepuy's obscured by lo…
This Tepuy was a little more rocky…
This Tepuy was a little more rock…
Some of the up close and personal …
Some of the up close and personal…
It looks a bit more clear here, bu…
It looks a bit more clear here, b…
Our first view of Angel Falls.
Our first view of Angel Falls.
We are just about to dig in for di…
We are just about to dig in for d…
The full moon tries to get around …
The full moon tries to get around…
We sit on the riverside rocks view…
We sit on the riverside rocks vie…
Angel Falls
photo by: siri