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Published: January 21st 2014
Been meaning to get onto this for a while and just keep putting it off as there are sooooo many people around me who are sooo much better at writing. But hey, this was never meant to be good writing - just a way to keep in touch with the people I love. And so. People I love, I hope you are well and happy and not suffering the January Blues too much now. Loving all the wintery photos from my beloved Edinburgh, including that nuts sky high ride what fell down on the ground and such! You crazies.
Last time I wrote, I was waiting for Ben and Omar to arrive and to see a little bit more of this beautiful country. And that we did. Turns out I hadn't communicated particularly well (read at all) that they were flying in one day and we were flying out super early the next day to Angel Falls. Whoops. Sorry, lads. Well, anyway. Off we went to the horrendousness of the airport and it was my first mission to introduce the boys fae the Burgh to Venezuela's national dish, the arepa. I remembered that I'd had a nice
breakfast arepa at the national airport once before...however, this one did not really live up to expectations and Ben and Omar were, to say the least, unimpressed. In fact, Ben declared at the end of his trip that it did not matter what food you stuffed inside this cornflour patty/roll/whatever it was - it still ended up tasting 'like a piece of shoe'. Hahahaha - I'm still laughing! Anyway, off we went on a dodgy plane to wherever it is you fly to first before going to Angel Falls - I forget the name. Puerto Ordiz or something? Laura was new to the Venezuelan flight experience as well but luckily it was a bit too early to care much about anything, least of all planes falling out of the sky. When we arrived at the wherever it was, we went to check our bags in again and had to try and decipher the next piece of puzzle to get from this here airport to the next there airport. My Spanish sucks. Still. Laura's, Ben's and Omar's was non-existent therefore we had to rely on my rubbishness to figure out that we had to go to photocopy something - do you
know what? I really should have written this right after we got back coz I can't remember anything now! Haha. It was funny, anyway. A whole lot of pointless queuing in about 3 different queues, photocopying stuff and then getting on the smallest plane in the world. Bumpy, bumpy flight and landing in Canaima safe and sound. Phew. The 'airport' is basically just a big bit of ground. I'm not even sure there was a runway...Daddy, you'd have loved it! We set off for our posada in the back of a truck type affair (Samui crew - think Song Thaew) having met an older, British couple who were travelling in Venezuela, just on their own, just like that! Unheard of. Anyway, the posada was beeeeyooooteeefooool. Set right on the river with a view of some waterfalls straight ahead, lots of hammocks and lounge type chairs everywhere for mass chilling. Exactly what we needed. So into the hammocks and onto the beds we clambered and stayed there for the morning till it was time for our trip to the waterfall.
By the time we left in the afternoon on a boat full of tourists all eager to see the Salto
View from our posada
Sapo, the weather was looking somewhat dodge. However, off we went right by some stunning falls and then onto a little washed up beach (think Lost) and through a jungle (think Samui floods - again, Samui crew) to then walk behind a mofo waterfall. The volume of water coming down was, well, millions. I was a wee, teensy bit nervous. The guide had told us just to wear our swimmers and some socks coz they grip on the wet rocks better. Laura and I, being quite British about it all, didn't fancy trekking in our bikinis, so we kept our shorts on. The two Brazilian girls - not so much. In their element they were with the typical 'dental floss' attire...Ben and Omar less than impressed that Laura and I were 'stuck' behind them. Hah! So anyway, on we went, through the waterfall - well, it felt like it anyway. You had to hold onto a rope and take a deep breath to get through part of it...but it was grand. Absolutely incredible being 'inside' a waterfall - the noise, the volume of water, the just getting absolutely drenched standing behind it. It was well cool. I've said it before,
I'll say it again: If Health and Safety ever makes it to South America, it'll be a sad day. After that we went for a little trek through the jungle (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) and then back through flooded jungle path, with thunder and lightening going freaking nuts above us, clutching each other and praying to whatever that we didn't get a) struck by lightening or b) bitten by a snake. Remind you of anything, Mucky?? It was fun. Back to the posada, into a hot shower and stuck into dinner and vino for the evening. Now, we were supposed to be trekking to Angel Falls but friends of ours who were staying in the same place suggested that a wee 6 seater Cessna was the way forward. I'm not a fan of flying. But the boys were well up for it and I couldn't really be facing the 4am start the next day. So flying it was. Poor wee Laura went off by herself on the trek for 12 hours...but loved every minute.
My lovely girl Mansi introduced me to a wee trick to calm the nerves of flying/going on broken, dilapidated boats/other means of
crappy transport and usually it works. However, 3 of these wee guys and I was still absolutely terrified. You should see said six seater Cessna. Bits of it were just full on not attached to the controls and it looked like it had been built (and used!) in 1940. Oh. Dear. God. The lads, however, were well excited and fought over who got to 'co-pilot' and then over who was heavier. Interestingly, boys WANT
to be heavier than each other! What is this? Some sort of witchcraft playing tricksy tricks with their minds? No? Well, anyway. Zooooooooom along the runway the wee tiny toy plane went then whoooooooooosh up into the sky. Do you know what? Either those wee magic Viajesans did their job or I'm cured of the fear! It. Was. Amazing. Seriously. One of the best experiences of my life - and the boys agreed. You can see everything - the tapui mountains in all their glory. Words just can't do it justice - I'm not even going to try. Seeing Angel Falls from above was incredible. Oof. I'll put up some pictures, there's just no point. So then onto landing on top of one of said mountains,
on a little indigenous village and onto a little gorge walking type effort. Off we went through the river, sometimes hanging onto a rope to pull ourselves through, sometimes just full on swimming, up the rive we went till we got to a sort of, I guess canyon? I don't know what you call it - when the rocks are away up high on either side of you and it's narrow and full of water...swim, swim, swim we went till it opened up into a pool with a beautiful waterfall. Aaaaaaaaaah. Again. Just incredible. No words. Just pictures in my head. This is turning into a huge story...was going to try and summarize the last 3 months in one...nope!
Oh well. Anyway. It was brilliant. On the way back we got delayed at the midway airport for about 6 hours. That was less that fun but expected. We all got home in one piece absolutely delighted with ourselves at having chosen such a freaking awesome place to spend the October hols. A couple of days in Caracas and then off to the stunning Los Roques we went...tbc.
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