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November 26th 2017
Published: December 7th 2017
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26-11-17 After two charter flights from Trinidad we finally arrived at Canaima to stay at Waku lodge which was located on a beautiful lagoon. The lodge has friendly resident birds including toucans, macaws and parrots; it was stunning sitting in the garden looking towards the lagoons waterfalls.

27-11-17 Before the mid-1950s Angel Falls was unknown to the outside world. Even the indigenous tribes who lived in the valley beside Auyan-tepu Mountain stayed away, believing that the area harboured malign spirits. However, in 1933 an American gold prospector, Jimmie Angel, discovered the falls as he flew over the mountain in his light plane. Returning in 1937, he landed his plane successfully on Auyan-tepu's table topped summit, although the plane's wheel became submerged in mud, and the aircraft remained marooned on top of the mountain until 1970. When the aviator died in 1962, his ashes were scattered across the top of the falls. We had a very early start at 4am to take a boat upriver to the start of the hike to Angel Falls. The boatmen were fantastic sometimes pulling the timber long boat through the many rapids due to the water level being fairly low, on some rapids we couldn't believe how close we came to dodging rocks, it was a very exciting four-hour boat journey. The hike to Angel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, was challenging with lots of tree roots and rocks along the winding jungle path. Not all in our party were able to make the journey and we felt very lucky to finally make the look out point to see the waterfall tumble from a cleft near the summit of Auyan-tepu into what is known as Devil's Canyon, 979 metres below. The four-hour return boat journey was just as exciting with Ron at one stage jumping out to help the boatmen push the boat through the rapids.

28-11-17 Before leaving we took a six seater plane to fly over Angel Falls, our pilot was a bit of a dare devil and flew low over the river and mountains and at one stage flew between two narrow peaks dropping so suddenly we all nearly hit the roof. We then took a short charter flight back to Puerto Ordaz and toured around the area including taking a boat trip to see the two rivers meet, both keeping their colour, one blue and one brown for many kilometres downstream. Another charter flight took us to Caracas to stay at the Renaissance Hotel.

29-11-17 We visited the historical centre of Caracas the Plaza Bolivar. The square was originally called Plaza de Armas but was renamed on the 100th birthday of Simon Bolivar in 1883. The plaza is surrounded by buildings of huge historic relevance, the Caracas Cathedral, Miraflores Palace, the City Hall, the Yellow House and the Capitol (Congress of Venezuela). The whole time we were in Caracas we had two minders following at a discrete distance to ensure we didn't get into any trouble. The country is in dire straights; people were lining up for food and a Xmas bonus of approximately $6US saw lines of over a hundred people waiting to get into the bank. In the afternoon we transferred to the airport for our flight to Bogota.

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