Tallest Waterfall in the World!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Venezuela  ,
Saturday, January 26, 2008

After four and a half hours of navigating through rapids, large boulders, stairing at the wonders of the lush jungle and glazing enchantingly up at the towering table top mountains that provided one of the best views I have ever seen, we finally arrived at our camp site.  8 of us were the only ones there!  We had the tallest waterfall in the world all to our selves!  haha, absolutely fantastic!!  Our accomodation for the night was a swinging hammock with a mosquito-net, YEOW!  We were right on the riverbed directly across from the tallest waterfall in the world! 1km of free fall...  The falls had clouds that would stretch across its body and then disapear.  We all stripped down to our bathers and jumped in the freezing river infront of us which was so refreshing!  That night we had chicken cooked over the fire the local Indians made, with rice and scrambeled egg.  The hammock was supprisingly comfortable to sleep in, as long as you laid diagonly as thats the trick to them.  I fell asleep, listening to inspirational music, with a smile on my face!

Floating on my back down the river, in the middle of the jungle, gazing up at Angel Falls is an experience I will never forget!
But Angel Falls was not known to the outside world until James Angel flew over it in 1933 on a flight while searching for gold.  The Indian guide told us that the river makes you younger the more you swim in it ...and that he is living proof - haha!

The morning came very quick as we awoke at 5am!  We had a few slices of bread and headed off to cross the river and begin the hour and a half trek to the base of the Fall, through thick jungle.  The hike was great!  Very humid, so everyone was literally covered in sweat within 5 minutes.  The train was long and narrow, that passed through thick vegetation that had alot of obsticals to get passed, and pretty much had to rock climb alot of it.  We even took the opertunity to be tarzand and swing from 30m vines.  An hour after hiking we had our first view of the fall from a lookout on a rock.  We were up on this 2x4m ledge protruding a bit our of the jungle but had like a 50m fall in every direction.  Angel Falls was absolutely huge!!  When I say huge, i mean it...  The water plumited from the top and took quite a long time to fall the 1km to the ground.  The water gradually broke up into a mist before reaching the ground due to the height.  Clouds formed infront of it, that illistrated once more its size, then disapeared just as fast as they formed.  At the bottom of the falls, all the mist transformed again into running water that formed a little 15m waterfall with a rock pool at the bottom.  We took about a thousand pictures and commented on how beautiful it was before heading off into the jungle again to see if we could get to the rockpool.  When we managed to get there, the noise of the waterfall was so loud, and it was quite alot bigger than we thought.  We stripped down to our bathers and jumped off the rocks for a swim.  The water was so cold, but refreshing.  Straight above us, Angel falls towering directly above us, glistening in the sunlight as it pokes its head in and out of the clouds ...All to ourselves!

We spent over an hour splashing and mucking around admiring it before we made the trek back.  Glenn and I raced back through the jungle at top speed, taking off half of the time, but nearly twisting our ankles on the countless tree roots protruding from the moist soil.  We also heard Tucans making alot of racket, but didnt get a chance to see one.

Once back at camp we had breakfast and packed up our stuff to hop back in the canoe.  The ride back to Canaima only took half the amount of time as we were going downstream this time.  However I copped water constantly for about 45 minutes of it, haha!  All our arses were aching though from the hard wooden planks we had to sit on.

We were so warn out from the early rise and the long trip back, not to mention the hiking through the jungle.  So we relaxed to a nice cooked lunch consisting of ...(do I have to tell you? - haha)!  After our bellies full, we relaxed at the beach for an hour before our next little adventure in the canoe.  This time heading out in our local lagoon that extended quite a distance back.  The waterfalls in the lagoon are really thick and powerfull.  I mean, the thickness of the fall would be about 8m wide!  The noise was nearly deafening as we walked behind it on a little ledge in the rock.  Was a really cool experience actually.  We headed shortly after to the opposite side of the lagoon where we got out and walked around the forest for a couple of hours seeing 2 other waterfalls, one which we also got to walked behind.  The indian guide was really friendly and telling us about his people and how they are great warriors.  The night was starting to close in through, and along with that - the mosquitos.  The place is so beautiful.  However, to shackup here you have to be 1. invited.  and 2. married.  But once you have those 2, the land is free and you can build your hutt wherever you like.  As it was getting time to leave we headed back tothe lagoon where I got some good night pictures before dinner time.

That night we attempted to find a "disco", however it seemed like us 8 (Matty, Henry, Glenn, Ingrid, 3 Venezuelan girls, 1 Venezuelan guy and myself), were the only tourists in town, so we had it all to ourselves.  Beer here is very expensive, 6,000 to 8,000 Bolivares (about $3 - $4 AUD) as it has to be flown in manually from Ciudad Bolivar.  The Venezuelan girls there kept trying to get Matty and I up for a dance, we refused for quite some time, but after all the attention was on us and the Indian guide telling us that its very offensive to Venezuelan people to refuse to dance we had to give up and give it a go.  They were attempting to teach us the local dance (similar to a Salsa, but not as fast), but we were completely useless and ended up retiring back to the beer.  But we all had a good laugh at our expense, haha - even us!  Time kicked on quite fast and we all had a great time, but bed time came and we all headed off.

Knock knock, 8am and breakfast time!  It was the 27th, and our last day in Canaima.  Very sad!  We guts down our pancakes, egg, ham and cheese before heading back to the lagoon beach for one last relaxation period.  Henry and Glenn left last night as they had to go home, but Matty and I took the rest of the group to the waterfall around the corner.

Before we knew it, we were saying goodbye to our newly made friends and to such a beautiful jungle paradise and hopping back on the small plane heading for Ciudad Bolivar.

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