Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Flag of Venezuela  , Guayana Highlands,
Thursday, March 11, 2010

The big day was here. Today we were going to fly (on a little, light and slightly scary) bi-plane to the Angel Falls.  But first we were going to be flown to Kavak, the village of the indigenous Pemon community at the base of the Auyantenpuy a massive (slight understatement) rock formation, which is home to the Angel Falls. 

A native in trendy outdoor gear met us and we all took a short walk to a Kavak cave.  We stripped off and left our belongings by the side of the river and then followed the river, hanging on to rope on a couple of occasions, until we swam through a deep canyon which led us to a pool of clear water and 13 meter cascade.  It was beautiful and eerily quiet.  We soaked in the water and then swam back. 

After lunch we were collected by the plane and then flown to Auyantenpuy.  These sandstone mountains (called Tepuys which means "mountains" in the local Pemon language) are geometric in shape with flat tops and steep vertical sides.  They are imposing, strong and quite mythical in their feel.  Unlike the Grand Canyon where you look into it, these have the same gigantic feel but you are looking up at them making you feel small and humble. 

The benefit of going in the plane is to be able to see the rock formations at the top of the Tepuys.  Rocks that take various shapes, deep canyons – a sort of Stonehenge look.  You feel like you are the first one to discover this beautiful landscape, virtually untouched which is ironic as you are possibly the hundredth person that day to fly the same route. 

The plane dipped and dived and seemed to struggle and the engine sounded more like a hair dryer as it tried to reach the top of this mountain.  We then motored along the top and literally dropped off the other side.  We knew it was not far to the Falls as the pilot had pulled out his camera.   With the angle of the plane it was a little while after Ian, who was sitting in the front, first saw the Angel Falls did we eventually see this natural wonder.  And it was a trickle.  A tiny, weak leak.  I have seen more water spouting from an ornamental garden fountain but it was not a disappointment.  It was a privilege to see the vista that inspired explorers and writers and deserves the word 'awesome'.
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