Trip Start Dec 05, 2004
40Trip End May 04, 2005
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Spent the first day orienting ourselves but not to let the grass grow under our feet, we booked a four day trip to Los Llanos departing at 6.30am the next morning!
Los Llanos is a huge plain savannah south of the Andes...our guide for the trip, Alan, was one of the most knowledgeable guides we had on our entire trip! He was also a VERY keen butterfly collector and would suddenly stop the mini bus without warning to point out a rare breed!! The trip itself was awesome- we stayed in accommodation ranging from a home stay on the river to the tour companys own riverside accommodation which was almost 4 star! There were many memorable events such as getting up at 5am and tracking down a giant ant eater....going out in a canoe late in the night and Alan wrestling a giant Anaconda from the river bank into the boat...tubing down the river in a giant tyre over grade 4 rapids
On our return to Merida it was time to check out the teleferico! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't on our side and we lost sight of the ground before we got to the top of the first stage (there are four stages to get to the top!)By the time we made it to the top (Pico Espejo 4765M!)it was freezing cold and drizzling but we were rewarded with glimpses of the valleys below. Fortunately we didn't find out till later that last year the cable snapped on the last stage snapping the car in two and all the tourists plummeting to their deaths!
Our plan was then to go back down one stage to Loma Redonda and hike 6 hours to Los Nevados, a lovely mountain village at 2700M stay there overnight and get a jeep back into Merida the next day. Fortunately the weather improved for a while on the way to Los Nevados and and we were treated to some magnificent scenery....Unfortunately, this wasn't to last and by the time we reached the village it was chucking it down and we were very tired and wet!! We did find a very rustic B&B overlooking the tiny village square for £2.50 including dinner! The village suffered a power cut soon after we arrived so it was an early night after dinner... The next morning we tracked down a jeep to take us on a breathtaking cliff side hugging 4 hour trip back to Merida!
During the following days we went paragliding from Las Gonzales a breathtaking 850 mtre 40 minutes flight down from the top, and canyoning- climbing, rappelling and hiking down a river canyon (including a 35 mtre waterfall!!)
All too soon it was time to head back to Caracas on the night bus for a few days rest and last minute shopping before I was off to my final destination before my return home- New York!!