Terribly lost in the Lost World.
Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
324Trip End Ongoing
I thought I was ill prepared and out of shape, but soon realize that I am miles ahead of these guys
We set off towards Roraima, and loose Roger after about five minutes of hiking. I guess he fell asleep in some creek, anyway we won't see him again before the next day. But I am sure he can find his way, he's been to the top more than 200 times. It takes two days of walking to reach the foot of the mountain, and I am already wondering if we will all make it
We reach the first camp an hour before sunset, and while walking down to the river for a swim, I spot Mark and William taking a nude bath, while play wrestling around with each other in the water. "Hey Steve, come and join us." "Eh, oh, eh... I'm just going for a walk, didn't bring any swim gear. Maybe later gays, eh, oh, eh, I mean guys." Shit, hope they didn't hear that. We are missing Roger at the dinner table that night, so we hope he is out of alcohol and will show up the next morning. We go to bed more or less as soon as it gets dark, sleeping in tents under one of the most starry skies I have ever seen. "Hey Steve, look at that star over there" I hear Ed say. "That's not a star, it's a planet because....blah blah blah blah." "Sure, whatever Mark."
The next day is mostly uphill and much harder than the first. "Oh Mark, this is just too hard for me." "Try a bit more pumpkin." "Do you think it was a mistake of us to come down here?" "Oh, I don't know sweetie." "Darling, you are hyperventilating at 1500m, we need to rethink that future trekking trip to Buthan and Nepal." "Oh, do you think so love?" It goes on and on, but we reach base camp at the foot of the mountain after two days of walking
We set off in the morning on the third day. The clouds are hanging low on the mountain giving it a mystical feeling. It's a bloody hard walk and scramble, but Ed and I make the top after just 2 hours and 45 minutes. Ernest, Mark and William all come rolling into "Hotel San Francisco", our cavernous tent camp, a couple of hours later. So it turns out we all made it, and I'm well impressed. "Give me a hug sugarpie."
The rocky landscape on top of Roraima is some of the most magical, spooky and freakish I have ever seen. It truly is the Lost World. It's mostly labyrinths of black rock (Sandstone according to Ed and Roger and Granite according to the BesserWisser), sand and lots of endemic plants and small living creatures. And the vistas from the highest point on Roraima (the Ford Maverick point), right on the edge of the mountain, is out of this world
Back in "Hotel San Francisco', the comedy show continues however. "Ed, have you seen William?" "Oh, I don't know. He is probably out on the tundra somewhere" "Tundra, this isn't tundra. Tundra is....blah blah blah blah." Five minutes later Ed would reply "Sure, whatever Mark, but William is still lost." That was actually some of the funniest and most annoying parts. Mark is overprotective and wanted to know at all times where his beloved one was and what he was doing. That, and also telling William for almost every other step about a loose rock, a muddy hole, what branch to grab etc. Like he was talking to a six year old, which I guess in a way wasn't far from the truth. Before turning in that night, the mad scientist and mad doctor would discuss ancient maps, comets and meteors, famous Rembrandt paintings and old classic musicals. While Ernest would contribute with the following "Hey guys, do you know of any strip clubs in Santa Elena?"
We stay the whole of day four on the top and visit some of the more famous sights. Like Turtle Rock, the Jacuzzi, the Labyrinth, the Window etc
The two last days are used to walk all the way back to the starting point. Of course there's more comedy along the way, but nothing unusual for what I have learned to expect from these guys. We are all getting pretty tired now and are starting to dream about the ice cold beer and soft drinks that are waiting for us in the car back at base. It tasted sweet! We make it back to Santa Elena on the sixth day, and before splitting up we tip the guide and porters heavily. Roger ended up doing a great job in fact as soon as he ran out of alcohol. Super friendly Ernest gives away his new backpack and hiking shoes to Roger. Not sure if he will ever hike again, he is off to the sweet life of Margarita Island. William also gives away his hiking shoes to one of the porters who starts crying (you should have seen his old shoes). It's all pretty emotional, and they claim we are the best and kindest group ever, maybe just not the fastest.
"William, William where are you?" "Mark, he is probably lost again somewhere out there on the taiga." "Taiga, this isn't taiga. Taiga is....blah blah blah blah."