Thursday, 13 December 2007
The measure of any place is its "wow" factor. The degree of jaw dropping that occurs at first sight. Angel Falls has a high wow factor. On a small boat heading upsteam through the jungle, turning a corner to see a waterfall streaming of a cliff almost a kilometre high was quite something. Another trip highlight. I even got to have a swim in the plunge pool at the falls base.
I did not particularly like Venezuela. The people were not friendly as in Colombia, there seemed to be something "wrong" and there was a real edginess as darkness fell. There is a lot to see in Venezuela but I had done my tropical coast thing in Colombia, and perhaps I was "Andes" out. So from the border I headed via two overnight buses, one daytime collectivo and one day time bus, to Ciudad Bolivar.
Changng bus stations in the capital Caracus meant taking to the metro, where I got chatting to a local businessman. His advice was t be very careful in his country, "anybody who can is leaving!". Great! Ciudad Bolivar, on the banks of the Orinoco river, was a dirty shabby town, and once dark, totally dead and creepy. No latin spirit here, no dancing in the steets til dawn! This is the entreport for trips to Cainaima national park and Angel Falls.
To get there you must fly in small light aircraft, there are no roads punturing this remote area. So sitting up front I was amazed to view from the area the flat topped tepuy, classic to this region, and the waterfalls near the village and airstrip.
Heading along the coast from Cartagena I arrived in Santa Marta (Drake also sacked this place) and heading over the headland to the little fishing village of Taganga. This is a classic gringo hangout and that exactly what I did, hung out in a hammock.
Think I needed the rest after travelling hard and it was refreshing to just relax in th shade and recharge the batteries.