November 17, 2006
Roraima Trek Day 2
We got up early to begin a long day of walking. The first four hours to base camp were at a slight incline resulting in an altitude gain of 820 meters. We had an early lunch and continued uphill through the forest toward the intimidating cliffs. We passed a few other trekkers and their porters, who carried massive amounts of weight in handmade wicker backpacks. It felt more like Roraima was my own personal adventure carrying 18 KG on my back.
When we got to the sheer cliffs, a ridge became visible that made it possible to hike to the top. It looked impossibly steep from afar, but proved to be manageable. At one point, we had to walk under the waterfalls coming off the edge. I was glad I put my rain cover on my backpack earlier. After four tough hours of climbing, we reached the top, which at 2700 meters was 1650 meters (over one mile) higher than where we started the day. Colby and Rebeka proved to be quite fit trekkers, keeping up with Craig and I with no problems at all.
We set up camp in a "hotel," which is an overhanging rock that does a good job of protecting campers from the elements. It was noticeably cool on top, something I hadn't felt in awhile. I began to wish I had brought my long underwear on the trek, but at least I had my winter sleeping bag, which kept me warm and cozy all night.