December 22, 2007
Angel Falls Trip Day 3
The first thing we did today was take a boat back downstream to Canaima. The rain barely let up before we left, but the sky was still really cloudy, so there wasn't much to look at. It was amazing how different those boat trips could be depending on the weather conditions.
My tour would have been over, but I still had to go to Sapo Falls because I missed it on the first day. Once again, I had to wait at the house, this time for four hours. The reason given was that fuel was expensive so they wanted to wait until enough people showed up that the boat was full. Regular gasoline in Canamia costs 1000 bolivares per liter, which was indeed far more than the normal price, but that still only equated to $0.75 per gallon, so I think it was just an excuse. Finally I was joined up enough people that we were able to leave.
I piled into another boat with a bunch of random tourists and was driven once again across Laguna Canaima. It still was a jaw-dropping view with its seven massive waterfalls, behind which were forests and tepuis, with the occasional bush plane making a flyover. We were led around the set of rapids that the lagoon drained into, then upstream a bit to reveal Salto El Sapo (Toad Falls). It was far wider than any of the other waterfalls, and behind it there was a secret waiting for us. Instead of flowing down the rocks and into the lagoon, the toad leaped over a cliff, creating a pocket with a makeshift walking trail. We carefully made our way to the other side and got drenched by the awesome power of so much water crashing down right next to us.
One we had gotten across, we were able to take a quick breather near the swimming pool, then walked to the top of El Sapito, the toad's little brother. It was another great place, with a panoramic view of the lakes, waterfalls, and tepuis. It would have been the perfect place to have lunch and relax all afternoon, but unfortunately, we only had a few minutes to enjoy it before it was time to leave.
I spent the night in Canaima and got to know some of the local people. A few were farmers, but the village mainly existed for tourism. Everything was expensive because there were no roads leading there, but it seemed to be a prosperous and tranquil place. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry to do anything, but after witnessing that slow pace of life the last few days, it started to make sense. Why hurry when you live near Angel Falls?
The trip to Angel Falls was filled with slow parts, but still worthwhile. For me, the journey was even better than the destination. Flying over the jungle, boating in dugouts, meeting the indigenous Pemon people, and seeing nature at its finest were the highlights of this trip.
The photo album for this entry is here.