School girl in Panajachel, Guatemala, selling fabrics. She says "Why don't you buy my stuff?" I gave her a little Australian flag.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Visit to the Angel Falls, Venezuela

Gran Sabana Interlude

...... Canoe access to the Angel Falls is restricted to the rainy season, June to November, and here it was the end of November. Thanks to El NiƱo, the rains had continued and the river was negotiable, but only just. Alternatively, weather permitting and with absence of cloud, you can fly by the Falls, but blink and you’ve missed them.

The Rio Carrao was up to 200 meters wide and led straight to Auyan Tepuy. We donned lifejackets and huddled under canvas drapes to shelter from the spray. Several scary rapids were negotiated. Towards dusk we pulled into the bank at Camp Orquidea - a jungle camp beneath towering rocky bluffs. This camp is used by other tour groups and is the site of the base camp used by the 1949 National Geographic expedition that first reached the Falls by land to measure their height.
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