Our Saviour! (Beautiful Posada) and Angel Falls

Trip Start Feb 14, 2011
Trip End Jun 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Posada La Casita Ciudad Bolivar
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Venezuela  , Guayana Highlands,
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We arrived after a 9 hour coach from Caracas at 5.00am. We were picked up from the bus station and driven to the outskirts of Ciudad Bolivar. We arrived at our destination via a winding dirt track, where we were shown to our Canei in the middle of a picturesque park. We were pretty shattered so after setting up the mosquito net over our bed we crashed out! Well after a little while because of the crazy animal noises coming from outside!
We got up in the afternoon and explored our new surroundings realising the noises we heard were coming from the posadas zoo which had parakeets, capuchin monkeys, capybara, wild pig, tortoise and turtles. After a wander we met the German owner Peter and his cousin Reinar who we became particularly friendly with. We relaxed for the afternoon and Peter and Reinar gave us the low down on the Angel Falls tour which was offered by their tour company Gekko. 

The next day we went into town for a walk around .We were dropped off by Reinar and walked up to the Plaza Bolivar passing the Cathedral. We then walked down to the Orinoco River past the House of the Congress of Angostura to look out at the Angostura Bridge which crosses the river. After taking in the scenery we walked back up the historical zone looking back down some really colourful and attractive streets with the bridge in the distance, carried on past
the City Hall through Ciudad´s historical zone which features houses and buildings
that date from the colonial period down towards the Parque Lenardo Ruiz Pineda and around to the main shopping streets to pick up some supplies '- (Mosquito repellent/Nivea Moisturiser). We attracted a lot of attention and heard ´Gringo¨ a few times! finally we sat down and had Chicken Arepas (ground corn dough patties) a dish popular both in Venezuela and Colombia, stuffed with almost anything! before being picked up by Reinar. On the way back we drove past the airport to pick up a few guests that had come back from the Angel Falls tour. The Airport is tiny and the planes fly out about an hour to Canaima an Indian Village where our tour starts from. We were taken back to the Posada where we relaxed for the rest of the day.

Later that evening however, we ran into more money troubles... the posada said we could pay for the posada, our Angel Falls tour and some extra cash for Bolivares for the rest of our time in Venezuela, by bank transfer (as we did not have enough Bolivares) which we attempted to do online.  This was impossible though as they had a German account!  We ended up having to call Tasha´s Mum at 3am to ask her to go to her bank in the UK and transfer the money to their German account directly.  After many hours, emails, and phone calls we managed to transfer the money, amd were able to leave for our tour stress free!

Canaima/Angel Falls
We drove to the airport at 6.30am and boarded a tiny 6 seater plane that took an hour to fly some amazing scenery which included the deltas of the Orinoco, mountains and jungle.  As we were landing we flew over the spectacular Canaima Lagoon waterfalls.
When we arrived we drove to the indigenous village of Canaima and had lunch before taking a boat trip across the Canaima lagoon along the waterfalls Ucaima, Wadaima and Hacha to visit the island Anatoly. We then hiked across the river island to the waterfall 'Sapito' (small frog), where we got to stand under the flowing water at the top of the falls overlooking spectacular mountains and grasslands.  We then trekked down a forest path to another waterfall 'Sapo' (frog) where we got to walk underneath the rock behind the waterfall.

Day 2 we began a four and a half hour boat trip on the rivers 'Carrao' and 'Churrun' to the island 'Ratón'.  Passing huge Tepui or flat-topped mountains and thick surrounding forest.  The canoe sped along upriver and it was very exciting to see what was around each corner.  The Pemon Indians were incredibly skilled at navigating the river as it was very shallow in parts due to the dry season and there were rapids and large rocks jutting out from the river banks.  At points we had to get out and hike, joining the canoe further up river.
We arrived in the early afternoon and had lunch at our camp at the base of Angel Falls. We then crossed the river and hiked uphill through the forest at quite a pace over thick tree roots, smooth rock and streams.  We reached the main lookout point to see Angel Falls and at this time in the afternoon the sun was glaring through the clouds which made it almost impossible to take a good photo - James was lying on the rocks with his tripod trying to reduce the glare using a bush!  We then had another hike down to the foot of the falls where there was a pool you could bathe in.  It was amazing to look up from the bottom to get a real sense of the scale of the waterfall (979 meters (3230 feet) with a drop of 807 meters (2663 ft), Angel Falls is sixteen times the height of Niagara Falls)  and to watch the water fall and evaporate before it reached the pool which created alot of spray.  Which in 1 hour managed to slightly rust James´ leatherman! 

On the way back we passed the view point again and managed to get a glare-free view and had a chance to take it in properly., before hiking back down to camp. which was more fun as it was downhill!
The night was spent sleeping in hammocks cocooned by mosquito nets in camp which took some getting used to - especially as were in close quarters with snorers!

Day 3 was spent returning by canoe to Canaima and flying back to Ciudad Bolivar.  We spent the afternoon relaxing in the posada before catching our overnight coach to Maracay and then on to Choroni on the Caribbean coast...

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