The spoon in Venezuela just arrived Puerto la Cruz on the eastern part of the coast after 16 hours on nightbuses from Santa Elena. Returned from the Roraima trek y'day with several blisters and stiff bodyparts... but man, what a f***ing magical trek that was!!
Right after last blog entry, two more people arrived and our group, the undestructable five, was formed. The 6 days trek costs 2350 bolivares all included, aka with a guide, porters, food and equipment. Without a porter it costs 1750 bolivares. I would recommend u to allways take a porter... This spoon didn't, so basically that means I had to carry everything myself and that backpack was H E A V Y!
Anyway, the undestructable five set off the next morning determined to make it to the top in two days. The whole trek usually takes 12 hours and there's three camps along the way. Most groups spend 3 days going up and there's mainly two reasons for this. Primarily it gets dark around 17.30 so u gotta start the last climb before 13.00 and also the last 9 kilometers from base camp has a massive climb from 1600 meters to 2800 meter. In some areas the trail elevates as much as 65 degrees. Give us a round of applause, coz the undestructable five made it up in two days, and a total of 10 hours of trekking. It was a pain climbing that mountain, and carrying 25 kilos on sore spoonback was chrushing, so I think that deserves a big hearthy golfclap. This also meant we got to spend three nights at the top instead of one or two.
The undestructable five arrived at El Hotel, our camp at the top, in good time to witness a spectacular sunset over Kukenan. Kukenan is the tepui next to Roraima. The camps on the top are called "hotels", but they are actually just patches of soil sheltered from the wind under some overhanging rocks. We got our tents up for the night and almost froze to death... Nights can be harsh at the top, and the temperature can fall to about 2 Celsius.
The third morning we awoke to see the top of Roraima in daylight for the first time. It's a dreamscape up there, almost lunar, somewhat volcanic, but definetly unlike anything we had ever seen. The huge, vast plateau is dominated by black rocks in all kinds of shapes and everywhere u look u can spot millions of small quartz crystals. We took off early morning for a 6 hours walk, which included highlights like La Ventana (a hole near the edge where the cliffs drop 900 meters straight down), Crystal Valley and El Jacuzzi. Unfortunately for us, most of the areas was covered in fog that morning, so we couldn't really get any good impression of our surroundings before midday. When the fog lifted and the sun showed itself we hiked up to the highest point on Roraima. The view is insane and I have hundreds of pictures that u can see... when I'm home... ;) Frequently and constantly changing mist add to the mysterious air and makes Roraima look like a place from Avatar.
The fourth morning we had a clear sky. Most groups spends their day trekking to the triple border point, which is an 8 hour long trek there and back again. Roraima is situated on the border between Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. The thing is that there is not too many things to see enroute, so the undestructable five decided to skip it and go back to La Ventana. To give u an impression of how huge the plateau on top of Roraima is: it will take more or less 8-9 hours to walk from the south edge to the north edge. But... just as we arrived the fog grew thick and we missed out once again... A bit dissapointed we headed back passing the Jacuzzi on the way, and what to u know, the sun peeked out just in time. The Jacuzzi or actually Jacuzzis are small natural pools perfectly suited for a nice bath, except for one thing, the water temperature is 14 Celsius! Of course, nothing could stop the undestructable five, so we all got in and started to hyperventilate as we felt the chill of the water touching our delicate skins!! We spent the rest of the day exploring our nearby surroundings. There are several species of both plants and reptiles which can only be found on top of some of these tepuis. One of them is a tiny tiny frog, which crawls... Yep, it crawls... And if u touch it, it flips around on its back and plays dead!
The fifth morning we started our climb down, luckily the backpack was a lot lighter now as we had eaten most of the food. It was steap, but went a lot faster than anticipated and we reached base camp in under two hours. Quick lunch and three hours later we were swimming around in the river at the first camp. And this is where I had the funniest, and definetly most hilarious s*** ever. Our toilet was a plastic chair with a big hole in the middle, I grabbed the chair and walked to the designated s***ting area. Settling down and doing my thing I suddenly noticed that the whole indigenous family who lived at the camp passed me, waving and smiling as happy as ever, perfectly aware of my current actions. Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave! Family passed, but their dogs didn't and I quickly had two dogs trying to lick my bum... Uncomfy already I grabbed the seat and moved a bit away, dogs followed... Tried to chase them of, but they only went back to my original spot and well... ate my s***... Hmmm... Bedtime!
Sixth morning brought a quick but painful walk back to the jeep that was picking us up, and the broken spoon with his exhausted undestructable group had conquered Roraima!