The Venezuelan Diaries
Eyes On The Prize
The path to Angel Falls was clearly marked out by the well worn tree roots and exposed rocks which had been trampled by other explorers, however the sun managed to lever the canopy apart and light the path as we clambered through streams, knotted roots, jagged rocks and red mud. The fug of jungle humidity took its toll on our glands as we perspired in an attempt to cool down. Meeting the others on their way down encouraged us that the prize was worth the ardour. Steeper and steeper, hotter and hotter…until, wait, is that it? In a small clearing we caught our first breath-taking glimpse of Angel Falls. A tall ribbon of pure white, flayed at the bottom in vapour, escaping from its source as if celebrating freedom and the surrounding inhabitants were mere guests in its courts. The bare flat faced cliff glistened as it was struck by light and water working in symphonic harmony. Eager for a better view, we scrabbled further to a viewing platform which was occupied by a gaggle of elderly Japanese tourists, excitedly giggling, snapping and swapping photo posing positions.
The grandeur was charged with God’s hand, a spectacular of immense beauty, capable of destruction yet feeding the river below which gave life to all its consumers. The cloud cover which concealed the top of the fall broke for a moment flashing pure white and awe. After a time our Venezuelan friends arrived and adopted the same clichéd poses we had committed some twenty minutes earlier. How on earth could this trip get any better?
Ruben then suggested we swim in the lagoon near the base of the Fall s a five minute walk away. With the heat of the day doing its best to exhaust us we didn’t need asking twice, we followed, stripped to our swimming attire and joined some fellow hikers and bathed in the most incredible natural infinity pool. We doggy paddled in the red water, our skin appeared tangerine taking on the appearance of spray tanned blondes lighting up England’s dark Friday nights. Here, however the wildlife showed no signs of fraudulence looking across to the Tepuy opposite and the valley below, bright green with a thin petticoat of frilly clouds skirting slowly around the hem of the mountains. Could Adam have ever tired of such beauty?