Ok, so I will now talk about the climb to Roroima tepuy. (Each tour is different, but I will talk a bit about the one I went on).
You leave San Francisco de Yuruani in some 4x4 jeeps’ that will take you up to Paraitepuy. Paraitepuy is a town located 1600 metres’ above the sea level (approximately), and the INPARQUES office is located here (This is the Venezuelan National Parks’ authority). You have to pay the entrance which I think it depends on whether you guys are nationals or foreigners… I paid Bs. 300. You then have to sign a ‘guest book’ just in case you get lost, authorities will know you were there (joking you can’t really get lost if you follow the path kids!)… You can also go to the toilets (please do, considering you will be camping it out for the next couple of days!).
Day 1: Paraitepuy – River Tök.
As everything in life, in your daily life, this journey depends solely on yourself. The first day’s journey is received as a starter for the magnificence that you will experience. Your connection to nature, the smells you will enjoy, it’s infinite colours, the souls you will feel, everything and I mean absolutely everything will amaze you and continue to do so, because everything will be unknown to you, and somehow you feel like you have already been there, and of course you have, you come from this earth you come from this soil you come from this amazing place. I set my own rhythm (this is such a beautiful word by the way, rhythm)… I was tranquil, I wasn’t rushing, I knew I would reach my destination…On the first day we walked around 5 hours (but don’t believe me too much on this, as I don’t have good relationship with that thing we call time!)…I do know that you reach a height (and a high) of 1050 metres’ above sea level and you have to cross two rivers. (When doing this you have to take your boots off and cross them wearing socks, not barefooted).
Day 2: River Tök – Base Camp.
So we left River Tök Camp really early, literally after breakfast and we arrived at Base Camp around 2pm. This camp is found at a height of 1870 metres’ above sea level. For me this was a little rough walk because in so many parts (and I mean parts are synonyms of hours here) you have to walk uphill (and let’s just say if I wanted to breathe then I wasn’t able to talk, haha). It was amazing how the weather and the flora started to change on this path…you start seeing beautiful endogenous orchids everywhere!!! It’s like an orchids’ heaven! This is literally a wedding between your being and nature, only to find out that it is also a birth, nature takes you in its belly and you are impregnated by her.
Day 3: Base Camp – Top of Tepuy.
Well, well, well… without a doubt this walk was a ‘’4 season’’…in other words, WHAT THE FUCK!?. Haha. Through my mind, body, spirit, soul, life, etc. Everything had occurred. It all started off as something really fun, there were lots and lots of rocks to climb, and we were really just messing around and playing all this time and we are two kids playing and going up those rocks and we did it pretty well…then in the middle of the road I started to feel a little bit sick (some people here call it the communist aunt, or miss tomato, I call it my menstrual period) came for a visit, and all my energies went on to observing my body and its change. Mago (the magician) was our tour guide, and he was lovely and really helped me out when he decided to take my (very heavy) backpack for a little while. We ended up reaching balcony I, then balcony II, and then the tears’ path (or paso de las lagrimas) which is one of the most impressive waterfalls I have ever seen in my life. You finally reach the top of the tepuy Roroima, at 2700 metres’ above sea level and your life changes even more.
Camping at the top of the Tepuy, for x number of nights
So, once you are up there you can visit these places: abyss (el abismo), the window (la ventana), the natural Jacuzzis (with quartz, for real, there are quartz all over the tepuy, please do not take any away, you will be searched once you come down), the maverick (which is the highest point of the tepuy), and something we didn't do was the triple point (which is where Guayana, Brazil and Venezuela converge.
Day 6: Descend from the top of the Tepuy up to River Tök.
We left around 7am and the 5 of us in the group (Annie, Susana, Juan Pablo, El Mago and I) had to remain close by because it was really foggy and it was drizzling a bit. Thanks to the universe we now had two guides, since Juan P was the first non-official Ecuadorian tour guide in the Roraima Tepuy!
Day 7: River Tek – Paraitepuy.
And this is when you start smelling everything again, haha.
|Canaima National Park|
|Welcome to Base Camp|
|Paso de las Lagrimas|
|What a beautiful light!|
|Annie and I|
So, the tour we decided to go on only included: Mago as our guide, transportation from San Francisco de Yuruani-Paraitepuy-San Francisco de Yuruani’ (well, we ended up going down to San Francisco on a 4x4 with 8 guides, us 5 and 2 chauffeurs, amazing!) It didn’t include the food (so we had to take that ourselves) it didn’t include ‘porteadores’ (which are basically the guys who you can pay and they take all your shit), which meant we had to take EVERYTHING ourselves, everything we were going to need, our bags weighted about 8 to 10 kilos, I think.
Things I learned during this trek and physical dimension (and maybe useful information in other dimensions)
· You will not need 7 pairs of underwear. When packing, take the minimum amount of things.
· Be grateful, with your body for taking you to all these beautiful places, with your soul for being there, with the other folks in the trip for allowing you to be part of their trip as well.
· Listen to your breathing, it is a beautiful cycle!
· Competition does not exist. If I wanted to rest, I would do it, if I wanted to go faster, I would do it, If I wanted to cry, trust me I cried.
· Even though it sounded really REALLY tempting at the time, a Coke in River Tök for Bs. 700 will never be ok. (Too expensive)
· Take some ice teas or something to alternate with water.
· I didn’t die from drinking the river’s water, especially since we didn’t have those pills to ‘purify’ water.
· Puri Puri (a type of mosquitoes) are some freaks and unbalanced beings, but you learn to live with them.
· Take a sweater (a nice and warm one) with you. If not, you will have to ask your camping partner to hug you during the night because you are freezing. Haha.
· Do not think that your drying techniques will work out, especially when your tent is getting flooded. Accept things and situations as they come, haha.
· PLEASE THIS IS IMPORTANT, ALWAYS AND I MEAN ALWAYS pick up your rubbish, trash, garbage, shit (and I literally mean shit on this one). This includes all sanitary towels, tampons, etc. Those are not part of the Roraima.
· There is this rule in Roraima that if you poop, you have to bring your poop down with you, my friends. Haha. So you can buy some special things for storage that I don’t know what they are called, or you can do like I did, and meditate it out, that way you won’t go. Haha.
· If you have a piece of chocolate, (or any other snack) why not share it? Even if it’s with a stranger!
· Fill your water bottle all the time. Water is life.
· Love nature, love the earth, love the air, love the wind, the animals, humans, yourself, the stars you see, the moon that whispers to you, the rock that cuddles you, the sun that wakes you up, it is truly a magical experience.
Anything else I could tell you or write about what I saw, laughed, enjoyed and cried will never be enough and it will not do it justice to how this Paradise really is. I will leave some photographs for you to see and enjoy, see happiness through the camera.
And for those who like numbers:
This is the cost of the trip.
Tour: Bs. 40000
Food: Bs. 4500
Travelling tickets: Bs. 2300
Food in San Francisco de Yuruaní: Bs. 2500
Nonspecific things: Bs. 2500
Total: Bs. 51800 (approximately, December 2015).
******** Ps. As some of you may have heard Venezuelan economy is let’s just say not doing so well, so let me put this into perspective for all of you guys who live abroad and do not understand much of what is going on here (to be fair I sometimes don’t understand what’s going on in this country either)… The month’s minimal wage is Bs. 16,399….so, for people who have other currencies this amount of money will be a small amount of money…in other words for you guys is REALLY, REALLY, cheap. For us who earn and live with Bolivars as a currency, Bs. 51,800 (the total amount of the trip) Is something like 3 months’ of wage. We decided to do this trip really cheap, we basically saved as much money as we could, we were the definition of backpackers with not so much money, haha. But it was truly amazing. ********
And what’s best of all, this is found near us, here in Venezuela!!
ENJOY YOUR COUNTRY, ENJOY VENEZUELA, ENJOY THE COUNTRYSIDE, ENJOY YOUR SOIL, LOVE THE WATER, LOVE TO SOW AND SPREAD THE SEEDS, LOVE THE SKY, TAKE CARE OF THE ANIMALS, TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, WE ARE EVERYTHING OF THE ALL OF EVERYONE, WE COME FROM ONE FOR ALL BY ALL TO ALL. ALL.
Lots of blessings and love…
Travelling through these galaxies makes my world better!