We Shall Return!
We had only arranged to spend one night at Waku Lodge and as much as we would have loved to stay it turned out to be a good decision as it rained on and off the most of this morning. We walked around the property, taking pictures and returned to the reception area with our books. As my husband speaks fluent Spanish he was able to have a long discussion with Isaac who was waiting for the next group to arrive.
A charter group arrived and registered while we read our books. I watched with much anticipation as one woman broke off from the group and walked in the direction of the view. She stopped suddenly and turned back to her friends. The look on her face was one of wonder and joy. Oh how I wish I'd had my camera at the ready. I'm sure her face mirrored the awe I had displayed yesterday and I think both of us would have enjoyed being able to look back on that special moment.
We left shortly after lunch and Angel said he had been given permission to give us a reduced rate and fly us over to have a look at Angel Falls, named after Johnny Angel who landed his plane near the site where water flows 3,000 feet over a tepuy, making it the tallest falls in the world. Johnny was unable to take off from the soft ground at the top of the tepuy, so he and his passengers had to climb down the treacherous cliffs and hike the 11 kms to civilization.
Normally it would be easy to see the falls at this time of year, though they wouldn't be that spectacular because we were in the dry season. Unfortunately it had been unseasonably wet through January and though the water was flowing at an impressive rate, the resultant clouds made it too difficult to get close to the falls without putting our lives in danger.
Though I was a little disappointed I was relieved as well. I was sitting in the co-pilot seat and we'd been flying blind through rain and cloud for the few minutes before Angel had banked the plane and headed away from our original destination. Though Angel had a GPS in front of him that showed every river, canyon and tepuy, I still had the uneasy feeling that we were heading towards the solid rock face of a tepuy we'd recently passed and prayed silently for him to drop below the cloud cover, which he soon did.
I satisfied my photographic urges and distracted myself from the urge to flick the red switch on the dash in front of me, by taking a few shots through the dirty blurry windows of the plane. I've tried to clean them up a bit so you can see what we saw.
Not sure which falls this is, but it's not Angel Falls. Angel Falls doesn't originate from a river, the water comes from rainfall from the clouds surrounding the tepuy.