I flew from New York to Caracas (not my fav city) and then after eventually finding the bus terminal (thanks for nothing Lonely Planet!), I took a non air-con local bus along the North coast of Venezuela where despite the stifling sweat bucket conditions, I think it was the breath taking scenery and interaction with locals bemused by why a gringo (the only gringo on the bus) would take the slow uncomfortable bus complete with chickens in cages, still ranks high on my all time most memorable travel experiences.After arriving in a hot and humid Puerto La Cruz, late at night and securing a very basic windowless room with just a fan and 3,000 mosquitoes who proceeded to feast on my pasty Irish flesh, I continued by bus the next itchy morning to Ciudad Bolivar where I caught a propeller plane to Canaima which is the jumping off point for the infamous Angel Falls (tallest waterfalls in the world).
It took a day and a half by canoe to get to the base of the falls with our guides 'Tarzan and Jane' a French expat couple, who wore only loin cloth (no joke). We slept in hammocks in the open air at night with another 3,000,000 mosquitoes who turned my belly in a mogul slalom course. If only they ate the blubber and not the blood?!!
Despite the near death malaria experience, food poisoning, heat stroke and some weird parasite worm in my stomach / stool samples - discovered 12 months later, I highly recommend this trip to everyone. You know what they say.., What doesn't kill ya .... doesn't kill ya!
Alas - I didn't have a still camera back in the day and this is all that remains of my tardy recording of the trip :-((
Angel Falls, Venezuela - 1998 from Paddy Quickroute on Vimeo.
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