A taste of Venezuela

August 12, 2013

This photograph was taken in 2007 behind the Hacha Falls waterfall in Venezuela. The ferocity of the water meant it was dangerous to take a photograph anywhere else. It was difficult to see and slippery underfoot too so standing behind a curtain of water was terrifying initially. Incredible once your legs became less jelly-like though even if you did only have wet rocks for support.

Our trip to Venezuela was scheduled from start to finish. It had been recommended we change our money on the black market though to get a better rate. In a complete contrast to Bureau de Change, our exchange took place in a car park at Caracas airport. Afterwards we went by taxi to a guarded hotel in the city where we enjoyed a good night’s sleep before heading to the Venezuelan jungle the following day.

The Canaima National Park is located in the Bolivar State of Venezuela. It’s occupied by plateaus of rock called tepuis – a kind of plateau that is millions of years old with vertical walls and almost flat tops. The cliffs and waterfalls result in spectacular landscapes although the park is relatively remote. Transport there is via light plane, foot or canoe.

The 12,000 sq mile park is home to the indigenous Pemon Indians. The Pemon camp we stayed in was basic but we did secure a hut with bunk beds next to the jungle. Although still open to the elements, I was thankful for not having to sleep in a hammock. We took ear plugs with us too so we couldn’t hear what was going on around us at night.

Although located in an isolated jungle, Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions. It is the World’s highest uninterrupted waterfall at 3211ft. The trek to the lookout point took some time in seriously hot temperatures but we did it with a Chilean family and our Pemon guide. All of whom we’d got to know fairly well.

As well as Hacha Falls above and Angel Falls, we also got to walk behind the immense Sapo Falls. This is the photograph in the What’s The Story? linky post. It was exhilarating and yet utterly petrifying, I thought I was going to slip off the ledge and die on several occasions. It is thought this is the waterfall Daniel Day-Lewis walked behind in Last of the Mohicans though and that is pretty special.

We’re linking this post up with What’s The Story? which takes place on this blog and Magic Moments at The Oliver’s Madhouse.

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  • sarah August 12, 2013 at 6:30 am

    wow! that is an incredible story. Was it a holiday thing or did you go for work? can’t get my head around you changing your money on the black market!!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you Sarah – it was a wonderful holiday. I was cr*pping myself before we went but it was incredible 🙂

  • Jane August 12, 2013 at 7:14 am

    What a place to visit. I wouldn’t be able to do a trip like this as the thought of it scares me but I bet it’s an amazing experience :0)

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      I was petrified, it’s an amazing place though. The people were lovely, in our organised bubble at least. We were very well protected 🙂

  • Luci - mother.wife.me August 12, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Wow Charly you are so intrepid! Great photo too, reminds me of those dangly things people have in their doorways!!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      I’m really not Luci but thank you – we had a couple of adventure holidays. Probably the two I’ve mentioned on the blog LOL 🙂

  • Louise August 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Looks amazing!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you Louise – I was although I was terrified too 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff August 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Sounds like a really brilliant place to visit and that waterfall looks awesome!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      It was an amazing place to visit – the waterfalls and the jungle were the best part 🙂

  • Alison August 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

    That must have been a fantastic experience

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      It was brilliant Alison and a little scary in Caracus 🙂

  • Pinkoddy August 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Wow I really want to visit a falls – this looks and sounds amazing.

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      You so should, they really are amazing 🙂

  • Jaime Oliver August 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    What a really beautiful post and what a really stunning picture! thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments dd

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you Jaime 🙂

  • Lou's Lake Views August 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Great story, I don’t know what it is about water falls but I find them mesmerising, I could stare at Niagara Falls for hours, I would love to see the Angel Falls though.

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      I do too – they’re amazing, I love your Niagra Falls post. Angel Falls was immense 🙂

  • Jocelyn (@IHaveCards) August 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Wow! Breathtaking and an amazing experience I’d imagine. Love the car park exchange, too 😉

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Was petrified in the car park – I’m not used to doing deals out of the back of cars! An incredible experience, was good to do something different 🙂

  • Carolynne August 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Wow what an amazing photo. Its just the knowledge that you’re actually standing behind a waterfall when taking this! How scary but what an experience that must’ve been. xx

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      I was petrified Carolynne – I was up against the rock! This was the only part of the waterfall you could see out of to get a photo. I’d been at an office sitting behind a desk a couple of days earlier. Spooky! Amazing though 🙂

  • Man & Buggy Blog August 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Beautiful photo and what an adventure. I wonder how long before you can go on another trip like that!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Thank you Jamie – about 16 years I think 🙂

  • wendy August 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    sounds like an amazing place, love the photo xx

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Thank you Wendy 🙂

  • Sarah MumofThree World August 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Wow, what an adventure! It sounds incredible! You are very brave. And there’s me hardly brave enough to take my kids on the train for 40 minutes and walk round Bristol!

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks Sarah – I really wasn’t very brave. I seem to remember I cried initially. It’s a stark contrast going from a London office to the Venezuelan jungle. Amazing though 🙂

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone August 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I look at this photo with a little regret, Angel Falls and Venezuela was on the cards for a holiday in 2007, instead my world fell apart and I got divorced! One day, I would love to stand there and see that view for myself.

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I’m so sorry Mary, that’s really sad. I’m sure you will get there one day – it will probably be much better too :))

  • Erica Price August 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    It sounds amazing – would love to explore South America one day.

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      It was great Erica – I’d like to go back too one day 🙂

  • Mammasaurus August 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Ooo I love the thought of walking behind a waterfall – love the story and the excitement that must have gone with the journey x

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      You’d love it Annie – it was petrifying but incredible. Noting like a good buzz is there LOL 🙂

  • Mummy of Two August 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Gorgeous photo and it sounds like an amazing place to visit

    • Charly Dove August 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you and just fabulous – seems like an eternity ago now. Must go back one day 🙂

  • HonestMum August 13, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Wow, incredible photo, love how close the lens is to the waterfall! Fab!

    • Charly Dove August 13, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Thank you – it was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time 🙂

  • Faded Seaside Mama August 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Stunning photo and a wonderful story of the experience behind it. I would love to go there myself someday, but now I have children it will be a long way off. We have friends in Ecuador and if they stay there long enough maybe we’ll have a long holiday starting there and touring South America!!

    • Charly Dove August 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you Sally – you should definitely go there one day. It would be great if you could make it while your friends are still in Ecuador. I don’t think we’ll be doing anything for some time either!

  • OneDad3Girls August 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    What a story, it seems like an amazing place to visit.

    • Charly Dove August 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you – it was although I was petrified initially. It definitely needs an organised tour 🙂

  • Jess @ Catch A Single Thought August 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Amazing! Were you not terrified of changing your money on the black market? It’s the kind of thing that would worry me (probably why I’m not suited to that kind of holiday lol)

    • Charly Dove August 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Thank you Jess – yes I was. The guide book we had made out we were going to be pillaged as soon as we arrived. The black market is rife there though so seen as ‘normal’. I’d never pick this kind of holiday either, really glad hub did though 🙂

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) August 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Can’t get over the car park exchange! How brave of you… That photo is stunning, it must have been an absolutely amazing experience x

    • Charly Dove August 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

      It’s quite comical isn’t it really – less so at the time! It was incredible though Sara, scary but brilliant 🙂

  • older mum in a muddle August 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    That’s incredible!!!!! What an adventure…. my heart was in my mouth when you said you nearly nearly slipped from the rock… exhilarating and terrifying all in one go! X>

    • Charly Dove August 18, 2013 at 12:23 am

      I was absolutely terrified it has to be said. Going to that after sitting in an office – quite a contrast!!!