Mount Roraima - Exploring the lost world
Mount Roraima is the highest table mountain in South America. Its highest point is called the Maverick Rock and reaches 2810 meters. That is our target of this 6 day hiking adventure in a group of 17 people from all over the world. It would later be known as the Roraima Dream Team.
Santa Elena is the hub for a number of activities including the trip to Mount Roraima. This is the only part of our trip that we had booked in advance as trips are not available every day. In Santa Elena we stayed at Posada Los Pinos run by Eric from Germany. He also owns and runs Backpacker Tours with whom we booked the trip to Mount Roraima. Initially we wanted to do this on our own, just with the guide and cook. But we end up in a big group and we are not happy. However, in the end the group turned out to be fantastic and we don’t want to miss a single piece of this experience. With people from Spain, Venezuela, USA, Poland, France, Brazil, UK, Austria and Germany this was truly international and lot’s of fun. I only say: PACOOOOOO!!!!!! ;-)
The weather is not great and it rains when we set of from the starting point, about an hour drive North of Santa Elena. We have to carry our own belongings, sleeping backs and mats. The team from Eric is dealing with the rest including food, cocking equipment and the tents.
We get ready for the trip at Posado Los Pinos.
They drop us off about an hour North of Santa Elena.
As we set of for the next few days it is raining.
The porters take care about our food and tents.
Our first stop the Tek River Base Camp.
A camp site with a fantastic view to Tepuy Kukenan.
With all the rain the rivers have grown but there is no other way.
After two days we get to the slopes of Mount Roraima.
The rain continues and most of our stuff is wet already.
Quick shower before dinner. Boy this is cold ...
The team is preparing dinner.
11 - 11
It takes us two days of hiking to get to the slopes of the table mountain. By then most of us are wet through and through including our shoes. On the third day we hike up the steep slopes of Mount Roraima. We pass through a truly fantastic belt of rain forest and two water falls. Michael is one of the few who still has dry shoes up to that point. After walking literally through the waterfalls even his shoes are now soaking wet, which they stay for the rest of the trip. Once on the top the clouds clear up, the sun comes out and welcomes us to the lost world. Words can not describe this scenery nor our feelings. You have to experience this for yourself.
On the same day we even make it to the highest point, Maverick Rock, but miss a great sun set by literally minutes. But we come back the next day and this time, we make it on time. The entire fourth day we spent up on the mountain, hiking across parts of it. With the fog and the moon like rock formations it is very easy to get lost. But it is really amazing up there. The vegetation and animals are unique and can only be found here. A good example are the black frogs that can’t jump.
We climb up the mountain on the third day. Still raining.
We pass through an amazing rain forest on our way up.
After some hours we made it!
Climbing up through a water fall has left its mark.
The scenery is unbelievable beautiful.
We also find a place to camp for the next two nights.
A tarantula paying us a visit.
The vegetation is unique and most of the plants only grow up here.
Pictures in this case can't really tell the full story.
At the highest point which is called Maverick Rock.
A black frog that can't jump you can only find up here.
There are quite a few small ponds around.
Karin decides to take a bath in there.
The lost world at sun set.
On the last day the sun finally comes out to greet us.
An attempt to dry some of our clothes as we are heading back.
The last few hours on what is a memorable trip.
By far the best beer ever after an amazing trip with amazing people.
18 - 18
On the fifth day we pack our stuff together again for the decent. It is a beautiful morning with bright skies and the sun is out. What a good by we get from the mountain. But how on earth will we get down again via this steep slopes? In the end we are doing fine, meeting lots of beautiful looking blond girls from Denmark who are on their way up.
Down in the camp we were supposed to have a bite to eat before we continue to the first camp, were we stayed the first night. Unfortunately our porters have problems and need much more time to get down. So we decide to just have a dry peace of bred and move on to the next camp where we stay one more night before being released back to the civilization.
Our trip had started with lots of rain but in the end was really nice and sunny. In fact, we are happy that we did not have the brutal sun out during the entire trip as it would have been quite another challenge. Eric’s team welcomes us at our starting point with a few cans of cold beer. Boy, beer had never tasted better than on that day. That’s for sure!
We make our way back to Santa Elena, take a hot shower (first one since our start six days ago) and then met the rest of the team again in a pizzeria down town. Quick bite to eat, a few more beers and together with Lise and Monika we hit the road again back to Ciudad Bolivar with the famous night bus. This time sleeping very well despite the freezing temperatures ...
A trip we will never forget!