A Travellerspoint blog

Survive the Roraima

all seasons in one day
View Travelling around Americas on TatianaN's travel map.

It's been definetely a while since my last entry, but it's also been a while from civilization and then when I had connection I was not capable of typing, but'll write everything in it's own time. So I think I'll split the description of my last three weeks travel into a few parts, with the first part describing our survival of Roraima six day trecking.

Quite interesting but different stages of my travelling are associated mostly not with places, but with people I meet. So Caracas associates with my CS hosts Carlos and Carlos; two weeks waiting for the wind in Margarita with the Austrial couple; and this part of the trip is for sure with a french student, Hadrian from Marseille, I've met on the Island. One day he just appeared in the posada, a funny guy in a panama hat, who was having rumba most of the time (one time I went out with him and his freindes and ended up dancing half of the niight in the bar next to our posada, where the DJ by the end of the night started playing Russian music, which was really nice since I have not heard anything Russia for the past one month), whos goal of the trip to Venezuela was to climb the Roraima. So he just suggested to go the Roraima (Roraima is flat tepui mountain on the border of Venezuela and Brazil about 2800m high) together. I have read about it before, but was not sure of going there, because it is quite far to get to the place and it takes 6 days of tracking, and since it would have been my first ever time tracking, I was not sure I was ready to do it for 6 days. But what the hell, I though, why not going. I had a company, and he is a guy (which is definetely a plus when travelling, because somehow it feels more secure), and he promised to take care of me and in the final end carry me back from the mountain if something happens (of cource like for most french guys it was just talking :)), but it was fun to have him arround and he was able to cheer me up in hard times), so we set off and went.

We had 24 hours to travel to Santa Elena, the city on the border with Brazil from where we could have taken a trip, and we were really lucky with our trip: we set off at 6 in morning, but could not find any taxi, so I appreached the guy from a police unit next to our posada who gave as a lift to the road where we grabbed a cab, then we popped on a 10 o'clock ferry, which arrived 1,5 hours later, but we managed to get on a bus who was leaving in our direction just in 45 minutes, and spent the next 16-17 hours in that bus. Quite funny in the night, when the bus had a stop two guys got on, and when I saw them from the window I though that they were Russian, and they were. They were crossing Venezuela on bikes, I tried to talk to them being really excited to meet someone Russian, but they were a bit arrogant (I would not be that arrogant carrying a plastic bag from Tekhnosila as they did) and feeling so cool of themselves crossing the country on bikes, so I gave up my attempts. Btw later I nearly saved them from starving when I gave them my coockey when they were returning from Roraima without any food left.

We've arrived to the town, talked to different agencies, and on the next day we set off to our 6 days adventure with a group of other 13 people, 10 from Venezuela, a couple from Germany and Czech guy. For people who'd never done tracking, just let me explain what it is like: you are walking for 6-9 hours a day, and also walking under a heavy rain (one day we walked for 12 hours), sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent, washing in cold mountain rivers, drinking water from same rivers, sometimes starving as being too far from the guides cooking food, baring pain from the blisters, walking even when you can't walk anymore, helping other's even if you need help yourself, but every bit of it being worth it, when you get to the top and scream from the beaty and emotions overwheelming you. We had a great company of Venezuelan guys, and though I could not understand them pretty well, but their jokes and rome helped us last till the end. We are now all saying that we are brothers from Roraima. In total our trip has made 60-80 km (don't know how much for sure), and I made it all with a 10-12 kg backpack on my back. But the true heros of the trip are our guide, whos name is Nestor (was easy or me to remember, and I always wanted to call him Nestor Petrovich (Russian people will understand me :))) and other three porters, who were carrying all food and tents for 15 people plus themselves, so each of them had at least 45-50 kg at their back and all fo them being local indians being my hight about a meter and a half.

I've decided to take it easy the first day as everyone was telling me to do, so I was walking the last one with my own speed enjoying myself taking photos. Nestor was accompanying me all the way (later it turned out that he is always going with the last one). The walk was not too difficult because it was mostly plain and the foot were still fresh. However the clouds covering the sky were not that welcoming and after I've done about a third of the trip it started shower raining. The weather there is just changing every 15 minutes, but mostly it was raining, and when I say raining I mean that there is even less water running from your shower than from the sky over there and there is no escape. But I was doing fine, I had my boots which were supposted to be waterproff, my sailing trouzes and my poncho which covered me all up, so things were not that bad till one moment...We made it to the first camp and since I was the last one the others were already there for an hour, so without stopping we moved on...we crossed the first river, which not that big...had another 30 minutes or so to go...it was getting dark...it started shower raining again...and that's where the problems have started...I tore my poncho, and I started to get wet...we had to cross one more river and it was already twilight...and to get to the river we had to climb down a vertical part of the path with a flud running under our feet...and when we got to the river... it was not as easy as the first one. It was a big mountain river, about 10-12 meter wide, with a fast running water and lot's of rocks. Because it was quite dangerous to cross it, one of the porters took my backpack and I also had to take off my poncho not to slip on it, but all my attempts to keep myself and especially my feet dry were doomed because I just fell into this river when crossing it...and I was all wet...and when I finally got to the camp I found about 25 people just being jammed under a roof of small house with only two walls, with no space enough even to sit...The first day was definetely the worst day of our trip. After I changed into dry closing, had some hot food, things got a bit better...the rain has almost stoped and I was only looking forward to get into the dry tent and fall asleep...but..when we got to the tent it turned out to be leacking, so my french tent mate left me to sleep under the table in the house. So I am sitting there in a tent all alone with light coming only from a small torch light and droppes of water falling on me ready to cry and thinking only about going back...but then a voice of hope came from nowhere in the night, the voice of hope of our guide Nestor, who found out that the tent was leacking and who took me to the house to his tent, gave his dry worm matt. So the first night I was sleepìng in a tent with our pomonque guide, but I did not really care since it was dry and worm and fell asleep right away.

The next days the weather was good to us and it did not rain that much anymore. So we´ve made about 12-15 km going up hill, had lunch on the way, managed to dry some of the closing in the rare time of sun, and made to the second camp before it got dark (and I was not the last one this day). My french friend came the first with the porters and helped them install the tents so he chose the best tent for us which was also dry, things were getting a bit better. And in the night when all of our big company gether under the roof to get some tea to warm up the bottle of rome appeared out of nowhere, which definetely made us warmer that tea. So after about half an hour all the language barriers were errased, we were laughing, telling jokes, singing songs in Spanish, Russia, french, then dancing...It was a night we would all remember when getting together later on, and I am sure I will see these guys some day.

We had one more day ahead of us and we would get on the top of Roraima, but looking on the way we had to make to the top made our knees tremble. It took me about 6-7 hours to make a way of 8 km because it was always going up (and agian I was not the last one ) half of the time climbing the rockes also using hands because the way was nearly vertical. The last part was the most difficult since we had to walking under the fall, called "Tears of an angle", climbe nearly vertically up over the rockes which were just slipping down under your feet, stopping every five minutes because of no more strength left. And then you get on the top...and end up on a different planet of rockes and plantes and views you´ve never seen before...amaizing...one minute I was in a cloud not seing anything within 3 meter from me, and the next moment I was screaming from joy of the beauty I could not believe my eyes when you get to the edge of the mountain...but I think only people who´ve been there will understand me.

The next day we spent on the top of the mountain, with our tents being set in so called "hotels", a formation of rockes that protected us from wind. We explored the top of Roraima, viziting the most amaizing veiw points I´ve seen in my life, and only wishing that we could spend more time there. Since it was already the fourth day without shower we had an opportunity to wash ourselves in a jucuzzii. When you hear the word jucuzzi you imagine something pleasant, warm with bubbles, well that is not exactly what that jucuzzi was..I was a small lake with water being about 15 degree warm and rain pouring from the sky...some of us did dare to get inside...I only washed my head. In the night we went to explore a cave, and since I did not have a torch light other people were lighting my way. Then in the cave we approached a point behind which it was quite dangerous to go, so only guys continued, but I could not stay behind and of cource I went with them...wow...it felt so wild and pervobitno. And we got out of the cave, it felt like being in space as I´ve never seen so many stars in my life. Nestor gave me his light and lead us back to the camp in the dark...he is just a super human.

At first I though the harders part would be to climp on the top...I was really mistaken because the biggest challange was to make the way back. Knees started aiching in about half an hour, and by the time we made it to the bottom of Roraima, they were ready to fell of. And because I was in a group with other victimes of Rormaima (thouse who had blisters, aching ancles, and other staff) we were really slow. However when we came down we had another 15 km to go. This part of the way I was only thinking of home and shelter and being able to do it till the end. We arrived to the camp at 9 in the evening, and before that had to cross those damn rivers now in the full night. This night I was fell dead asleep.

The next day was the last, the weather was amaizing, and by the time we got to the final point (not till the very end, because our guide Nestor came to resque the slowers part of the group on a jeep) I could barely walk. The shower I have taken this day in the hotel was the most pleasant in my life.

That was the end of our adventure (if you want to know how to lose one size in 6 days, I can tell you how), the adventure I will remember for life, but not the end of my trip which continued further on with more stories to tell.

Posted by TatianaN 18:50 Archived in Venezuela Tagged hitchhiking

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


sweety. You travel and survive on behalf of all girls, who are obliged to spent the whole day in the office. I'd love to be with you and get another view of our world. Wish you more pleasant and less dangerous trip in future.
We are expect to make OUR extremely extraordinary trip: in 1 week we will swim in the red sea and dive :-) By the way our house is already done: the surrounding area is already clean, with plants.

loving you, Ivanovy Fam

by ivanova

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.