La Gran Sabana (1/5)

LA GRAN SABANA

 

La Gran Sabana (The Great Savanna) is a plateau at about 1000 meters over sea level on the south-east part of Venezuela, 1200 kms from Caracas. It is a national park, a land of great plains, waterfalls and flat-top mountains (tepuis) with almost no tourists and only a few indian towns. Here, with a few pictures, I will try to show you how beautiful this wonderful and lonely land is.

Because of the limited space I have on this server, I had to decrease the size and quality of my pictures. However, at least try to use 256 colors or more on your screen.

For a long time this place has been so isolated and fairly unknown to civilization that gave inspiration to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for writing his book "The Lost World".

There are two main areas of La Gran Sabana visited more frequently:

A. Canaima -visited mostly by plane-, and where Angel Falls are.
B. The other part, visited by car and ends at the Brasil border.

Our 3 trips were to the second part of La Gran Sabana. Because of the long distance from Caracas, the first two days were used to travel from Caracas to "Monumento al Soldado Pionero" (where the Gran Sabana really begins). The following days -about 6- were used to visit most of the places on route. Finally, we spent the last two days returning back to Caracas.

From "Monumento al Soldado Pionero"(Km. 137) to Santa Elena de Uairen (Km. 320) where La Gran Sabana ends is only 180 Kms, but those kilometers are full of marvelous places. Santa Elena is near the Venezuela-Brasil frontier.

Once at La Gran Sabana, the places lined to the paved road that goes to Santa Elena are: Monumento al Soldado Pionero - Rapidos de Kamoiran - Salto Kama - Quebrada Pacheco - San Francisco de Yuruani - Quebrada del Jaspe - Santa Elena de Uairen.

Other interesting places on detours from the paved road are: Salto Toron; Iboribo-Salto Aponguao; Kavanayen; Salto Karuai; Paraitepuy.

The spanish word "Salto" means Falls , while the indians use the word "Merú". "Kama Meru" means then "Kama Falls".

In the old times, the last town where you could buy ice (in a block) was Guasipati. Gasoline had to be bought at Km 88. You had to carry all your supplies: camping tents, sleeping bags, water, food, plates, rain protectors, insect repellant, lanterns, car spares, etc, etc.

In 1993 new small restaurants and grocery stores started to appear along the paved road to Santa Elena. Gasoline can be bought now in the middle of La Gran Sabana at Rapidos de Kamoiran. In summary, at this time traveling to La Gran Sabana is not so an adventure as it used to be.


We will start this small virtual trip with the waterfalls of Rio Yuruani that some books describe as a sort of mini Niagara. The water falls from only a few meters but it is 100 mts (330 feet) wide. These waterfalls can be seen from the paved road, but I strongly recommend you to go and walk around this beautiful place.

As most of the rivers in La Gran Sabana, the color of their waters is different from others. The color is like a light red wine. They said it is because they carry a lot of minerals. Anyway, to experience a river with this colors is unique.

On this picture Daniel and David are sitting on the right, while mi wife at the top looks like she is walking on the water.


The next picture is from Salto Toron. To get there was not so easy because we had to travel for 2 hours on a rocky road and cross two rivers. Every big sound while crossing the rivers made me feel sorry for my 4WD truck. However we made it.

Everybody enjoyed bathing on this waterfalls. Here you have Gladys and the kids in the small rectangle.

And here, a sample of Venezuelan music: "Alma Llanera"



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