Saturday, July 18, 2009

day 41, Venezuela

We are in Venezuela...and Sita's friend has invited us to Margarita Island (Spanish: Isla Margarita or Isla de Margarita).

It is the largest island of the Nueva Esparta state in Venezuela, situated in the Caribbean Sea, off the northeastern coast of the country. There are at least 50 unique and magnificent margarita beaches which are scattered along a 106 miles of coastline...the beaches range from crowded to solitary and most of them virgin....but we are not going to take up the offer...

Luis has invited us to the Canaima National Park, a 30,000 km² park in south-eastern Venezuela that borders Brazil and Guyana, so we ae going there instead. The park was established on the 12 June 1962, and is the size of Belgium or Maryland. The park is relatively remote so we are going by light plane.

It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of the tepuis (table-top mountains) that are characteristic of this area.The tepuis are sandstone and date back to a time when South America and Africa were part of a super-continent. The park is home to indigenous Pemon Indians, part of the Carib linguistic group. The Pemon have an intimate relationship with the tepuis, and believe they are the home of the 'mawari' spirits. The most famous tepuis in the park are Mount Roraima, the tallest and easiest to climb, and Auyantepui, from which fall the Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world.In the indigenous Pemon language Angel Falls is called Kerepakupai merĂº meaning "waterfall of the deepest place".

Angel Falls is one of Venezuela's top tourist attractions, seeing it is not a simple affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle region so that is why Luis suggested that we go the aerial route.
We are not interested in the river trip in a wooden curiara at this time.
Okay, lets see it...........

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