Gran Sabana, Venezuela

A Real Jurassic Park

The Gran Sabana
The savannah dotted with buritis palms in which scenes from Jurassic Park were shot.
in a river of jasper
Family refreshes themselves on jasper, in the lake formed by the Kamá waterfall, one of the many imposing waterfalls on the Gran Sabana.
on the way to the lost world
Shippers carry provisions for an expedition up Mount Roraima.
Gran Sabana Guru
Guyanese leader and guide Alexis, who accompanies visitors on expeditions to Mount Roraima and shares with them the wisdom and stories of the Gran Sabana.
kama meru
The Salto Meru, one of the many stumbles of the Aponwao River on its way along the Gran Sabana.
Pemon Weapons
Showcase of small blowguns used by several indigenous people today called Pémon, displayed to captivate buyers at the top of the Salto Kamá.
seaweed on jasper
Green vegetation thrives on the polished jasper surface of the Quebrada with the same name.
above the savanna
Participants on an expedition to the top of Mount Roraima admire the vast Gran Sabana from an elevation of the tepuy.
blond parrot
Parrot hidden in the green vegetation around the Aponwao River.
enraged flow
A shower thickens the already voluminous flow of the Yuruani River and the force of another waterfall on the Gran Sabana, the Yuruani Fall.
football between tepuys
A grassy football field with a privileged view of the tepuis Roraima and Kukenam
Rest on Jasper II
The family relaxes in the warm, sun-kissed water of the Kamá waterfall lagoon.
Pemon Homes
Typical ethnic huts pemon who inhabit the Gran Sabana, in the vicinity of Salto Kamá.
little jump
Reduced waterfall compared to several other imposing ones north of Santa Elena de Uáiren.

Only the lonely EN-10 road ventures into Venezuela's wild southern tip. From there, we unveil otherworldly scenarios, such as the savanna full of dinosaurs in the Spielberg saga.

The cases of those who visit Venezuela with entry from its remote south will not be very frequent. It is true that we celebrated the convenience of flying from the Brazilian city of Belém to Manaus, complete the route from there to Boavista and then to à border instead of paying a lot of money for an international flight with several stops that would force us to go to one of the main Brazilian cities and, from there to Caracas, still far from the Venezuelan border stops we had in mind.

Only a pseudo-climatological incidence of the trip, in particular, undid the satisfaction generated by the existence of an alternative, reinforced by the fact that we didn't even have to stay overnight in Manaus. In the last six hours of the first bus segment – ​​there were 15 journeys, more than 24 if we count the waits at truck stations – the driver turned off the lights and secured passengers with freezing air conditioning. Even careful with long-sleeved sweaters, only a golden crunchy asbestos blanket that we were carrying to prevent hypothermias prevented us from getting seriously ill in that bus of Tartarus.

We reached the northern limit of Brazil, after the 18 hours. The Federal Police closed at six in the afternoon and not at ten at night, as we had been informed. Even without the stamp in the passport, we continued, illegally, to Santa Elena de uairén, a city generated by the discovery of diamonds some 100 km away in 1924, which developed much further when the only road in the vicinity, the EN-10 coming from El Gold, through her. Today, with almost 20.000 inhabitants and many Brazilian workers and visitors, Santa Elena it was the village that we chose as the basis for discovering the Spruce bed sheet Venezuelan.

The next day served almost only to sleep and recover from the fluvial, air and land torture that we had been subjected to from the remote Brazilian island of Marajó, in the delta of the Amazon River, and to return to the border where we obtained the missing stamps. On the second day of stay at a hotel named Augusta, we were finally able to prepare the expedition to Mount Roraima that had attracted us to those places. We returned to the hotel six days later, dazzled but with every muscle and tendon destroyed by the difficult journey to and from the top of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's “Lost World”.

Even in all this long walk, we have explored only a tiny part of the vast Gran Sabana, which extends over 10.000 km2 and invades the territories of Guyana and Brazil. The extension of this geological domain dotted with large rocky plateaus bequeathed by the prehistoric erosion of an infinitely larger rock platform and the fact that our time was counted, advised us to contemplate a road continuation of the discovery. We soon surrendered to the evidence.

The sun had barely risen. As agreed, Santiago was already waiting at the door of the hotel behind the wheel of an old white Cadillac. We greeted him, put our backpacks in what was left of the large trunk and set off towards the rue EN-10 and from Gran Sabana. Shortly after, the early risen beginning began to seem providential. “My friends, first of all we have to get gas”. Santiago communicates to us without any shame. We head for a service station on the outskirts of the city. As soon as we got there, we panicked. That was the time, but the main line for refueling was more than a kilometer long and, next to the pumps, it branched out into several others, by comparison, tiny. “Don't worry!” the driver reassures us. “With the guide charter and tourists on board, I don't have to wait. Who causes all this are the Brazilians who come here to enjoy! The authorities should have already done something to prevent it but there are too many interests behind it.”

It didn't take long for us to understand the phenomenon. Thanks to the benefit of Venezuela's huge oil production and the government subsidy, fuel in Venezuela cost four cents of Euros per liter or, as some drivers proud of the prodigy but angry at the abuse of their neighbors summed up, less than water or oil. air. “We pay a lot more for a bottle of water and even to put pressure on the tires! But, in Brazil, it costs almost a dollar and a half per liter (practically the same euros) and candongueiros enjoy more than us, both Brazilians and Venezuelans. They enter here with double tanks and hidden jerricans, bribe the military and gain enormous amounts from smuggling. Just to give you an idea of ​​how much, in Santa Elena, on account of this, we are running out of teachers and people from various other professions.”

Unless he did it part-time, Santiago had not yet sacrificed his own. Compromised with an agreement, the driver and guide returns to the comfort of the car's old leather and leads us towards the north, away from Santa Elena and any other urbanization.

We traveled along an endless savannah and among tepuys (the so-called plateaus) of different sizes and shapes, there, especially the brothers Kukenam and Roraima from whom we had just returned. The Yuruani River accompanies us, capricious in its tight meanders but also in its wider path. We crossed it the first time. Shortly after, we turn off the asphalt and go to the Quebrada de Jaspe, a small waterfall that flows over the rock that gives it its name, polished and bright red that contrasts with the green of the algae that, here and there, the they cling.

It rains heavily when we reach the new intersection of Yuruani and EN-10. The low clouds and mist blur the shape of the tepuis but don't disturb the intermediate view of the Yuruani Falls, which makes the caramel-colored waters of a platform six meters high and sixty meters wide crash.

A few more kilometers and we stopped again. This time, before the only scenery of the Gran Sabana almost as impressive as the tepuis.

The road, elevated there, reveals a viewpoint à your left. From this point to the west, a verdant plain dotted with palm trees unfolds. buritis that follow the course of underground currents. In the grandeur of the framing, they look more like bonsai. only the indigenous Pemon can inhabit these lands. From time to time, they burn areas of the plain so that the rain makes new shoots bloom, which in turn attract tapirs, armadillos and deer, their hunting.

That's the setting that inspired Steven Spielberg to create many of the scenes from the original “Jurassic Park,” starring Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and the late brother of “Life on Earth” mentor Richard Attenborough.

This same scenario that we continue to explore remains and will remain for many more millennia between islands in the time that shelter, in their summits, fauna and flora from that geological period between the Triassic and the Cretaceous. Santiago is no longer enthusiastic about it.

At a certain point along the route, we felt the car deviate from the long straight line it was traveling. We didn't react right away, but the descent of two of the wheels to the curb and the sight of the driver with his head down make us scream at him and take control of the steering wheel.

Santiago wakes up and apologizes lamely: “I was looking for something that I dropped to the ground”. It was a lie and the third time we saved ourselves from sleepy drivers in Venezuela, land of a lot of partying and nightlife.

We arrived alive at the surroundings of Salto Kamá, another imposing waterfall, 50 meters high and which forms a reddish lake on slabs of always abundant jasper.

some huts pemons they flank the top of the river and the indigenous people use them as a base to sell handicrafts. Before going down, we still experienced the incredible precision of one of the blowguns with which they usually shoot poisoned arrows. A little later, we took advantage of the last rays of the sun falling on the lagoon, we refreshed ourselves and stayed to relax in the warm water in the company of a big-tongued Venezuelan family.

Santiago despaired for a few more moments before we inaugurated the return to Santa Elena. On the way back, we had to wake him up twice more. Even so, the old man admitted that it would be better to give up the wheel.

Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
Mérida, Venezuela

Merida to Los Nevados: in the Andean Ends of Venezuela

In the 40s and 50s, Venezuela attracted 400 Portuguese but only half stayed in Caracas. In Mérida, we find places more similar to the origins and the eccentric ice cream parlor of an immigrant portista.
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Margarita Island ao Mochima NP, Venezuela

Margarita Island to Mochima National Park: a very Caribbean Caribe

The exploration of the Venezuelan coast justifies a wild nautical party. But, these stops also reveal life in cactus forests and waters as green as the tropical jungle of Mochima.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Vittoriosa, Birgu, Malta, Waterfront, Marina
Birgu, Malta

To the Conquest of the Victorious City

Vittoriosa is the oldest of the Three Cities of Malta, headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller and, from 1530 to 1571, its capital. The resistance he offered to the Ottomans in the Great Siege of Malta kept the island Christian. Even if, later, Valletta took over the administrative and political role, the old Birgu shines with historic glory.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
DMZ, South Korea, Line of no return
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

A nation and thousands of families were divided by the armistice in the Korean War. Today, as curious tourists visit the DMZ, many of the escapes of the oppressed North Koreans end in tragedy.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

St. Paul's Cathedral, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Fanal, Madeira, Portugal

Fanal. A Somehow Surreal Pasture

Irrigated by clouds arriving from the North Atlantic, the lush, green highlands of Fanal are ideal for cattle grazing. Cattle already seem to be part of the magical landscape and not even human incursions like ours seem to affect their routine.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Semeru (far) and Bromo volcanoes in Java, Indonesia
Natural Parks
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
UNESCO World Heritage
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Cabo Ledo Angola, moxixeiros
Cape Ledo, Angola

Cape Ledo and its Bay of Joy

Just 120km south of Luanda, capricious waves of the Atlantic and cliffs crowned with moxixeiros compete for the land of musseque. The large cove is shared by foreigners surrendered to the scene and Angolan residents who have long been supported by the generous sea.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

With Chihuahua behind, we point to the southwest and to even higher lands in the north of Mexico. Next to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, we visited a Mennonite elder. Around Creel, we lived for the first time with the Rarámuri indigenous community of the Serra de Tarahumara.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Pisteiro San in action at Torra Conservancy, Namibia
Palmwag, Namíbia

In Search of Rhinos

We set off from the heart of the oasis generated by the Uniab River, home to the largest number of black rhinos in southwest Africa. In the footsteps of a bushman tracker, we follow a stealthy specimen, dazzled by a setting with a Martian feel.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.