Niños… Chapter One!
On our way and preparing.
On the 25th of January I met up in Caracas with the Jungle team: George Ullrich(UK), Sam Farnsworth (UK) and Mason Earle (USA). We all new what our goal was and from the start it felt unreal but exiting. We made our way to Ciudad Bolivar where we stayed in the ‘Posada’ of our German touroporator Hans (not real name). Even while Hans was drunk every single moment of the day he still managed to arranged all our flights and our accomodation. Looking back at it he gave us a lot of services but not everything was always as clear and easy with him. But what do you want with a German who exists 80 % out of alcohol!
The Posada is a nice place where you can stay safely in a tent or in a hut. There is a little selfservice bar and a possibility to order food every time of the day. The Posada is a little far from Ciudad Bolivar itself so we always had to be driven arround with one of Hans’s drivers.
We stayed for 3 days in this Posada while we prepared our gear and especially the food for four persons for one month.
This was my first expedition and a new experience from the start. It is hard to buy food for one month providing all food supplements without going bad. It took us some hours of shopping, putting a lot of energy searching for proteins, vitamins, fat and sugar that is light and stays good for a long time. When we organised the food at the Posada we discoverd that the amount of food we bought might have been enough for 2 persons for one month. We ended up going back to the store twice to make sure our ration would be enough to survive the jungle without eating roots and fish.
After 3 days swimming in a pool, drinking coke out of a big glass bottle and baking in the sun the luxuary was done. We took our 390 kg of gear and food togheter and jumped on a cessna to reach our goal.
OK, it wasn’t that easy. We left the Posada at 6 am without even knowing if our cessna would airborn because of the bad weather. After we dropped our bags at the scale, we got the bad news that our bags were to heavy and there was no other option then getting a second plane. In about 10 minutes the team decided to do it. We had been dreaming of this moment for a long time so nothing could stop us.
Two hours later we were flying in a small old cessna with ducktaped interior at 800 meters above the jungle of Canaima National Park (the size of Belgium). I can say that this was an exciting moment.
Dropped off in a world of silence.
The plane landed on a gravel runway and came to a stop easely. When we got out of the plane our welcome by the Pemón Indians was not as expected. A group of little Indians approched the cessna really fast, when they got closer we soon realised they where carrying a human body…
This all scared us at first but quick we saw it was a pregnant girl who was going to have a baby soon. Our plane immidiatly left us with the pregnant lady in the back towards an hospital in Santa Elena.
Maybe you can sense the situation now. Four tall white boys standing without bags or anything between the little huts of some Natives surrounded by savana and jungle. We waited for one hour until our second plane with all the gear arrived. What a releave. Now the Natives fast approached us and helped unloading the plane showing how strong their little legs are with the big haulbags on their back. They guided us to one of the huts where we could stay for the night.
From the next morning the hard work started. You’ll see in the next chapter!
Hasta luego Belgas, Gringos y mas blancos en la nieve!
More pictures of this chapter will come!