Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
5° 9' N 59° 28' W
Oct 25, 2007 21:00
Distance 120km

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Absolutely Spendid and Brilliant Water Falls

October 25 and 26; Iwokrama and Kaiteur and Orinduik Falls

 

Had a long ride to Shankland Resort, where we spent the night. The distances are not long, but the speed was on average 30 – 40 KMPH. Took 4 ½ hours to cover the last 100 K in the 4 wheel drive jeep and over one hour to cover the last few kilometres.

 

I was in the back of the 4 wheel, in the open cargo bay of the pick-up for the last 3 hours. Had the most fun in a very long time as there was really not a road, only a path for the last 20 K (took 2 hours to cover). Hit huge bumps, puddles, uneven “road”, low branches (and total darkness for the last hour), dried up stream beds and you name it. Hanging on the back, holding on to a metal bar and flying about was awesome. It was almost unfair as all but 2 others of my mates were cooped up inside the vans, bouncing around inside a cramped, humid, hot, crowded cab. I innocently volunteered to be on the outside as I imagined it would be the worst (not best) place to be seated. Curious how fate (or God) can turn troubles into triumphs and joy. Finding this out frequently in the last few weeks; things just seem to work out, especially if you let go, let God, let good.

 

Shanklands was nothing especially special, turns out the ride was the point of the day. We all slept in a communal lodge. I found a quiet corner and slept in relatively snoreless peace. I can zone out so easily, just put on the eye cover mask and I am out for the count.

 

Next morning a chartered plane flew us to two different waterfalls. The first was Kaiteur Fall. This fall is the world’s longest single drop fall (water does not hit a ledge on the way down). The distance is 741 feet (4 times Niagara Falls). We were allowed to get as close as we wanted, there were no barriers other than the edge or water itself. A “Kodak moment” photo opportunity is to pose at a ledge which juts out just before the falls. Please see the many photos to appreciate the awesomeness of the scene. Certainly bets Victoria Fall (Zambia) or Foz do Iguacu (Brazil). Have at least one more major fall to see, Angel Falls in Venezuela (which I see in about another week).

 

Next flew to Orinduik Falls, on the Brazil/Guyana border. This is a much smaller fall (drop only 80 feet). The wonderful thing about this fall is you can go into it. I spent about ½ hour in a meditative state just letting the water fall and beat on me. The water was warm; an absolutely blissful series of moments.

 

These last 36 hours have been the most wonderful, complete, engaging and overwhelming in a long time, and with the exception of the dunes in Namibia, the best moments of my past 4 months on the road. Four months down and many more to go, what a life!!

 

I was able to view Guyana from the air. With my untrained eye the rainforest for as far as I could see seemed virgin, certainly no clear-cut stands. Someone rightly described the sight of these trees as looking like broccoli.

 

And so my pilgrimage to Surinam and Guyana ends, on a very high note. I’ll blame the delays at the airport on Trinidad as they were the one with the air traffic controller strike.

 

Note to self (and others): Don’t go to places where animals are advertised as attractions for a long time after you have been to Africa. Nothing can match the African splendor or abundance. I was fortunate with these recent memories but it did create unreasonable expectations for wildlife (even birds) in the rainforests of S and G.

Photos / videos of "Absolutely Spendid and Brilliant Water Falls":

View from Shanklands towards the river below. Yellow winged tip bird in a tree, I have lost it Nests of the yellow tip bird, Tree with darn birds and nests Leave cutter ants up close.  Ants are eveywhere.  I was told that the mass of ants exceeds the mass of humans on earth.  Up to you whether you believe it, but there sure are a lot of ants in the jungle Parade of leave cutter ants, goes for hundreds of feet.  At the first sign of rain the ants drop their leaves and head for cover.  Along the parade are soldier ants who direct traffic and stand on guard. View of the rainforest below, note no obvious clear cut areas Distant view of Kaieteur Fall.  That is me in the fore ground Better view if the fall as I am not in it. Going over the top and 741 feet down. View of the valley beyond the fall.  Note how the water has cut thru the valley, nature and time are such strong forces Bird of paradise flower.  They are quiet common  here because of the high humidity caused by the mist from the fall. 471 feet straight down, 4 times Niagara FAlls Closer up view of the falls from the second view point.  In total three view points Another shot, likely redundant but it takes so long to load each photo, at least 2 minutes, that I am not removing it. The edge of the fall.  As this is the drier season ┬┐not after the long rains in May or June the fall is at about 67 percent capacity.  At its prime it is 50 percent wider and I could believe a more spectular sight. The Kodak moment photo ledge.  God was thinking photos when He designed this fall.  In the peak water season this ledge is under water. Me doing a standard pose Closer up view of myself, just noticed I am gettng a little doughy and overweight, will attend to ASAP. Again, the power of this fall is so intense, especially as you can get so close to it and go over if you chose. Rainbow from the mist, reminds me of Victoria Fall in Zambia.  In this mist in the spring Cock of the rock birds are supposed to nest. I travel with incence, as this is a pligrimage.  When there is a very special place which inspires me I light an incence and pray for and think of all the wonderful people who are part of my life, and I say a special prayer of gratitude for Lorna, PTL View from the plane of Kaieteur Fall as we are leaving for the next fall now.  20 minute flight, so convenient when you charter the plane. The river just before it goes over the top, taken from airplane. Interior of Guyana and the border with Brazil.  The trees are gone not from clear cuttng but because the climate is drier and higher here.  Attitude about 1500 metres here. From plane, Orinduik Falls Only an 80 footor 25 metre fall, a minature Foz de Igauzu. Closer up, running at only 60 percent of max volume. Washing my hat the zen way, such joy I am in bliss and complete joyous abundance The Guyana or Surinam swamp.  Imagine this area in the wet season with water 3 metres higher.  This is what a jungle rainforest is all about.  I would not want to be here in the wet season, the rain would get to you, not to mentin the humidity.
Goodbye Guyana and Surinam, it has been a slice