Santa Elena de Uairén, Venezuela
4° 37' N 61° 8' W
Jun 13, 2004 01:01
Distance 0km

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Text written in: English

Grand Sabana Tour (12 June 2004)

The Gran Sabana is the reason to come Santa Elena and so I had to do the unavoidable tour. Normally I do not like tours and prefer doing things on my own using local transport, costing twice as much time but half the money. However this is not always an option. Finding a suitable tour neither, because of the lack of tourists, and I had no other choice then to organise a private tour. How luxurious.

The drive from Santa Elena was beautiful. The countryside changed into a savanna I had never seen before. Very hilly and very green. What a contrast with the Rupanuni savanna in Guyana which was more Africa flat, yellow and dry. Fantastic rock formations jutted out of the hills that were carpeted with green sheets. Roberto proved to be about the most knowledgable man about this environment I could possibly wish for. Before we had left Santa Elena I knew already a lot more about the village of 15.000 people, the diversity of its people and its position in the country in a cultural and economical way.

The Quebrada de Jaspe, where we stopped after an hour or so, was a nice little waterfall, flowing over a huge allmost horizontal and flat rock coloured red by the jasper that is present in the area. Really beautiful and interesting so see such an amazing flat river bed that is coloured extremely red. The next stop was at Salto Yuruani, a waterfall that looks like a mini Niagara waterfall about 6 meters high and 60 meters wide. The colour of the water looks like as if some beer factory is throwing away a few million liters in the river a bit further upstream.

From the road we had reasonable views of some tepuis (table mountains)incluiding 2800 meters high Roraima which is situated on the triple border between Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. Along the way we stopped in an Indian village which was half authentic and half modern, an interesting contrast. Salto Kama was the last stop before we headed back to Santa Elena. This beautiful waterfall was more than 50 meters high and more than 20 meters wide. Around 17:30 we arrived back in Santa Elena. I had another excellent dinner in Hotel Michelle. Here works a Brazilean girl who deserves the world record for being the most uninterested waitress in the world. Her look tells you that she hates her job so much that you almost do not want to order something.