Friday, April 06, 2007


Just got back after a 3 day trek to Chirikayen. Chirikayen is one of the many tepuis (flat top mountains) in this region. I didn't know much about this part of Venezuela and only read about it 2 days before coming. Venezuela's amazingly blessed with natural beauty, but the Gran Sabana region with its tepuis is its most unique feature.

Roraima is the mountain which everyone normally tries to hike to, but when I got to Santa Elena, I realised it was completely booked. I've never been a big fan of going on a trek which is so popular, so I wasn't too unhappy about it. But one of the trekking agencies told us about an alternative, Chirikayen. The 2 Germans I met on the bus were keen on going, and we ended up meeting another British couple who joined us. Permits are required and the trek is through parts of the rainforests, so we decided to go with an agency, which provided us with a guide and a porter.

The trek wasn't too strenuous and it was only 3 days. The weather was awful and I was relieved that I didn't go on the 6 day Roraima trek. It rained a lot, but thankfully on the day that we reached the top, it was clear and gave some spectacular views of the Sabana and the rainforests. Having a guide was useful, as he told us a lot about the uniqueness of the region and the species which are found only on the top of the Tepuis. Having done most of my hiking in moutains, it was a new experience - camping on a flat top mountain, hiking through the jungle and seeing plants which are only found here.

Anyway, I'm back in Santa Elena now. It's a sleepy small town, but has a certain charm to it. I'm a bit tired after all the travelling and hiking, so I'm going to chill out here for a couple of days before making my way down to Brazil. Next post should hopefully be from Manaus.

Been trying to upload pictures to this blog, but it's taking too long. Soon, hopefully.