Volando (flying)

Jimmi Angel's planeAt the small airport in Ciudad Bolívar, Jimmie Angel’s plane, El Rio Caroni, still stands…in memory of the aviator’s unfortunate landing atop Auyantepuy (no one was harmed, but the plane couldn’t take off, and he, his wife, and two other people, had to trek across very difficult country on foot).

Salto Angel, or Angel Falls, is named after him.
Jimmi Angel's planeWhen we flew to Canaima we took a much smaller plane…a six-seater that held us, a young English couple, and two pilots. We flew over small lakes in the middle of nowhere…the morning sunlight, reflected by serpentine rivers, raced minnow-skittish and mercurial, as we passed. Great green expanses of La Gran Sabana (The Great Plains)…


…the Hadean landscapes of gold mine dredges…




and, finally, land where we see very few roads…



…impassable marshy country criss-crossed by rivers gave way to land dominated by majestic tepuis (tepuis, or tepuys, are table mountains or mesas; the word means “the home of the gods” in Pemon).



From a distance we saw Canaima Lagoon, beckoning like some kind of paradise in a movie about explorers…Saltos Golondrina and Ucaima empty huge amounts of water into the lagoon, and also generate hydroelectric power for the entire national park.



Canaima National Park was established in 1962. It is the sixth biggest national park in the world.

About 65% of the park is occupied by plateaus of rock called tepuis. Their sheer cliffs and waterfalls (including Angel Falls, which is the highest waterfall in the world, at 1,002 metres (3,287 ft)) create spectacular landscapes.

The park is home to indigenous Pemon Indians, part of the Carib linguistic group. President Chavez ensured the survival and the safety of both the Pemon and their ancestral land by giving the Pemon exclusive ownership of the park, which they maintain and manage to a remarkable standard. Canaima is relatively remote, with only a few roads connecting towns. Most transport within the park is done by light plane, or by foot and canoe. The Pemon have developed some basic and luxurious camps, which are visited by tourists from around the world. All supplies are flown in by plane or helicopter.

In 1994, the Canaima National Park was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, for its unique tepuis.

(some of this information was adopted from Wikipedia’s page on Canaima National Park)

3 thoughts on “Volando (flying)

  1. Laura, agreed. Thanks to President Chavez (often demonized by American greedy interests) this mining won’t happen to the the huge Canaima Park. or displace the fine native people whose homeland it is. I also, in spite of previously reading quite a lot about Angel Falls after I enjoyed the movie, “UP”, I didn’t know they were named for a person. Perhaps that’s why one comes across another name for them,
    Paradise Falls…


  2. Thanks for the fascinating perspective and all the information. I confess that I had no idea the Angel Falls were named for a person so you have taught me something. That view of the mine is a shocking scar on the landscape. Clearly I know that mining devastates the landscape but seeing the aerial view really made that emphatic.

    Liked by 1 person

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