Tag Archives: Hammock

The Fall of Angels

Night started to fall on the Churun River in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. We were travelling upriver to our basic hammock camp at the base of the world-famous Angel Falls. I and the others had just leapt overboard our wooden canoe for the umpteenth time. We pushed hard to get our boat up the rapids on which it had become marooned. Each time we did not know how deep the water was – or what creatures may be in the water. I found it best not to think about that issue.

We ploughed on through the darkness for another two hours until we reached the camp. I was physically shattered and ravenously hungry. I distinctly remember eating nearly a whole roast chicken from the campfire before collapsing into my hammock. We couldn’t see it yet, but we were sleeping in the shadow of one of the world’s giants. Angel Falls is renowned as the highest waterfall in the world at 979 metres (or 3,212 feet, if you’re so inclined).

I awoke the next morning early buzzing with anticipation, a sort of Christmas-morning excitement. The falls could be glimpsed from our camp, but it would take a hike of several hours to get to the pool at the base of them. It seemed like no time at all once we were rambling across rocks and rivers to get to the prize above. As I stood on top of the pool gazing up at the highest waterfall in the world, I felt that sense of freedom which makes travel so addictive.

San Blas Islands

I currently have three weeks time off work in between tours (low season’s a bitch) so I have made plans to explore Panama and Belize, two of the most intriguing countries in the region.

The first few nights this week were spent on the island of Senidup in the San Blas islands. They should be renamed the San Bliss islands – they are some of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Sure look at the photo above. There are various islands to choose from but all are run by indigenous Kuna Yala families and involve sleeping in thatch huts, home-cooked meals, and hammocks. All you have is sun, sea, and sand. Excursions to even more beautiful islands can be arranged too. Plus a night’s stay and all meals work out to $26 a day. San Bliss.