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The Lost World and Angel Falls

Anonymous
Mon, 02/11/2013 - 17:40

Hi any fellow travellers!

Just wondering who else has booked into this adventure? Thought i'd try and get the ball rolling so at least we know who we're meeting and travelling with.

Jennifer

Anonymous
Thu, 05/23/2013 - 20:03

Hi Jennifer (and anyone else out there),

I've just booked this - takes the numbers up to 9 so there must be a few more of us around.  Officially very excited :-)

Jane 

Anonymous
Wed, 05/29/2013 - 22:26

Hey both! I too am booked on this trip, extremely excited! Booked it a while ago but only just got round to registering for these forums. Have you started gathering kit yet? Currently debating whether the rucksack I got is going to be ridiculously small!

Looking forward to meeting you!

Graham

Thu, 05/30/2013 - 20:28

Hello all, we are also booked on (Lynne and Julian and our friends Richard and Liz - that makes 7!) and are very excited. Just bought a Thermarest and been playing with it today. Looking forward to meeting you all. Lynne & Jules

Anonymous
Sat, 06/01/2013 - 10:29

Hi again everyone, good to hear from you all and looking forward to meeting you.  Thinking about kit is next on my list, have various bits and pieces, but working out the right combination / size / weight is going to be a challenge.

Who's on the group flight from London?  I'm joining that, just have to work out the to / from Edinburgh bit to minimise long delays, whilst not adding any risk of missing flights. 

Jane 

Anonymous
Sat, 06/01/2013 - 21:11

I'm on the group flight. If it helps you to come down from Edinburgh on the Saturday, I live just outside Reading and have a spare room, you'd be more than welcome.

Graham

Anonymous
Sun, 06/02/2013 - 23:08

Thanks Graham, that's a really kind offer but whilst I probably will come down on the Saturday, I'm fine to just grab a Gatwick hotel.  Jane

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 18:01

Hi Jane

Julian and I are also on the London flight and are planning to book into a Gatwick hotel the night before.

Lynne

 

Anonymous
Fri, 06/07/2013 - 19:08

Hi Lynne (and Julian),

I'm booked into the Premier Inn at Gatwick North, nice and easy when I arrive on Saturday and then a simple transit to South terminal the next morning.

Hopefully those of us on the group flight (looks like we have four so far) can say hello before we board.

Jane 

Anonymous
Sun, 06/23/2013 - 10:44

Hi all,

Great to hear from everyone! I'm also on the group flight, coming down from Orkney the day before. Lynne, Julian and Jane, looks like we're all in the Gatwick premier inn on the saturday. What litre rucksack is everyone thinking of taking?

Jennifer

Anonymous
Sun, 06/23/2013 - 12:54

Hi Jennifer, we haven't booked the premier inn yet, but will follow your lead and get it sorted. I have got a Berhaus Verden Womens 60+10 rucksack, which seems good, although I have very little experience of these things. Lynne

Anonymous
Sun, 07/14/2013 - 10:49

Hi All

We have booked into the Menzies Chequers Hotel at Gatwick, because of car parking requirements - the premier inn didn't do parking! 

Three weeks today!!

Lynne

 

Anonymous
Thu, 07/18/2013 - 19:31

Good point re parking Lynne, wasn't something I checked.

So just over 2 weeks now to work out packing / rucksack options and try to do it all in a 10 kg luggage allowance....   Trying to decide between a 60+10 rucksack, or a smaller one with sleeping bag strapped to the outside for walking (and then both in a kitbag for flights).  Hmmm!

Anonymous
Fri, 07/19/2013 - 22:33

I'm a bit confused by the bags situation. We're trekking with the rucksacks, but in regards to the kitbag or holdall, it sounds like that stays at basecamp and won't be accessible for a few days? I was trekking in Iceland recently and there we had a holdall that was left at basecamp and a rucksack we walked with, however, the holdall was transported to the campsites, which I'm guessing won't be the case here. Are you guys taking two bags or just putting everything in one rucksack to walk with and have access to? Sorry if that doesn't make sense, I'm trying to say what I'm thinking, but it hasn't come out well..oh dear

Anonymous
Fri, 07/19/2013 - 22:37

That's a tough one Jane, my first thought was if you have your sleeping bag on the outside, make sure you've got a waterproof cover that fits the smaller rucksack.

Does anyone know how many people are in the group in total?

Anonymous
Sat, 07/20/2013 - 14:27

Liz and Rich here (Lynne and Jules friends).

We are very much looking to meeting you all! We are not travelling on the group flight but will be arriving at the hotel in Venezuela earlier on Sunday (connecting flights permitting!).

We are looking forward to catching up about Edinburgh, Jane. We lived there for 10 years and it is one of our favourite cities. We don't get back often enough.

See you all very soon,

Liz & Rich x

Anonymous
Mon, 07/22/2013 - 09:34

Hi all (welcome Liz and Rich :-)

I had a chat with the guy at Exodus about the bag situation. I think that he said the following:

- the kit bag, with non trek items, can be left in the car and will be taken on to our next location (we might have to pay something for this!)

- for the trek and small plane flights, we can only take the 10kg packs

- so, we are taking our Exodus bags and planning to leave our non trek gear in them and filling our backpacks with everything for the trek (backpacks will fit in Exodus bags for the flight). I will be tying my sleeping bag to the bottom or my backpack for the trek and the waterproof covers do seem to fit both the bag and the sleeping bag)

- we have foldaway day packs (very light)  for the journey and the top of Roraima

I hope this helps?? Happy packing!

Lynne xx 

 

Anonymous
Tue, 07/23/2013 - 09:15

Hi Lynne,

Thanks for that, very useful.  I hadn't though about trying my large rucksack in the kit bag but it does fit so yet another possibility.  I like the idea of a foldaway day pack too - one of the reasons for trying the smaller bag option was that I could then use that as a day sack too.  I think at the end of the day I'll see how much kit I'm taking and what it fits into.

Liz & Rich, good to hear from you too.  Happy to catch up on the Edinburgh gossip (just don't mention the trams :) 

Roll on August!

Jane 

Anonymous
Sat, 07/27/2013 - 14:56

Hi there trekkers. I'm not actually doing this Exodus hike (awww) but thought I'd add a few comments as I climbed (and it is a climb, believe me!) Mt Roraima last year. The hike to mtn base is beset by nasty black flies (biches) that bite all exposed flesh. As it's generally baking hot, it's not comfortable to cover up so ensure you take deet-based repellent. There are 2 or 3 rivers to wade across; a pair of old socks are great for this purpose (slippy rocks underfoot). It often rains nonestop so ensure you have waterproof jkts + sacks or quick dry clothing. It's cold at night on top of Roraima so take a decent fleece (and that waterproof jacket). Good footwear with grippy soles essential for the haul up the mountain, especially if it's wet. Take lots of energy bars too. Oh, and the sun is very strong/little ozone protection so high factor sun cream needed. Carry as little weight as possible up the mountain as it is a tough haul! There are streams crossing the climb up so you can refill your water bottle on route. Enjoy!

Anonymous
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 18:12

Hi there! That's brilliant! Thank you for the info. I'd been debating what sort of clothing would be best, due to the heat, flies, cold nights etc. Very helpful! Cheers!

Anonymous
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 18:14

Also Lynne, thank you for the packing/bag info! Just to double check we don't need the electronic visa or anything do we, since we're going into/via USA. It said we didn't originally but thought it safer to check with everyone else

Jen

Anonymous
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 20:36

Fantastic advice Susan - much appreciated. I have tried and failed to get Venezuelan currency this week. Following contact with Exodus, and just in case you are having the same problem, our guide will help us convert US Dollars into local currency, when we arrive.

Anonymous
Thu, 08/01/2013 - 10:24

Thanks Lynne, I had been wondering about the currency. Not long now!

Jennifer

Anonymous
Fri, 08/02/2013 - 17:18

Well a quick test pack seems to be 10.4kg (plus hand luggage).  Woo hoo!  Wondering what I've forgotten now...  All very exciting.  See you all Sunday :)

Jane 

Anonymous

Liz Harvey

Anonymous
Thu, 08/22/2013 - 13:53

Hi Liz,

Keeping you luggage as close to the 10kg as possible is best, it makes it easier overall. Take plenty dry socks and re-waterproof your boots. The wet season, surprisingly enough, is pretty wet. On the river crossings the guide recommends just wearing socks, so bear that in mind as that's a pair wet right there and there were 4 river crossings?? Those plastic looking sandals or some sort of quick drying shoes are essential. Dry bags or extra plastic bags are good idea. Some of the food really didn't agree with me one night, so, personally, i'd say take re-hydration sachets, berocca, Zofran (I think it is) and Imodium. Um I'll have a think about anything else, this is just what came immediately to mind. I'm sure some of the others will get back to you too. :)

Anonymous
Fri, 08/23/2013 - 01:00

Liz Harvey

Anonymous
Fri, 08/23/2013 - 01:10

oops misspelled helpful and it was!  have both gortex and non-gortex boots and find they both get wet and stay wet if water get in..mmm big decision!  Did you hire a porter or carry everything yourself..down or synthetic sleeping bag? keep reading about the biting/itiching sand flies and have all sorts of ideas..B vitimin shot, eat lots of brewers yeast before trip, spray clothes with repellant,use Deet, and lastly heard that essence of lemon grass oil spray might work..so how bad were they??  I usually bring cipril and imodium for travel

Thanks again!

Anonymous
Wed, 08/28/2013 - 16:34

Most of us just carried our stuff ourselves. You can leave excess baggage behind until after the trek and pick it up after, leaving you free to only take essentials. If you keep your baggage weight down from the beginning though it should be fine. I think mine's synthetic, I don't know about everyone else? It's hard to say really, they didn't seem to think I tasted very nice, but some people got a lot of bites. I've been told that 'smidge' is supposed to be quite good; better for your skin and the environment than DEET apparently. However, loading up on Deet didn't seem to make a difference for a few folk. I think Jane would agree that taking anti-histamines and finding a good cream to stop the itching etc would be best if you tend to get bitten.

Anonymous
Sat, 08/31/2013 - 11:48

Hi Liz, this really was the most wonderful of trips and you will love it, however:

- Jennifer is so right, keep the weight of your bag down. We carried ours and I took too much stuff. You do not need as much as you think you need. Essentials are a good 3 seasons sleeping bag (it does get cold on top of Roraima) and a thermarest (or equivalen) mat.  Carrying the bag was a challenge but it was something we wanted to do. Some people hired porters. It really depends on whether you want the challenge or an easy life :-)

- You will get wet and dirty (fact). It rains every day in the rainy season (not sure whether it will still be the rainy season when you go?) The paths turn into streams and waterfalls within minutes. And then it stops and gets hot again!! You will need waterproofs (I used gortex coat and trousers). Put them on as soon as it starts to rain. I have never seen rain like it!!

- The only washing facilities on the trek are rivers and pools (so biodegradeable soap - I used trekmates from Amazon -  is essential, as are facial wipes for washing and toilet requirements!!)

- I have gortex boots and waterproofs but the water went in over them. Take plenty of pairs of socks and just don't worry too much about wet feet. Sandals, to change into, are essential.

- I used Deet and got bitten. The bites look horrid but are not too bad (we all seemed to react differently to them but they are are mostly just an irritation). Don't worry too much about them - it's just another of the things that will happen to you!!

-  Venezuela is a mad country. Do what the guide says and don't expect anything to be organised or quite like home. Timings are never as scheduled; flights go when they go; hotels are ready when they are ready and it all, sort of, works out in the end.

I can't think of anything else right now. I haven't come down to earth from the trip yet. You will love it!

Anonymous
Wed, 09/04/2013 - 00:20

Not only for the advice on gear, bugs, etc but for re-igniting my passion for this trip! So few people from the US go into this area, that it makes it all the more of an adventure! If you think of anything else, such as an item you wished you had not taken and one you wished you had, that might also be helpful.  November when I am going is toward the end of the rainy seaon which means there might not be as much water going over Angel Falls as your August trip.  Did any of you elect for the extra flight over them? A New York Times article years ago called this trek a Journey to the Moon so coming back to earth as you said is all part of it!

Anonymous
Wed, 09/04/2013 - 17:41

We ALL elected for the flight over Angel Falls. One group asked the pilot to fly over the falls on their trip to Canaima, which saved time. The rest of us took the flight after our actual trip to see the falls. The airport in Canaima is tiny and a few minutes walk from the town. Your guide will organise it - the pilots take cash ($70, approx) and the flight takes about half an hour. It is worth every penny!

By the way, we could not get Venezuelan currency in the UK. Don't even try in the US. The exchange rate is ridiculous. You get a much, much better rate if your guide organises the exchange for you.

Lynne

Anonymous
Wed, 09/11/2013 - 19:06

Thanks Lynne, will definitly put this on my list!  Another question, did you all take the Malaria Pills? I know they are on the list but seems lately people opt out because of the side effects and easy to cure (?) if gotten.

Also do the guides treat the drinking water or should I bring my tablets..many of us here in the states use a camel back drinking system (bladder wiwth a drinking hose atached and treat the water in a quart bottle and add to the bladder)

Thanks again, looking froward..anyone going in November??

Anonymous
Thu, 09/12/2013 - 18:24

We did take Malaria pills - Malerone - which are expensive but have very few side effects. We also took water purification tablets. The guides do not give them out. All the water on the trek is taken directly from rivers and waterfalls. It is probably very clean and, I must say, tastes wonderful. However, the purification tablets limit the risk. We also took hydration tabs, which we use for running and cycling. They improve the taste of the water, post purification and help keep you hydrated. They were invaluable and you can pop one into your camel back.

Don't hesitate to ask if you think of anything else.

Lynne

 

Anonymous
Thu, 09/12/2013 - 19:44

I use Endurolytes Capsules by Hammer Nutrion for biking here in Florida and I think they also come in powder form for the water. Probably like your hydration tabs. Will check the expire date on my water purification tablets, last used in the Sierra in CA. They take longer to work than iodine but leave no taste. Did you use something like that.

thanks again Lynne

Anonymous
Sun, 09/22/2013 - 16:15

Some other items we would recommend...I'll call them "essential luxuries" which sounds a bit contradictory but the truth is, you can cope without the majority of them, jut having them makes your life a whole lot more comfortable! Apologies if there's any repetition here!

Head torch (absolutely essential)
Fold-away mat (like the ones gardeners use for kneeling on - this makes lunch and dinner times more comfortable!)
Plenty of snacks (like dried fruit, Kendal mint cake etc -people in our group had an amazing ability to pull out the tastiest snacks at the time we needed them most. It certainly got us through the toughest parts!)
Ziplock/plastic bags in different sizes (useful for keeping wet and smelly clothing from the not so wet and smelly clothing)
Spare memory card and battery for your camera (its not always easy to get electricity, even in the hostels)
Bath towel (the microfibre ones are awesome....thanks Lynne!!)
Comfortable sports bikini (I managed to find a very comfortable/supportive one so was able to wear it under my trekking clothes - this made taking a bath so much easier. Otherwise there is a lot of getting changed behind bushes...a two piece makes this easier!!!)
Toilet paper (soggy paper is better than no paper ;) )
Muscle rub (like tiger balm - it was a treat!!)

Oh and before you go, watch the movie "Up". We only watched it last night but there is so much that is true to life ( some thats not as well). Keep the tissues close by!

Have an awesome time!

Liz & Rich

Anonymous
Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:21

So much more meanful coming from "trip veterans"! Just watched and loved the movie UP! Read that 12 of the Pixar-Disney Staff climbed Roraima and spent weeks exploring the region to get a better feel for the film. One said that it was the grand daddy of all research trips with danger at every turn, snakes, lethal bugs , falling off cliffs etc.  None of you mentioned the snakes :-) ? Now reading Brian Blessed's "Quest for The Lost World" beginning Roraima is no picnic." I think more training is in order.

Your suggestins and tips are alway welcomed!!

Liz

Anonymous

At this point I have no idea how many are joining me? Been trying to recruit some of my "adventure buddies" here in the US but difficult because Thanksgiving is a big family holiday which they wourld miss.

Anonymous

Very excited time is getting close!  Anyone else on this departure that might check this?

Lots of good tips from those on the previous trip.

 

Liz

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