The last morning of 2010 awoke positively and proud of finding a campsite to relax. It was a welcome feeling, this Content Bridge of my childhood transplanted on the southern Gran Sabana of Venezuela. First, a man tells me that i’m 5 minutes walk away from the salto (waterfall) and I realize, in the moments of great loneliness, there can be a respite so close. Nice chat and sip of whiskey with another group, then I cross the river myself camera in hand to get as close to the falls as possible spurned on by the fearless children playing. On return, I begin to pull my camp apart to mitigate the early morning condensation on blankets and tent cover, and interrupted by a short round lady from the nearby cabins asking if I would like some food. Would I? Within 20 mins I’m joining her and her friends at the cabin for a once a year treat Ayaca, an empanada type meal wrapped in plantana leaf. We end up having a long relaxing chat, meeting 3 couples that come to this very place from Valencia and Caracas each year, up to 23 years counting. They all want photos of the bike of course, and to make it special i tell them to climb on, with leather jacket and chrome dome. They invite me to stay there for the huge fire, and i’m extremely tempted. Do i continue this ravenous desire to reach my goal, at the cost of comfort, companionship, and love? Yes, yes I do. I expect I can get that when I get home. Now, is for beating my fears into pulp. Destroying them forevermore. Onward Brasil! Anyone can do this trip, but those who are desperate to change, and want it bad enough, can make it that much further, and that much more enjoyable.
They tell me I have to see Jaspe, and not knowing much about it, I listen anyways without disappointment. A short walk through the indigenous village and an otherworldly sight awaited, with waterfalls over hardrock, through a river bottom made of black hard rock with orange stripes throughout. The beauty of the water flowing overtop of this slick rock was an image i’ll remember forever, and the locals were equally breathtaken, as they laid on the rock, hid behind the waterfall, and let the water refresh them. In a country that seemed so sad and downtrodden and scared, this was their respite, their vacation, their moment in the sun to forget about politics, and money. A highlight of the trip, and such a welcome little surprise.
The river floor plays a brilliant game of deception; it seems to be as craggy as the moon despite being perfectly smooth and flat.