Contrary to the weather forecast that it would be clear in the morning and then cloudy, Roraima woke up cloud-capped and cleared up throughout the day.
We had an early start – everybody striking camp, having breakfast and leaving. The tents are around the clay houses where Taurepang Indians live, and each group has a place that works as a kitchen.
The restroom is in the woods, but there is a military tent to poop without leaving any waste in nature. Each one receives garbage bags to be used as a toilet; inside the tent there is chalk powder to put into the bag before closing it, to eliminate the odour. All this waste is taken to the entrance of the park by the carriers.
On this day we could feel the increase in the slope; we started with an altitude of 1100 m, aiming to reach the base camp at an altitude of 1880 m within 9 km. Soon after leaving, we crossed River Tek and then Kukenán and Kamaiwa, where we enjoyed the sun to have the bath of the day – less cold than the night before and with a better vibe with the colours of the day. The ground changed from cracked beige to reddish gravel, the hills became higher and the mountain was getting closer.
We stopped for a snack – delicious local fruit like sweet pineapple, always with a good chat in great harmony. At that moment, I decided to walk ahead of the group and enjoy the view with no rush. I was so absorbed in taking pictures and talking to the mountain that I did not see everyone going past me. I even slowed down thinking that something might have happened for them not to reach me; when I realized, the guide had been waiting for me a long time. Lots of things crossed my mind during this lonely stretch, the local residents say it is because I was touched by the mountain.
We arrived early; I could prepare my chimarrão (tea), lay on the grass and face the slope really closely. The most excited ones had a bath in a freezing source of a river; I wetted my feet and splashed some water on my body, but I had already decided that I would only have a real bath when I got back to the previous river.
The base camp is smaller, all tents are near each other or isolated, almost covered with bushes. The structure is a canvas for the kitchen, the military tent and a brook running between. Now the view is breathtaking; we are at Mount Roraima, the hills mingle with the horizon and Kukenán ahead of us. Between the two tepuis a piece of cloud floats in the sky and is struck by sunbeams. We set the cameras and celebrate, waiting for that evening – but the clouds were faster and the storm came together.
How can one sleep in a tent that seems to be in a hurricane? The tent shook non-stop and it rained a lot. I remembered similar moments in Uruguay and hoped that the tent would be good like my old one. As it seemed to be well fastened to the ground, I let myself fall asleep.
I do not know how long I rested, until a gust of wind took the top of the tent and woke Cristina and me up. The first thing on my head was my wet clothes the rest of the trip. I got up quickly to find the top and the pins, thank God the rain was softer. Problem solved, we laughed a lot because it was really quiet, the other tents seemed intact and the nervousness went away.
Then we looked at the sky and had a wonderful feeling; all the clouds had disappeared, there were millions of stars and it was the first time I saw the clear slope. We were in awe, watching the moon rise behind it, leaving that huge shadow and the details on the summit highlighted.
Follow the day-to-day of this expedition on the next posts:
Good night! More next week… Maybe you can read in portuguese all posts above.
More pictures from the second day:
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
© All rights reserved. Pictures and report 100% originals. Photos by Roberta Martins and Luiz Zoldan.