Daily Log : TRIP TWO
21 February 2001 - 10 March
Filmed birds at dawn near camp, then returned
to finish filming at the Crystal valley, and at triple point.
Thursday 22nd February
Set off from camp early to film the course of
the river Cotinga, flowing from its source in a swamp near camp; its
golden waters tumbling over waterfalls, areas of flat rock and through
a series of deep pools, before racing over the edge of Roraima's eastern
cliff to fall several thousand feet to the forest below. We also revisited
Lake Gladys, filming plant communities in that area.
Friday 23rd February
Set off from camp early again to film at Lake
Gladys, and at the site of a crashed helicopter near there which killed
two people, a pilot and a film maker a few years ago. The conditions
for flying around the tepuis are treacherous with unpredictable wind
currents, turbulence and severe down draughts. It seems the helicopter
was snatched out of the air and there was little the pilot could do
Summit of Roraima
Received a rushes report from Dae in England
for the batch of film I had hand carried to Caracas and sent to UK by
courier - all OK.
Saturday 24th February
Weather was bad this morning, but became brighter
during the afternoon, allowing us to film some more of birds and plants.
Sunday 25th February
Filmed birds at dawn this morning, then we worked
on a sequence about the pitcher plant, Heliamphora nutans.
Monday 26th February
Filmed a sequence of Steve and I climbing and
traversing the rocky labyrinth; and some more footage of birds late
in the afternoon.
Tuesday 27th February
Set off from camp early to find a route to the
swampy source of the river Cotinga, where we found two bird species
we had not filmed elsewhere.
Wednesday 28th February
Filmed more on the plants during the morning,
but the weather deteriorated during the afternoon.
Thursday 1st March
Filmed more on the plants and a sequence traversing
the summit towards the northern prow. Weather permitting, the helicopter
will collect us from the summit tomorrow, in three loads, transporting
us to Santa Elena. It will be an all day operation, since we are hoping
to be able to combine it with some filming on the north ridge of Roraima
(where we camped in 1971), and also a visit to a site on the western
side of Mount Kukenaam. It would be necessary therefore to be in a state
of readiness early so we packed up as much as we could this afternoon.
Friday 2nd March
Extraction by helicopter. Rose very early to
strike camp and to prepare the three different loads for the helicopter.
Load one would be camping equipment and garbage, we were determined
to remove every scrap and piece of evidence from our visit, to leave
the summit in its pristine condition. The helicopter arrived soon after
0800 hrs. and after loading, took off heavy to carry it to the drop
off point near San Francisco de Yuruani, about twenty minutes flying
time. The second load was comprised of more camping equipment, film
equipment we would not need during the day, and our Pemon helper Braulio,
who we knew would be very happy to return home where it would be warmer
and more comfortable. That left Steve and I, with some film equipment,
basic climbing aids and survival equipment, just in case. By the time
the helicopter returned for us, the weather had deteriorated and it
proved impossible to make a landing on Roraima's north ridge; but we
were able to navigate carefully through the low cloud to land on the
summit of Mount Kukenaam, in order to film the area of the Great Crack,
a huge canyon where, through erosion, part of the summit is splitting
away from the rest. We stayed there for an hour or so, before departing
for the long ride to Santa Elena, where a welcome meal and cold beer
would be waiting for us.
Adrian Warren on
the Great Crack of Mount KUKENAAM
Saturday 3rd March
Set off at 0430 hrs. from Santa Elena to try
to film mist over the forest, and to make sound recordings, at dawn
on the road towards Icabaru. Returned for a late breakfast and to start
the big clean up of our equipment from three weeks on the summit of
Sunday 4th March
Continued the clean up and packing. Visited a
Pemon village where I found and filmed a Crested Curassow in natural
Monday 5th March
Set off at 0430 hrs. from Santa Elena to again
try to film mist over the forest, and to make sound recordings, at dawn
on the road towards Icabaru. Returned for a late breakfast, and to film
a rattlesnake locally. Drove again to the forest to spend the afternoon
Tuesday 6th March
Meeting at Raul Arias Helicopters to agree on
hours used on the project, rates and final invoice. Packed vehicle and
departed from Santa Elena at 1100 hrs. for the long drive to Caracas
which we would achieve without stopping.
Wednesday 7th March
Arrived in Caracas at 1330 hrs after 26.5 hrs.
driving. We all desperately needed to rest.
Thursday 8th March
Final packing. Sorted out freight packages and
detailed lists, and delivered it all to the British Embassy where we
met the shipping agent.
Friday 9th March
Steve departed for a holiday in Tobago. I left
to fly to London via Miami.
Saturday 10th March
Arrived London Heathrow, met by Dae.
8th. August 2001