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ZWT 7 Off The Beaten Path Adventure ~ Central/South AmericaGo to page << Previous Page 1, 2, 3, 4
Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:59 amFood.com Groupie
You know you have the greatest ZWT tour guide when she is willing to take you and your 8 closest team mates to the airport at 6:30 in the morning. But there was our Brenda in a stretch limo, with lattes for everyone, and ready to wave us off on our grand escapade to Venezuela.
Now some groups would want to spend their vacation lounging around a spa, or soaking up the rays on the beach, but not this team – we’re Food.commandos and we were ready for adventure in the rivers and waterfalls of Cainama National Park.
The flight was long and not too adventurous - well except for Maïté G. trying to crash first class, but we won’t go into that - some things are best left to the imagination.
We first flew into Caracas then took a small flight to Canaima. While flying over the coast K9 Owned and Sharon123 were making comments that laying on the beach for a few days might not be a bad thing, but we had far more exciting plans then that! Our first night in Cainama National Park would be spent at Jungle Rudy's Ucaima Camp
located on the banks of the Carrao River above Hacha Falls.
We had our first taste of adventure as we had to figure out how to get all our gear into the motorized dugout canoes for the boat ride to the lodge.There was a bit of a fracas with UmmBinat was threatening to toss Deantini’s duffle, with her 6 pairs of polka dotted short-shorts and color coordinated sun visors inside, into the river, but finally gave in when she saw her own bag of “necessities” being tossed around rather wildly. After things calmed down a bit we enjoyed our first dugout voyage - that’s Caddilacgirl in the grey hat.
Once at the lodge wr found our sleeping quarters, stashed our gear and got ready for a pre-dinner dugout cruise and hike to Sapo Falls. This went smoothly except for a little excitement when momaphet almost walked into a spider web on her way to el baños, it scared her so much she almost wet herself.
Sapo falls were beautiful and made us anticipate the rest of our adventure even more. Back at the lodge we could barely keep our eyes open through dinner, alligirl kept nodding off and dipping her hair into her Polar beer - a terrible waste of good alcohol, but I think it made her hair shinier.
The next morning we woke up to fresh hot coffee, baked bananas and other local delicacies and then were ready for the day ahead; we just couldn’t figure out why Charlotte J was wearing a deer stalker hat - then again she is from the Midwest!
We started the morning in our dugouts exploring some of the many arms of the river. The air was filled with the distant sounds of birds and monkeys in the jungle and we couldn't believe how far we Food.commandos were from our every day lives.
After this peaceful part of the journey we kicked it into high gear as we took a wild ride through the Arautaima rapids – the usually calm Alligirl, our intrepid captain, surprised us all by hysterically screaming and laughing the entire time - who knew she had it in her!
After all that excitement we made a stop at Orchid Island for a leisurely lunch. The island was beautiful, with elegant orchids everywhere
along with the very strange cannonball fruit trees, it has beautiful blossoms but the fruit is rather smelly inside. We all went scurrying around taking pictures and I think Deantini was trying to figure out how she could fit a couple of the cannon ball fruit into her bag, maybe a few visors would have to go.
Caddilacgirl declared “fruit’s all good but I’m starving - and I smell something cooking. There were no fancy barbeque grills, or professional chefs to cook for us, but the spit roasted chicken we ate among the orchids had was one of the best meals of our lives – simple and delicious!
Later that afternoon we continued down the river until we came to another island camp where we would spend the night.
This place was a little more rustic then Jungle Rudy's but we all slept like babies - well except for Maïté G., she was worried she'd fall out of her hammock and ended up sleeping under it instead of in it!
We woke to what would be one of the most exciting days of our lives as we headed up the Carrao River to what is considered one of the most beautiful places on the earth - an area known as the “Lost World”. We took rode in the dugouts and sooner then we could have hoped for the breath taking Auyan-tepui came into view. Auyan-tepui which in the language of the native Pemon people means "Devil's Mountain", and is the most visited tepui (table-top mountain) in Venezuela and where you'll see the famous Angel Falls.
We were able to hike around and explore the falls, then Charlotte J insisted on having our group photo taken with her wearing her deer stalker hat and holding up a copy of the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Final Problem", well that is until K9 told her she had her falls mixed up, that Sherlock wasn’t attacked by Moriarity at Angel Falls, but at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland - and that adventure would have to wait till another time. We all had a good laugh and Charlotte still wore her hat in the photo!
As a special treat momaphet had arranged to bring some steaks in their cooler along with the needed
equipment to grill the commandos a simple lunch of Carne Asada (Grilled Steak).!
It was a little tricky - the mist from the falls made it hard to start the fire but momaphet was a Food.commando sous chef and commando experience prevailed, so all enjoyed Carne Asada in the shadow of Angel Falls - Heaven!
Soon it was time to head back to our dugouts, back to camp and then back to our homes and families. But we had one last surprise adventure waiting for us. Our wonderful Brenda had decided we would need a little relaxing after our jungle adventure and had booked us into a hotel on the beach in Cumana so we all soaked up some rays, drank too many Cuba libres and planned our future Food.commando adventures together.
For this adventure I made, reviewed and photographed
Carne Asada (Grilled Steak) #456480 by Nif - What everyone should serve at a jungle BBQ!
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:19 pmForum Host
WOW!! I loved your submission and especially the personal photos by Chocolatl, thanks so much for sharing
Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:23 pmForum Host
Thanks so much for your AWESOME submission! Also glad of the revelation of the secret to Alli's shiny hair, I've always wondered how she did that
You've made me want to travel, GREAT JOB!!!
Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:01 pmFood.com Groupie
Knowing that we were soon to be on our way to Switzerland for ZWT, our lovely tour guide Leslie suggested that Team Emerald City Shakers indulge in one last hurrah in sultry tropical !
Upon our arrival, we found our local guide, Icarus, waiting patiently for us
Before Icarus would allow us to get in the boat, he directed us to four little changing stalls on the beach and told us we needed to change into our "Brazilian traveling uniforms" . The first four of us quickly changed and vacated the stalls so the rest of us could do the same
As soon as we were all ready, Icarus consulted his map
"Now, my friends, you are ready to experience the wonders of my country!", he said as he began to row...
During our travels around the waterways of Brazil, he showed us such breathtaking sights as the tide pools at Fernando Noronha National Marine Sanctuary...
the Iguazu Waterfalls...
the Oliveira Bridge...
and the very well-known statue of Christ the Redeemer
After a while of traveling, we realized that we were all focusing on different aspects of the scenery:
While lazyme and Shuzbud were admiring structures like the statues and bridges, JanuaryBride, Debbie R, katew and IngridH all seemed to be most taken by the plants and flowers we saw, such as the Brazilian skyflower
and the Brazilian Fireworks plants.
Elmotoo, MomLuvs6 and I were all keeping a sharp eye out for any wildlife to appear. We were especially excited to see animals like the Brazilian tapir,
and the really cool-looking pink river dolphins that came up next to our boat.
Leslie, bless her heart, seemed to be focusing mostly on Icarus!
Since we had all been together in our little boat for the whole trip, Icarus so graciously invited us to his home for a Brazilian barbecue
In his spare time, he was breeding Brazilian Mastiffs, so we amused ourselves by playing with the most recent litter
while we took turns helping Icarus man the grill. When he had asked us what we would like to eat on our last evening in Brazil, lazyme asked if he would mind making a recipe that she had found, Brazilian Marinated Steaks With Chile Lime Sauce. He replied, "but, of course!". Before he left to round up the ingredients we needed, he set us up with a round of freshly made caipirinhas to enjoy on the patio
(lazyme thought she could steal mine without me noticing, but I stole it right back !)
A couple rounds down, and dinner was served -- what a great meal to end our trip with!
After relaxing on the patio for a while after dinner, we realized that it was getting pretty late, and we needed to catch an early flight home the next morning. We all said goodnight, and went to our rooms to get some rest before the next ZWT adventure began, our heads filled with all the amazing things we had just seen and experienced. Obrigado, Icarus, your beautiful country will always hold a special place in our hearts!
P.S. I've completed Brazilian Marinated Steaks With Chile Lime Sauce #455139 by our lovely captain lazyme for this challenge
Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:49 amForum Host
Muffin Goddess wrote:
Thanks MG! TERRIFIC submission, and it's great to see Icarus
Really great job, thanks so much
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