Ciudad Guayana is the last major city when heading south towards Brazil. It is a major industrial city known for its Iron mining, and massive hydroelectric plants. Something interesting that I learned is that Venezuela is the 2nd largest producer of hydroelectric power, and also has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves. The Orinoco and Caroni rivers join here in the city.
I arrived at about 1:30am this morning. The city appeared to be very large, yet not a soul could be found in the street. After several attempts I found a hotel that was open. I checked in and slept until about 8am.
I knew from research that there are several parks here with impressive waterfalls as well as unique flora and fauna. Everything I had read on tripadvisor pointed to Llovizna as being a must see.
The sun was shining, and it was probably 90 Fahrenheit, with 80 percent humidity. I made sure my camera was charged, and I packed some water in my daypack along with some sunscreen. I took a city bus to the entrance of the park and walked the rest of the way in. As I entered the park I found that there was no entrance fee, which was a pleasant surprise in a country where I have been financially raped in every manner up until this point.
The walking paths were nicely paved, and there were dozens of families entering and exiting the park. Each side of the path was heavily wooded with trees and jungle vines. Deep in the forest the sounds of massive water movement could be heard from the river and waterfalls, yet you couldn’t see any water so It was kind of a neat feeling knowing that a surprise was soon to come. As I rounded the first corner torrential rain starting falling from the sky. Out of nowhere this storm came in, and in full force. I ran under a thatch-roofed patio with about fifty other people all seeking shelter. For over an hour we all waited for the storm to pass, or let up enough to move on. I appeared to be the only foreign tourist there; several people asked me if I was from Brazil, Russia, and one Lady even asked if I was from Saudi Arabia. Each of them looked surprised when I said the United States. I’m not sure if it is because of Chavez, or what, but I haven’t met one American since I’ve been in Venezuela.
When the rain let up I continued down the path past a little concession stand, and further down was a visitor’s center. The park was well landscaped with colorful flowers along the path. I passed a few small lagoons with large white cranes, and other tropical birds flying around. After another half kilometer I arrived at the lookout for the Llovizna waterfall. Llovizna translates to drizzle in English. Rightfully so, this place was so misty that I had to clean the lens on my camera about every 20 seconds. The falls were massive, and very elongated. Large rocks protruded from the water. The water was very dark, nearly black. I read that this is a result of the tannic acid from native trees. The acidity even inhibits mosquitoes from reproducing in the waters.
I talked with a younger couple at the falls, I asked them to take my picture. The guy asked me if I was Russian, I laughed and then told him that I was an American. He too was shocked. He took my picture and I thanked him. Moments later the rain started pouring down. The man and his wife ran for cover, I had seen some of the park, but knew it was the rainy season and didn’t want to get held up under a canopy for another couple of hours. So I ran all the way back to the entrance of the park to the bus stop. Of course I was soaking wet, and my trip was much shorter than I had anticipated. However, it was well worth it. This is a very beautiful and modern park, and you can’t beat the price. Tomorrow I will visit Cachamay Park in the morning, and then in the evening catch a bus into Brazil.
Stay tuned. -lucas