|We decided at the last minute (2 hours before they left!) to join a trek to climb Roraima (the highest tepui (flat top mountain) in the Gran Sabana), and then spent an unforgettable 6 days with some lovely people, walking, climbing, crossing rivers, eating lots of fantastic food (our French guide even baked fresh bread on a camping stove!!), getting soaked in the rain and waterfalls, burned by the sun, bitten by the tiny but very vicious puri-puris, but most of all being stunned by the savanna and the mountains. The first two days were spent crossing the rolling green savanna from the tiny village of Paratepui to Roraima's base camp. We climbed to the top on the morning of the third day through the beautiful cloud forest at the base, under two waterfalls, and up the very steep 'ramp' to the top - and entered a different world. The top is a magical, craggy, rocky place with lots of water, mind-altering views, and plants and animals not found anywhere else on earth (like a tiny black frog that cralls instead of hopping, lots of different orchids, and beautiful, delicate meat-eating plants). We spent a day and a half exploring, and visited the triple point (the tri-border of Venezuela, Brazil & Guyana), which was a four hour walk each way (the top is BIG!), bathed in pools filled with quartz crystals, watched the sunset over the forest and savanna a kilometer below us (even Da looked over the edge!), ate lunch in a valley full of hundreds of exposed crystals, swam in a very chilly(!) pool in an incredibly beautiful sunken cavern, and watched the constantly changing clouds and mist moving over the rock formations and turning them into magical animals (we definitely saw the 'Lost World' dinosaurs!!). It was definitely worth the trek! Climbing back down and getting back to Paratepui took two days, and was harder than going up(!), but we made it back to Santa Elena with new friends (and new bites and bruises!) in time to catch a night bus to Ciudad Bolivar for a tour to Angel falls.