Friday 25 October

I sleep soundly until dawn and take an early morning wash in the river. Mist clings to the side of the hills and thinly over the ground. Next to the river, palm trees rise up out of the mist.

It is some time until breakfast. We can’t make an early start because we have to wait for the truck that will take our luggage to the next village, where we transfer to dugouts.

Once the luggage is safely on its way, we set off on foot across the plain in the full heat of the day. After a little less than an hour’s walking, the truck meets us on its return journey. We clamber aboard and soon arrive at the village.

There is a small shop where we can buy provisions, although their electricity is off so the drinks are warm. Then we board the canoes and are off. We motor along at a considerable rate until lunch time, and I find I am getting showered in spray. The view alternates between open plains, and tree-lined banks.

We have a simple lunch beside some rapids, and then continue for about an hour of more gentle motoring to our campsite “Iwana-Meru”. There are two open-sided shelters in a clearing, one for the hammocks and one to eat under. We help to unload the canoes just above the rapids next to the camp, and then the crew very carefully let the canoes down to the other side. A short way downstream is a sandy bay where we can swim. It seems cold getting in, but it’s delightful. On the other side of the river far across the plain, two tepuis rise majestically towards the sky.