Iguana Kebabs & The World’s Tallest Waterfall

I was with my family in Venezuela, camping down river from Angel Falls, the world’s tallest waterfall. In order to get to it, you must be paddled by a Pemon tribesman upstream in a wooden canoe before trekking through the rainforest to the rocky base of the falls. We were there during the ‘dry’ season, and the flow was a fine mist by the time it reached us nearly a thousand meters down from the precipice. In the final meters leading up to the falls, you ascend a steep slope slick with mist soaked moss and lush vegetation. I was too young at just six to make it very far up, but I will forever remember how that mist felt on my face. On our way back down river, we stopped for a lunch break on the riverbanks. Our Pemon guide left us standing beneath a wooden shelter crafted from hand-hewed logs. He returned ten minutes later with two iguanas dangling by their tails from his muddy hand. My six year old palette was still adjusting to the idea of olives on a pizza so I was less than thrilled about the prospect of eating something I had only ever considered to be a pet until that moment. Luckily the guide must have had his own brood of picky eaters at home because he pulled out two cheese sandwiches for me and my sister and smiled knowingly at us. Later that week we went for a scenic flight past the falls in a dragonfly sized Cessna. We made slow, sweeping circles over the plateau before easing down the cliffside to take in the full majesty of the thousand meter drop. Thanks to the not-so-stringent Venezuelan air safety regulations we even zipped meters away from the cliff so our plane was engulfed in the mist. Despite my young age I will always remember that incredible natural wonder.

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the traveling biologista

Hoping for a brighter world through biology, ecology & a sustainable future...one idea and design at a time. Cynically sincere, realistically optimistic & overly fueled by coffee.

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