Boa Vista to Tepuy – tepequem
Well Luis M’s bite turn out to have a good old nasty bacterial infection and he was not playing host to some parasite. This meant up early to leave hotel and to drive north to hike up the Tepequem Tepy…..only 1100 meters but should contain some of the habitat features of the lower areas of Mt Roramia.
Well plans are never straightforward and before we could leave, we had to….fix the spades, sharpen the spades, buy pickling alcohol and pick up cash from the bank….so we left by 11 am after getting up a 6 am, very frustrating.
But the road north was fast….and soon we had put 100 km under our belts when we all need to answer a call of nature. The thing is when using nature’s facilities, you look down – and what did we all see but worm casts so before we knew it we were opening up holes and collecting worms!!
An hour latter we were running on fumes – yes, we should have topped up at Boa Vista but who would have thought the main road wouldn’t have gas!! But after topping up, we started towards the mountain and soon we were rewarded with the first glimpse of the Tepuy – tepequem.
What was really unexpected was after driving up a steep incline solidly for about 40 min, we topped the plateaux midway up the Tepuy and what greeted us was a small holiday village. Since rainy season is low season and it was a Monday we had the choice of any accommodation. The location was for a few years in the 70s a boom town because they found diamonds and gold in the Tepuy but now these industries have been replaced by weekend retreats when temperatures hit 40oC in Boa Vista, people travel up to the hills to enjoy a 5oC drop in temp, light breeze and access to a range of beautiful waterfalls.
Having found a magnificent motel with swimming pool – real slumming it – although we went 4 to a room to keep the accommodation down to an extravagant £12.5 per person! Note the chairs and hanging baskets made from old car tires.
Then we went sampling to find one site which everyone agreed had a long term history of occupation and dark soil – may be a TPI and of course a site by a waterfall and yes I can’t lie, George and Luis M decided to cool off in an appropriate way – no x rated pictures !!