Despejado- Going up Monte Roraima


The first day we walked about ten km. We woke up early but took a long time to leave since Josué decided to make us pancakes. By that time we convinced him to get someone to carry some of the food. Who could possibly carry all those glass bottles of marmalade, plus tents, food etc 🙂

And so we started to walk. We were amazed because around us all was burnt. There were no plantations, nor cattle just burnt ground and fires burning what was left. I asked Josué why was everything burnt.

“It is our tradition.”

“Why, Josué.?”

“To plant Yuka (some kind of manioc)”

“I don, t think you have to cut trees to plant”

“It our indigenous tradition.”

“But Josue, one day there will be nothing left. The ground is becoming petrified and there will be no more rain. What will you do then?”

“Move to another site.”

We all realised there was no way of going further on that topic.

It took us days to understand Josue. He was a boy that was trapped in traditions of the past, lived and wished for a life of the modern world. Above all he also had huge mood swings. He would go from singing Hakuna Matata to total silence.

Maria and I were real therapists trying to always bring him back to a good mood. It usually did not take more than saying Hakuna Matata.

I miss Josue. He tried as much as he could to help us. I guess he was lonely. Trapped in a divided existence. So any concern we showed for his private life would change it all. Like most of us he had huge dreams, no total vision of the whole picture and a form of loneliness.

The second day we walked about 10 km. The ground was always changing. We crossed rivers and went up and down hills.

It was only on the third day that we reached the real Monte Roraima. As we were arriving we passed trees, rivers, and then suddenly we were right in front of that huge Monte. I looked the wall of rocks in front of us and just wondered how could we possibly go up without climbing gear.

Josué who had walked way faster with all this load on his back waited for us.

“You must touch the rock and ask for permission to climb Monte Roraima.”

And so we did. I laid my hands and head on the rock and asked permission and protection for the very few o us who were going up that mountain that day.

Till I reached the third day I thought most people who are healthy and like walking could do it. On the third day however it became clear I knew very few people who would want or would be able to do it.

We started our way up. There was fog, rain, and the water from “la lagrima” (the teardrop fall) falling above us.

The ground changed. We could see granite, crystals and so many other kinds of rocks I don’t know the names of. There were red and blue berries. The blue, Josue warned us should never be eaten.

Our Argentinian friends might have climbed it in less than 3 hours. We took about four. And then we were there. We could barely see anything. The fog was covering it all.

We found our “hotel”. A cave where we sat camp. And then we heard the word, that has been most used the whole time there.


Which meant we should wait for the brief moments when the clouds had gone and the sky would be clear.

Maybe that is what we always wait in life… Clarity to see how things really are.

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