EVENING IN EL PAUJI

The frogs have come to life with the waning of the light, their calls a cacophony of chirps and gurgles, gribbets and squawks. The evening mist descends step by step into the valleys, slowly obscuring them from sight, until all that is left is a blanket of white cotton tucking them up for the night.

The birds had their moment earlier, when the sky glowed orange and purple. Now they wait for the first light to come and claw them from their slumber. The light fades fast, like photos left out in the sun for too long. It's almost gone.

The crickets have joined the frogs now, a giant animal auditorium. Now and again, the electric-like call of one of them sets off another and another, a chain of sounds, each clear and true.

The enchanter Light, incanting different shades and hues, conjuring the patterns of patchwork. Shadows caress the landscape like ancient lovers, knowing each and every curve of the hills. Some days they race passionately across, their desire ardent, youngsters again. Other days they slip and slide slowly, taking their time to savour and remember, not wanting to move on, in case this is the last time.

Nothing ever remains the same, as if a new painter were employed every day to interpret this world. The light plays tricks, the grand conjuror up in the sky, never revealing his secrets. A mountain is unveiled, a forest prised from the haze, the painter's brush dabbing bit by bit to bring it to life. And what life !

The landscape with its colours and textures, its plants, trees, rivers and falls, constantly calling the eye to look once more, to reappraise and think again. Nothing is obvious, nothing bland and repetitive. The palm which breaks the uniformity of the plains, bold and valiant, its crown of leaves swaying in the winds, and the straggling shrubs, the wisps of grass, the rocks caught in the evening light.

And always there are the sheer cliffs off in the distance, tepuis which puncture the horizon with their ancient angular shoulders. They call you from the road, beckoning you to come closer to feel their power and their age, drawing you into their secrets and their majesty.

For they are old, older than we could possibly imagine, and they have seen all the wonders of nature, and every folly of man. Untouchables in this fragile landscape of dreams.

 

 This site forms part of the much larger website thelostworld.org. Please visit it for further background, travel information, maps, contacts, bibliography and guidance on the amazing Gran Sabana...
Travels in the Lost World -- © Dominic Hamilton 2002-7