The Living Edens "TEPUIS" Behind The Scenes ... Daily Log 6 of 6

The Making of the Tepuis Film : "The Living Edens : The Lost World"
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Daily Log : TRIP TWO

21 February 2001 - 10 March 2001

Roraima prow, Tepuis, Venezuela


Wednesday 21st February

Filmed birds at dawn near camp, then returned to finish filming at the Crystal valley, and at triple point.

Thursday 22nd February

Set off from camp early to film the course of the river Cotinga, flowing from its source in a swamp near camp; its golden waters tumbling over waterfalls, areas of flat rock and through a series of deep pools, before racing over the edge of Roraima's eastern cliff to fall several thousand feet to the forest below. We also revisited Lake Gladys, filming plant communities in that area.

Friday 23rd February

Set off from camp early again to film at Lake Gladys, and at the site of a crashed helicopter near there which killed two people, a pilot and a film maker a few years ago. The conditions for flying around the tepuis are treacherous with unpredictable wind currents, turbulence and severe down draughts. It seems the helicopter was snatched out of the air and there was little the pilot could do about it.

Crashed Helicopter, Summit of Roraima

Received a rushes report from Dae in England for the batch of film I had hand carried to Caracas and sent to UK by courier - all OK.

Saturday 24th February

Weather was bad this morning, but became brighter during the afternoon, allowing us to film some more of birds and plants.

Sunday 25th February

Filmed birds at dawn this morning, then we worked on a sequence about the pitcher plant, Heliamphora nutans.

Monday 26th February

Filmed a sequence of Steve and I climbing and traversing the rocky labyrinth; and some more footage of birds late in the afternoon.

Tuesday 27th February

Set off from camp early to find a route to the swampy source of the river Cotinga, where we found two bird species we had not filmed elsewhere.

Wednesday 28th February

Filmed more on the plants during the morning, but the weather deteriorated during the afternoon.

Thursday 1st March

Filmed more on the plants and a sequence traversing the summit towards the northern prow. Weather permitting, the helicopter will collect us from the summit tomorrow, in three loads, transporting us to Santa Elena. It will be an all day operation, since we are hoping to be able to combine it with some filming on the north ridge of Roraima (where we camped in 1971), and also a visit to a site on the western side of Mount Kukenaam. It would be necessary therefore to be in a state of readiness early so we packed up as much as we could this afternoon.

Friday 2nd March

Extraction by helicopter. Rose very early to strike camp and to prepare the three different loads for the helicopter. Load one would be camping equipment and garbage, we were determined to remove every scrap and piece of evidence from our visit, to leave the summit in its pristine condition. The helicopter arrived soon after 0800 hrs. and after loading, took off heavy to carry it to the drop off point near San Francisco de Yuruani, about twenty minutes flying time. The second load was comprised of more camping equipment, film equipment we would not need during the day, and our Pemon helper Braulio, who we knew would be very happy to return home where it would be warmer and more comfortable. That left Steve and I, with some film equipment, basic climbing aids and survival equipment, just in case. By the time the helicopter returned for us, the weather had deteriorated and it proved impossible to make a landing on Roraima's north ridge; but we were able to navigate carefully through the low cloud to land on the summit of Mount Kukenaam, in order to film the area of the Great Crack, a huge canyon where, through erosion, part of the summit is splitting away from the rest. We stayed there for an hour or so, before departing for the long ride to Santa Elena, where a welcome meal and cold beer would be waiting for us.

Adrian Warren on the Great Crack of Mount KUKENAAM

Adrian Warren on the Great Crack of Mount KUKENAAM

Saturday 3rd March

Set off at 0430 hrs. from Santa Elena to try to film mist over the forest, and to make sound recordings, at dawn on the road towards Icabaru. Returned for a late breakfast and to start the big clean up of our equipment from three weeks on the summit of Roraima.

Sunday 4th March

Continued the clean up and packing. Visited a Pemon village where I found and filmed a Crested Curassow in natural surroundings

Monday 5th March

Set off at 0430 hrs. from Santa Elena to again try to film mist over the forest, and to make sound recordings, at dawn on the road towards Icabaru. Returned for a late breakfast, and to film a rattlesnake locally. Drove again to the forest to spend the afternoon filming interiors.

Tuesday 6th March

Meeting at Raul Arias Helicopters to agree on hours used on the project, rates and final invoice. Packed vehicle and departed from Santa Elena at 1100 hrs. for the long drive to Caracas which we would achieve without stopping.

Wednesday 7th March

Arrived in Caracas at 1330 hrs after 26.5 hrs. driving. We all desperately needed to rest.

Thursday 8th March

Final packing. Sorted out freight packages and detailed lists, and delivered it all to the British Embassy where we met the shipping agent.

Friday 9th March

Steve departed for a holiday in Tobago. I left to fly to London via Miami.

Saturday 10th March

Arrived London Heathrow, met by Dae.


8th. August 2001

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