351 pages, colour photos
From the introduction:
"This work has been written following and developing the chronicles on the Expeditions to the Marahuaka Massif, Venezuela, organized and directed by the Terramar Foundation, and carried out between the latter part of March 1983 and the first part of March 1985. The story initially covers the problems we had to deal with in the first expedition, as well as the time and place in which it was carried out; a broad description of the area itself, and the historical background related to this important and no less imposing plateau that rises suddenly in the middle of the Amazonas Federal Territory, green ocean of the Venezuelan Republic, located in the far southern corner of its geographic boundaries.
We state and record the account of the inexhaustible preparations necessary to meet the objectives of the Program, which covered very complete multidisciplinary studies in relation to the diversity of scientific specialties involved in these expeditions. They were the first of their type and importance carried out in Venezuelan territory.
We narrate the incidents that occurred in these difficult and complex expeditions: three different and simultaneous routes were used to take all the participants, equipment and the various types of materials needed to attain our goals, to the Base Camp. We describe, with plenty of illustrations, the location of the Base Camp, which not only served as such for the ascent to the Marahuaka, but also as the main center of important scientific studies carried out in the surrounding areas. It also was a place of anxieties and hopes, work and rest, and the nerve center of communications between the explorers and the outside world. And I say "outside world", because anybody that has been in the Upper Orinoco, in a remote place outside of the normal communications network among its settlements, will know exactly the real and psychic situation in which he finds himself. When he feels lost, like a small ant, in the midst of a luxuriant but hostile nature, almost endless, to the tip of South America.
We have tried to give a general description of the rivers that frame the landscape of the area where these events took place and their relation with the development of the expeditions, specially in reference to the transportation of fuel, which had to be done mostly by river. We also describe the various excursions carried out on the rivers themselves, which needless to say, are the soul and basic arteries of this cosmos called Orinoquia. For us, in particular the Orinoquia consisted of the Orinoco itself, the Cunucunuma, the Ocamo and the Caño Negro.
Further on, we develop the heart of the book: the Marahuaka itself, that imposing massif that outlines the geography of the area and has been the object of so much suspense and special attention since the Spanish conquest and Humboldt's voyages, to the present; the legends of the tribal Indians that live around it; and the numerous but frustrated initial attempts to climb it on foot, as were the excursions carried out mainly by botanists and geologists. We also describe here the vicissitudes and situations experienced on the summit, and the tasks fulfilled.
In a very succint way, we also focus on the activities carried out in specific places that were also the object of brief and marginal studies by the participants. Su( places include: the Huachamakari Tepuy and the plateau north of the Duida. In the last part of the book we record the events that took place, as well as some thoughts and notes. Also included here are reports of results obtained up printing date, and the long list of equipment, material and food that was necessar for a multidisciplinary expedition such as this one."
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