Orinoco Glow (TGIL)

You’ve asked after her. You wanted to know what happened to Lorna Vassallo. So then I receive an email from Mark reminding me that Lorna has her own site. Wonder of wonders. Just as we were all despairing that she’d never be back she regales us with a brand new column in Maltastar. We are to follow the Dame of the Grammatically Incoherent on her travels. Sarcasme obligé… who are we to refuse a free traipse around the world in the company of She Who Must be Commented Upon? The system is the usual: We lift the article from whichever paper is kind enough to reproduce the Dame’s musings then we add our own [square bracketed] comments. Enjoy the ride… it’s as long as a hungry anaconda… but it’s worth it!

[From Maltastar] Lorna Vassallo has finally decided to share her travel diary with maltastar.com readers [Just maltastar.com readers?]. She’s been to Europe of course … but not only. She’s also been to South America, North Africa and Asia. She’s the type to be more attracted to non-touristic places rather to touristic ones [odds are that this is not a typo – the editor is trying to outwit Lorna], take the bus rather than the coach and take a challenge rather than a rest [and take a chance to win again]. So, here we go, following Lorna, the keen traveller, week by week, while she speaks about one of the million corners of the same round world [a wonderful image isn’t it?… a million corners of the same ROUND world… Nobel Prize to Applied Trigonometry goes to… ] and ponder … after all … the world is a beautiful place.


The plane landed at Caracas airport at night. I arranged my tour at Canaima Park and started from the airport to Ciudad Bolivar on the ten o’clock bus. After quite some long hours [quite some wrong writing] of uncomfortable sleep and travel I found myself [ It’s the eternal ego trip – she found herself – must have been quite a shock!] waiting for a four-wheel drive jeep and a man I didn’t know [do you think that they came together or separately?] at the bus terminus. The man turned out to be a woman [della serie cominciamo bene!] who came to pick me up and took me for breakfast in a shabby posada.

There I met some of the fellow-travellers that were to accompany me on my quest [Lorna Jones and the Temple of Reflexive Verbs] in the Gran Sabana region, south of Orinoco River. At this stage I was still inquisitive [Curious could have sufficed here.. but inquisitive is to curious as bombastic is to you know who] as to how things would proceed. One thing led to another and I ended up, within an hour’s time, acting as copilot on a four-seater bush-plane [What would you not pay to be on the same plane? Picture the Dame at the Control speaking to control tower – “I have located myself on the radar – waiting for confirmation from she-man pilot OVER” ].

He told us the story that made him lame [He who? And what kind of man (or woman – you never know in Venezuela) is crippled by a fairy tale?] and how three other people had died [ So he died and came back lame but the others just died and stopped there?] in the same plane crash. The flight was frightening enough – the plane not seeming to withhold the simplest and whitest of clouds [Of course that is what planes normally do – withhold clouds]and swaying at every single particle that came in its way [Particle physics is a field that TGIL had not yet entered yet ]. However, this fear (which, in itself, is part of the fun of course) soon turned into immeasurable pleasure when we three passengers caught the first glimpses of the table-top mountains (also known as tepuys) so characteristic of Parco Canaima.

My heart leapt as we saw from above waterfalls and rainbows, red waters flowing and still [The famous still moving red waters of Canaima still baffle scientists to this very day]. We yelled loudly at every single sight uncloaked through the thick mist that made the scenery all too mysterious and the knowledge that we were but invading the reign of the anaconda. 

[Picture the anacondas rushing for shelter as a plane full of shemale driver, a crazed copilot uttering gobbledygook and two living dead passengers emerges through the withheld clouds while navigating through minute particles. Picture the unworldly shrieks as more and more was “uncloaked through the thick mist” (incidentally that is an elaborate metaphor which involves you imagining (a) something cloaked in thick mist (b) the mist rising (c) consequentially something being uncloaked – it’s difficult catching up with certain brains) ]


 The first encounters with the people welcoming us there occurred [ From a Native Diary: Thursday – plane landed out of cloudy sky. Met crazed woman and transvestite.River still full of blood from yesterday’s cleaning of meat] and no sooner were we looking at the beauty of Laguna Canaima – a fresh, red water lagoon with a large wide [ LW – something between L, XL and XXL] waterfall on the other side, so near we would even have believed we could catch it with our own hands [ No comment].

And if this were not enough – three palms stood in the midst of it as if they were planted there by God himself. The guide told us that the waters of the Laguna came from the Rio Churun, which was in its turn an offshoot of the Rio Carrao. In the indigenous mythology the River Churun flowed from the tears of Churun, an indigenous girl who the devil had punished and who cried forever and ever – the river being her flow of tears [An alternative version is that Churun was a Poet Laureate who had inadvertently subscribed to Lorna’s articles on the Times ].  

to be continued…


3 responses to “Orinoco Glow (TGIL)

  1. Oh Jacques this is just what I needed today *sends you a big box of chocolates*.

  2. On Lorna’s website I strongly recommend to follow this path: pubblikazzjonijiet – press release. Kapolavur – x’cuc hu George Orwell! Can’t wait to get my hands on a “signed” copy.

  3. That’s just what I needed! Hilarious!

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