Paddle Quest to Angel Falls

500 miles. 2 men. Unassisted in Remote Rivers. A Kayak and an Stand Up Paddle Board. A documentary about Conservation, Indians and The Lost World.

Dear Backers,
I'm raising funds to cover the operating expenses associated with this expedition and making this documentary possible. Any funds above the goal will go toward Fundacion Woipan (Woipan Foundation is a charity that protects the ecosystems and Indian culture of La Gran Sabana, Venezuela and education on conservation in the Venezuelan Amazon on the border with Brazil). Pledge your support and spread the word! Thank you for making this possible.

The Mission:
Our mission is to travel on remote rivers in the Angel Falls Highland, by kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board, a region of stunning natural beauty, with the largest biodiversity in the world. We will document the cultural and economic tipping points underway in this pristine and climatologically vital part of the world. We will be visiting isolated Indian villages along our journey.
We have a story to tell so we plan to produce a documentary film of our adventure which we will submit to all major outdoor film festivals. We will publish this trip in one or more of the major paddling magazines. Finally, Jon Turk will incorporate this adventure in his new book, Crocodiles and Ice.

About the Expedition:
On June 1, 2013, we will embark on the first part of our trip into a remote area of the Venezuelan Amazon. This area is so remote that there is not much information available (no maps of the rivers) besides word of mouth. Only a few people, years ago, have attempted this route by motorized dug out canoes and it took them 15 days. We will paddle using human power only, unassisted, with Ender using an inflatable Stand up Paddle Board and Jon a kayak. We will have to hike to avoid rapids and water falls while camping along the way. That is all the equipment we will use. We have up to 25 days to complete the trip. A lot will depend on weather conditions and water conditions.

The Team:
Ender Serrano: This expedition is the brainchild of Ender Serrano, who is a native Venezuelan. He has had this trip in the back of his head for over 15 years when he used to be a Tour Guide in the area of the expedition. He has been guiding groups of people on Adventure Tours in the Amazon, the Caribbean and the Andes Mountains for 15 years. He has studied and practiced Tai Chi and Yoga for over 20 years. He is also a Core Conditioning Coach, Massage Therapist and specializes in Myofascial Stretch and Flexibility Therapy in the United States. He has and continues to work with Professional Athletes including over 25 World Champion Athletes from over a dozen of sports including 5 of the Top 10 Stand Up Paddlers and UFC Fighters and a few Hollywood celebrities. He took up the sport of Stand Up Paddling 4 years ago and immediately realized he had found the mode of transportation that he wanted to use to explore the rivers and coastline of Venezuela to raise awareness of the water crisis and protecting the environment.

Jon Turk: Jon has been a professional adventurer and writer for 40 years. In his last big expedition, the Ellesmere Circumnavigation in 2011, National Geographic nominated his partner, Erik Boomer and him as "Top Ten Adventurers of the Year." Canoe and Kayak Magazine awarded them "Expedition of the Year." In addition to successfully completing bold expeditions, he has a long track record in writing and public speaking. The Ellesmere expedition was published on the front page of the New York Times, in OUTSIDE, Canoe and Kayak, Adventure Kayak, Sea Kayaker, and Bomb Flow. He has written three books that have been well received in the water-sports adventure world, Cold Oceans, In the Wake of the Jomon, and most recently, The Raven's Gift. In the past three years, he has given almost 200 performances, including Lincoln Center in New York, Mountain Film in Telluride, The New York Explorers Club, Yale University, The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and the Banff Film Festival. During this time, he studied theater and stage movement under the guidance of Dr. Jody Weber and performed with Weber Dance Company in a joint storytelling/dance event.

The Journey: We will begin in Santa Elena de Uairen, a small miners town in South Eastern Venezuela on the border with Brazil and end up 400 miles away at Angel Falls. We will portage all of our equipment to negotiate rapids and waterfalls probably encountering crocodiles and piranhas but definitely mosquitoes. We will visit Indian Villages along the way documenting by video our experiences with them. This area is unique for its table top mountains, called Tepuis, which inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write his famous novel The Lost World. This is the Canaima National Park, third largest in the world, with the most endemic species and oldest rock formations on earth. Our journey will end at Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world (3000 ft tall) called Angel Falls. An American explorer, Jimmy Angel, discovered it in 1937 while he was looking for a river full of gold and diamonds. The waterfall was featured in the animated movie "UP". There are no roads to Angel Falls. The only way to visit it is by plane or water.

For the past 6 months, we have been preparing, training, and researching about this mysterious area in one of the most remote places in the whole continent. We will be unassisted and have no idea of water conditions so once we are on the river there is no turning back. The only way out can be 7-10 days of paddling to get to the next Indian Village. This area is famous for it's diamond and gold mining. We are planning a second trip in September of 2013 to cover and explore more of the area.

The $6500 Breakdown:
We are donating our time. I am asking for your help with travel costs and equipment/production costs for the making of our documentary. We have professional cinematographers that will donate their time to complete the documentary when we are done with our expeditions later this fall.
Transportation (travel related expenses) costs $3,100
Production Equipment costs $3,400

Learn More:
Learn more about our trip by following us on Facebook: Thanks for making this documentary possible!

Risks and Challenges:
Crocodiles, tarantulas, pumas, mosquitoes, malaria, bites, fatigue, injury, lightning storms, raging rivers, waterfalls, heat exhaustion, hunger, snakes, mercury polluted water, poisonous plants, insects, getting lost, hostile Indians and/or miners.


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Ender Serrano 
Austin, TX
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