Friday, 14 May 2010

A city as a sauna: Orinoco meets Caroní

Imagine living in a sauna. That is Ciudad Guayana, in the middle between the Orinoco and the Caroní River. The city is located in a beautiful area, but the whole region is under a lot of environmental strain (oil, mining, illegal logging, no proper treatment of residual waters).

The Orinoco is a "white" and the Caroní a "black water river". The dark colour in "black rivers" derives from humic acid due to incomplete breakdown of phenol-containing vegetation of sandy areas. Alexander von Humboldt described the differences over 2 hundred years ago when travelling through the Orinoco to the Río Negro and from there to the Casiquiare and back to the Orinoco. Some mosquitos thrive in white water rivers and not so much in black ones, as any traveller there very soon notices.

1 comment:

  1. We once went to Puerto Ordaz and Ciudad Guayana to visit a cousin when I was 7.5 months pregnant and very sensitive to the heat.I know this sounds preposterous , as I am an amazingly shy person, however I was so sick from the heat while approaching Puerto Ordaz, that I told my husband they if he didn't find air conditioning soon I would have to remove my top.Of course it was an empty threat but I did think I might just die there.Part of my problem is that I never sweat.I just pass out from the heat, pregnant or not.

    When we arrived to the Intercontinental Hotel where the main attraction was the Llovizna Falls, I didn't even get a glimpse.They could only be seen from an non-air conditioned patio, and I was determined to remain in our cool bedroom till sundown when went to a family party.

    Interesting places, but in my opinion, uninhabitable.


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