Well, one of the brothers of the women that my brother had his son Luis with, his name was Jose. Jose started the fire and cut the bacon of a big piece of the boar that Anatoly had killed.
Then put the whole pig to barbecue on a spit, the whole rest of the big boar (wild pig),
while I prepare the eggs and he bacon on another open outdoors stove .
Anatoly (Toola as we called him,) introduced me to his clients and friends from the boat; some of them were coming back repeatedly almost every year; there was a stewardess from Avensa airlines, some of these people were from Europe, like Joseph, and a Wall Street broker Barry (who reminded me of my friend also named Barry (friend of mine from New York and Los Angeles ), he helped me with the stock market, when to buy and when to sell, but now I rarely see him since I introduced him too the stripper named Stormy Weather, then their was an accountant from U.S, John, and Arturo from Spain (a lawyer in criminal court) and Marilyn, a housewife ( her husband was back home in Caracas).
We had breakfast with drinks and more drinking and on and on; this went on throughout the day –talking eating drinking– the hours rolled by, very fast until Arturo said, Goodbye I have to go to Caracas on the late afternoon flight so I can catch the plane to Madrid at midnight today.
Arturo politely said his goodbyes asking Jose to take his things to the boat and take him to the mainland.
I did not mention this, but when it rains on the high mountains as had the last night, the river grows and the corrientes became much more rapid and tricky. You have to know how to cross the river because it is never the same due to the waterfalls constant change in volume of waters. My brother insisted on another toast and more drinks and would not let him move or go to the boat, but finally he managed to get to the boat.
“Where is the boat? Jose where is the boat? senor yo no se!”, Arturo got louder, almost screaming, “where’s is the boat? I must get on that plane, that flight,” it was just across the river on the mainland, right there, es he landing srip and I can hear the plane”
Senor the waters most drag the boat down the river, the current it is very strong,…….si that is what happened senor.
Well we were all quiet we knew what had happened: Anatoly had untied the boat and let it go to get smashed and destroyed on the next water fall downriver, so he can have his company until he gets tired of them all has quests, his party would not stop and continued until he said so..
Next day my Indian lover show up on a boat from the hotel and was looking at me with those unmistakable looking eyes that say it all, everything that lips cannot say, and at that moment my brothers’ eyes met mine and his, noticing what’s was unhideable.
Anatoly calling him by his name “Aquila” (O, I like that, his name is great, an eagle), saying to him, “I need you to help me, so I can stay with my sister haven’t seen her for so long we have lot to talk about, Aquila go with a he new group tour down to ” Salto Él Sapo” waterfall, and will see you tomorrow when you are back, be very careful with the tourist safety,…
Then he called Jose after poor Arturo missed all his flights and connections, Jose signal for another boat, and take Arturo to the hotel on mainland, and then. Jose go and get the people that arriving on this afternoon flight and ask someone to bring me another boat.
When we were left alone as all were gone, Anatoly said to me ( I noticed something wrong in his voice I did not ask or volunteer to say anything,) you known Luda (that is the way he called me) — Yes Toola? “Galina is visiting Vera in Macuto that is where she lives and works, (20 min. from Caracas) you know that Vera is the manager for Public Relations for “Melia Hotel” he very knew first one on Venezuelan, yes, but I just hope she don’t mind my cat ( all this time sense the jail on Maracaibo,my kitty travel with me, in my bag, .and it would be a good Idea if you go see them and spend some time with you niece Vera and sister in the beach.
Will that was not my plan, but I had to obey t was not a suggestion, I can tell by his voice that it was a order.
So a few hours later I was on my way to Caracas, will Maiquetia airport, few minutes from Macuto , I went straight to the Melia and had an wonderful time and a drink with a meal with the company of my niece Vera and she tour me around this elegant fabulous hotel in the beaches of Macuto.
Guess who else? flew on the same plane besides my cat? poor Arturo, furious, but , nevertheless we could not help ourselves but laugh and laugh we did, with a glasses of ice cold champagne, in those days in the flights in all the Venezuelan airlines, there was always plenty of champagne and of the best! Salud! prost! Na zdorovje !
Being single at that particular time of my busy life, I felt free to flirt and have affairs, with so whom I choice better yet whom I hand infatuation it that moment, or like what the sad our how the look it mi etc, mied you! in those days, this behavior was not seen very nice of a lady, especially with a indian or a younger man, then he public did not have nice names like gugars, not that nice, but they call nasty names like luce women or even worst.
After having few cocktails and drinks with same local food, in this dining room that was so exotic and romantic, music was playing people where dancing and others just drinking, some sitting playing chess and another talking of this man Rudy and others of Anatoly the gold and diamond man, of the local white men that men who was so lucky to get them and of course that was my brother.
The ones that did not know who I was, when heart of mi, then inevitably somebody we’ll whisper and let them know and then when they knew then they came to my site and offer me drinks and wanting to know more about this world, which really I did not known, I just play a role, the sister of this famous big white diamond gold men the jungle men the crazy loved Russian.
The stars came about and the shining brilliant moon with the whispering breeze and the roaring of this water falls which all of this made it a magic place and night, he air was full of romantic perfumed smell Orchids and such.
The indian which name I don’t remember now? came too take me back to the island , I did not resist, I knew their is no one in the island, but an hammock and candles or a gas linter light.
The smell of this jungle come emanating from him as we were going on the boat tours the island and setting behind him could no eboit smelling him, the sky way full of starts and my hand caressing the water as the boat gently move thru the dark water , the brightness of the moon show his dark chocolate shining back from the waist up muscular and strong, that made me shiver,
As we lande in the island, he jump out too pull the boat in may favorite site of the island of course, then he secure the boat , then held his arms too help me so I don’t get wet my pretty sandals and pants, but instead my hands he simply took me in his arms like a feather and gently stood me up in the shore past the white foam, I had my sandals in my hands so when he put me done in the warm pink sand, it felt like a very nice massage, that warm pink sand between my toes and warm me more than I was already, the brilliant moon was shining on the dark water reflecting her light and also in our faces shining too on our bodies, behind us the roaring of the waterfalls, the smell of the orquideas and wild tropical jungle flowers where imbricating , plus after all the drinks I hand I was floating. Standing their nest too him and looking at this beauty as he was still holding my hand, then slowly turning to him staring in to each other eyes, there’s where no words necessary and no words were sad, for passion is silent, turning around we start waking too may hut and my momentary home, we walk holding our breath , my heart was burning with a new unknown flame .
I don’t remember how long it took us to get from the shure too may hut, in my mind was not an worry that possible some one can see us from the mainland, sathently their it was the hut and that big hamacas just swinging in the breeze just like waiting for us, the breeze opened it like a fan and we feel in it weebs , now I was feeling his strong arms around me and that bewitching smell of his falling singing deep in the hamaca and completely entwine in each other bodies, in the world of magic jungle land.
He spoke Spanish with that strange accent but as he kiss me he sexely wiesper on may ears that Amazon indian dialect , and to this day I don’t known what he said? I only could feel at, then with the thousands kisses the night went so fast passing true without apologising .
It was early morning may be 5am the sun was just awaking the earth and the sound of the jungle stop and only the roaring of the waterfall you could heard at lowder, and then he was gone, did I dream all this?
I did not go any where that day just seat by the river and sun bait and drink, same more of the hidden bottles I found in the other hut made of aluminum, for safeguarding valuables from the rein, as the night begin I felt that presence, is him , that smell embracing the air I breathe, this new experience, savege , wonderful passionate I did not known before.
Just his tough electrified me.
Too tell your the truth I probably would never have down any of this, if I was not totally inebriated.
Will, I ever known???
Following morning I walk and heard my brother calling me, Luda , I look around, is my brother, with fear I look around for him , he was gone, gone.
My brother would kill him, he could in those days and in a place call Canaima of course it would be very bead for all. ,
Luda get some eggs, start the fire, there is wood behind the another hut, and here is some bacon row, don’t you ever had a wild boar bacon?.
We having some friends over.
Their 2 women and 3 men and lots of bottles of beer and other supplies and more vodka of course.
Morning came, and Anatoly was already gone off to Angel Falls before the sun was up!
Well, time to go to the other side of this glorious island for a walk and maybe a swim, at the spot where I was not afraid of the rapid current, where there was an outdoor shower. Remembering happy times when we were here with Gala and mamasita, she was singing and throwing soap bubbles over this small wall they made into a shower with the shower head which was just a hose tied to the branch of a tree. This fancy shower made of a few pieces of wood and a plastic curtain from the knees to the upper chest and she was sticking her hand out waving and making fun of at it some time singing and throwing soap bubbles; she was playing gesturing with her hands above her, and then washing her hair under the water so pure and silky from the laguna (or should I say all the away from Angel Falls!) Gala was saying to us, “See I have a gigantic open window to the nature!” Oh it was fun ! Then she went over to the john and got bitten by a big mosquito in the very inside of her ass! I called those island mosquitoes “flying crocodiles.”
The morning was clear and puffy white clouds were up in the sky above.There were two ways to go to the shore of this island, the one to where it was safer where the waterfalls dropped, forming a white bubble bath with the just right temperature; and the other way, where the waterfall was falling out of the laguna in rapids, strong waters taking with them all they encountered. This current I did not trust, so I never took that side; that part of the island I did not like at all, the water was very rapid and dangerous, especially to dock when you came in with a boat– one slip and you’re a goner, into one waterfall and then another and so on: say goodbye to your soul, adios! But the Indians always came that away, whenever they were coming to talk to Anatoly and to bring something or to communicate about work, so I chose the other way for bathing or coming and going to the mainland.
As I was walking and admiring the sounds, the wildflowers , and exotic orchids, the smells along this narrow walk, in comparison to the other it way like being on a film of Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in a Hollywood setting, and much safer. The last time when we were all there mama and Gala loved this narrow little caminito that was made just by people walking over the path so many times.
I was so happy to be free! skipping the potholes and rocks and sticks from bushes in the side of the caminito, after a few minutes maybe 10, I am on this glorious pink sand and looking at almost black water, pure full of chlorophyll that made it look tea colored and the foam so white on the shore with the water breaking gently against this pink sand around.
After a while, I went in the outdoor kitchen too see if I could get something to drink. There was a bottle of vodka, half full! Yes, my life was revolving too much around the drinks, but I did not think about it, not at all, after all, everybody drinks, right?
After a few glasses of vodka and for my lunch, I’ll just flag a boat to take me to the mainland too that big dining room full of tourist. The indians on mainland were always watching on to the Island, keeping an eye in it, after all Anatoly is their family and so am I , he has a son with one of their woman, so I feel good belonging to this giant tribe of Indians . the One that came to pick me up to take me in the boat too go too mainland, was tool and very good looking exsoticly handsome.
After flying over more green jungle and many smaller waterfalls and rivers, we were finally seeing what looked like a dirt runway, a two lane blacktop and not very long…I started praying: this looks very small and short even for this small plane– a 747 wouldn‘t have a chance! Our Father ………….. and then we are landing, not smoothly, jumping, weaving, and we barely had enough runway to stop just as we reached the very end of the runway. Scared? hahaha you bet I was!
The captain turned the plane around to the spot where it was supposed to be park. As I looked out the window I could see a little palapa and a bench for four persons to sit on, that was the airport. There was a small dirt road out the other direction to the other side of the landing strip , as I looked more I could see a jeep and in it driving was my brother Anatoly awaiting for me, bravo I am home, family, yesssss.
In the jeep he had a bottle of vodka that he offered me like it was an bottle of water. Okay, just a slug from the bottle to calm my nerves from that incredible landing, and especially for the scare that I got seeing the drunk man directing the airplane to park, he was weaving like a bamboo tree! The wind from the engines of the airplane motor was not helping him to stand straight, so this drunk man was moving like a leaf in the wind., I think he was drinking aguardiente ( bad stuff) all day probably.
From there we went off down a narrower road covered with jungle right and left for about 15 minutes or more, and then we were in front of this majestic lagoon with tea colored waters and sand as pink as a woman’s face powder.
The water in this lagoon where coming all the way from the Angel Falls, and continuing going past the camp, around on three sides of Anatoly Island. and continuing its course on to the Ocean far away, I couldn’t take my eyes of this part of God’s creation, a miracle which today is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
I had been in Canaima once before , little had changed, just a few more huts, but this time it really hit me the majesty and beauty of this place .
The airport and the small buildings with palm roofs and the palapa huts made the whole of the village of Canaima in the main land where we were now. Approaching this place I commented at how little it had grown. Si, my brother answered as he was having a another slug from the bottle of vodka– and I did too!. He pointed out that there was a glass somewhere in the jeep. I said no, we’re almost there, gracias!. We came to the main house with the reception , living room dining room and behind was the kitchen on the open air, no walls, like this whole place was organic in a primitive rustic away, with the smell of carbon (charcoal) from the local trees, what a delicious aroma and the fresh breeze always keep the place pleasant and the air freshy.
From this room you could see everything: Anatoly island and the rest of the compound looking at the cascades of water all around the island, with that color of tea and the pink sand and the tears of water falling from the rocks covered with exotic flowers and some orquideas, looking like long diamonds behind the veil of mist , and falling into this tea colored waters and making bubbles around the lagune to frame this pink sand– ah, what a magic place!
Back in those years it was not officially named Anatoly island as it is now, but everyone was calling it Anatoly island because everywhere thru the jungle he was known as the golden boy not only for his hair and those green big eyes, but for the gold and diamond diggings. He was like the tarzan of Canaima, now living alone on his paradise not wanting even the indians to serve him or be with him anymore, on the Island by himself. Only by his private invitation could you get there during those many many years when he was a king., making love too all the pretty women that visited Canaima and then he became a bush tour guide when he wanted,. But there was one special indigenous lady deep in another part of the jungle with whom he conceived his only legal son Luis.
He drove the jeep up to the reception and park in front of the door.Then as we walked in, Anatoly was introducing me to everybody, some of them I knew from before. Then we sat down in the veranda area with our backs to the island, and facing to the dining room and the whole enormous compound. So we can see everything, the island, the laguna and the entrance, while seated at this long table seating approximately 20 persons or more. I believe it was full, between drinks and food and singing, when a very handsome pair of primitive local indians came in, walking to our side of the table and talking in a whisper to my brother then leaving. Anatoly said “I have a job tomorrow so I will take off.”
The two Indians had to sit at a small table far for all the tourists and white people that worked there, who were French and German the majority. The Macaws were sitting on the branches of the trees that surrounded the hut and were free to walk around the dining room floor to visit the people that they already knew, or just fly in and sit wherever they found a place and some of us even fed them from our hands. What a natural way of life!.
For accommodations they had some very primitives baucoulos (hammocks) and that was all . There was not to much to do except drinking, eating , making love and sleeping, and some time working. Well, yesss there was gambling in the evenings!, some of the tourists, admiring all this magnificent beauty were reading a book! there was no TV, not even a regular old fashioned telephone.
The roaring waters seemed much louder in the evening and stronger through the night– roaring waterfalls and the smell of the perfume of the orquideas and the brilliant cascades of waters, shining like diamonds through the silver moon and falling into the waters of the laguna. that night, the intellectuals and lovers of books\ we’re reading or just meditating, looking out at this wondrous place, same holding hands and a few maybe kissing passionately on their honeymoon.
So after we finish eating and drinking my brother explained to me, let’s go to the island and you can stay there until I come back from Angel Falls, which will take couple of days– now I have to get ready for the tour because there are four tourists and we are leaving early in the morning, your stay here and I we’ll take you there in another trip, where there’ll be some women , because this trip is all men and we have not separate tents now, they’re being repaired.
Most of the tourists were Europeans, adventurers and criminals and wanderers. The whole Avensa campamento, the entire compound, village, boats and airplanes belonged to my friends’ family the Boultons, Lord Henry and Howard and other members of the family.
This jungle was abundant with wildlife, especially the parrots (papagallos in Spanish and macaws in English), and many hundreds of other species of birds , monkeys, and snakes, not to mention the beautiful wild orchids!
To describe this stormy flight is impossible! Would you believe rain came inside the cabin! I stuck a piece of paper in the hole where the drips of water where coming out, so the dripping was not hard, but it did drip, and that is when I decided to go up to the cabin to be safer next to the pilot. I least I will see when and if the lightning will strike us? But thank God it stopped raining and a beautiful rainbows appeared in the sky. My God how immense were the green mansions area! (the area is the south of Venezuela and North of Brazil), I remember reading a book call “Green Mansions” and now this is the place, where no man set yet a foot inside those canyons, they are so big and deep .
Ludmila siting in Anatoly island in a place call el Sapo (frog)
Anatoly leaving the airplain
My brother Anatoly was the only other white man in this jungle called Green Mansions, south of Canaima. Later another white man came, Rudy the German with his wife and 2 girls. Rudy became very rich with the tourism to the falls, while my brother was exploring for diamonds mines on the frontier down closer to Brazil .
On the airplane, I ordered a glass of wine and the stewardess (back in the 60s we called them stewardesses; they were beautiful and sexy looking oh and so young!) and she brought me a full half bottle, a liter of a good Merlot.The flight went fast; it was a short flight as I recall, three hours more or less, and I was still not believing that I was out of Maracaibo after four months of hell. Well, that was enough of Maracaibo, for ever!~
My thoughts: How could Tad abandon me after that love,that he professed? how cowardly, he left not even a note of good by or a letter, nada! Well, he is too young, that was my excuse for him in my mind, so I could feel better and keep on living.
But I was carrying that resentment of abandonment, with deep pain , and down deep in my subconscious, remembering that my father abandoned us after he went through so much to escape from Russia to Venezuela! and then to leave us and go back to Russia, this did not help me …. Ya basta no more pain, let’s have some fun.
Just keep on going Ludmila, my heart kept saying, this is an exciting life you are living today, and tomorrow, tomorrow is another day, which we’ll begin for the rest of you life, so smile , and smile I did.
Now in Maiquetia I wanted to continued straight to Canaima, but in those days they had only one flight a day and that not every day. But my luck was that tomorrow they had another flight to Canaima, in that little plane, the one I missed today, so I better find a hotel for tonight.
Walking downtown, I found a hotel where so many times we had stayed,William and I, sniffing cocaine (and we had to sniff it fast because of the humidity in Macuto, which is next to Maiquetia Airport, the town where all the hotels and restaurants were). All year round all the big bananas would come there with their lovers or families too have fun in the sun! Too many memories of making love all morning, staying there until it was dinner time and back to Caracas, of course after William would go to the Port de Aduana (Costumes) on the large pier, to check in his cargo of merchandise of liquor that had arrived from the U.K.
I did not want to stay there this time.Not too far away, a couple of blocks farther, and there it was, this lovely family hotel in front of the water, the one where I stayed with Galina a long time ago in the 1950s.when we visited Anatoly Island together. I registered for my room on the 3rd floor overlooking the Caribbean; the street below was full of palm trees swinging in the tropical breeze, and across was a cliff where the gigantic waves were breaking strong, and with the moonlight playing beautiful lights on the water and group of musicians playing song and dance music in the street, and right there in that big cliff was a restaurant that look like it was hanging off the side , with the waves breaking under it. I sat on the corner where I had more of the view in each direction and ordered a Martini double, dry with just a splash of vermouth. The Venezuelan cuatros guitars were in a small group of 3 men and maracas y tambor; they were singing old Venezuelan songs joropos and one of them that was a known world wide “Alma Llanera”
The group of musicians kept on playing, so I had music, moonlight, good fish (grilled with garlic], but I was alone just alone. many men asked me to dance , but I said no gracias no to all of them, I was not in the mood! So I walked back to the hotel, tired but happy and content, taking a long shower and same Cacique Ron then going to sleep early, because tomorrow I had to be back at the airport to fly to Canaima very early.