Tribute to Jimmy Angel
James Crawford was certainly an adventurer, a bohemian, a man of stunts. All kinds of legends and doubtful stories have been told in bars and he did enjoy bars and nightlife. Above all he loved his ability to fly and enterntain, and years later he would be forever enchanted by nature.
Some may ask why is James to be remembered, if as a matter of fact the Auyantepuy was discovered several hundreds of years before and the same for the Churun Meru, the original name of the Falls given by the Pemon Indians. These indians were often aids and helpers in searching for gold, they did know of it's existance but back then it was considered just a tall tale. Of course they knew about the Auyantepuy, it not only is the biggest Tepuy, but it can be seen from the Carrao River, indians did have boats and the Carrao is very long.
So, you might ask, if the WaterFall had a name, why replace it with the name of an adventurer? The reason is simple. The Pemon, they did not love the mountain, they actually feared it, Auyantepuy is the Pemon word for Devil's mountain! The Explorers saw it in awe, but they did not love it as to risk their lives and their wife's just to be on it. James had something nature and our country appreciates, he had a real love for Canaima, almost an addiction, an obsession, he was spell bound by nature, and that is reasonable, if we see the pictures of the area we find extraordinary places, add this to the fact that the area was vastly unexplored. Jimmy felt like being in another world.
We as Venezuelans can only be happy someone loved part of our country with so much passion. When we think about it, we should always be glad he never found his gold mountain, he found something better. A gold mountain would be a total disaster, mining towns would ravage the jungle destroying everything at it's path, and at the end there would be no more gold, no more jungle as well and the gold price a little less expensive. What he did leave in history is the love for nature, a symbol of EcoTourism his actions are gold for nature lovers around the world.
There is nothing on the name Churun Meru, so it is fair to give the waterfall the name of a man who really loved it. His spirit of adventure has helped raise interest in tourists around the globe, he is an example of the pasion of EcoTourism and Adventure Tours. We could hardly think of anyone more fit to have his name on the Fall, that is why we are glad the Churun Meru is now Angel Falls.
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