A Travellerspoint blog

Taganga, Day 3

Last day for rest, relaxation, and fresh Colombian fruit juices

sunny 31 °C

Well, this is it. Almost it. Tomorrow I head back to Santa Marta to get a bus (or 3 buses, depending on how it works out) to Caracas, Venezuela. It will take me a long time to get there so who knows when I`ll be on the net again. Perhaps not for a couple days, perhaps tomorrow.

I haven`t been doing much besides drinking fruit juice and reading on the beach for the last couple days so there`s not much to talk about. I might have been bored if it hadn`t been for Jill, a girl from Boston I`ve been hanging out with. But she`s great and awesome to talk to - she reminds me a lot of my cousin Amanda, both in looks and manners, and is fun to be around. Today we walked 20 minutes along the rocky coastal ridge to another little beach called Playa Grande and enjoyed a quiet morning. There was a little old Colombian couple waist-deep, with linked arms, helping each other walk along near the shore and they were so cute; the old lady had a ballcap on to protect her from the sun. Lots of people showed up toward noon though, and we both decided we actually liked the beach right in Taganga better, so we headed back about an hour ago. She`s still there enjoying the sun, while I, who can`t take too much sun, have gone off to run errands. I need a shower to rinse all the salt off me!

P.S. Yesterday I posted a couple more pictures. You can see them by clicking on the photos here:
http://the-cat.travellerspoint.com/author/68762/

Posted by The Cat 12:27 Comments (0)

Taganga, Day 1

One more week of sunny shores...

sunny 30 °C

Since Taganga is only a 15 minute drive from Santa Marta, I had a rather relaxed, chilled out morning, had a delicious fruit salad for breakfast, packed my bag, and took a colectivo (small van/bus) to this pretty little village. It`s a popular weekend retreat for Colombians coming from Santa Marta, but as I`ve arrived on a Monday it`s very nice and not too crowded.

This place is very tranquil and laid back, there are fishing boats in the water, some tourists on the beach, snorkelling and scubadiving options, and a trail that leads to another little beach about an hour walk away. Being at the end of my trip, I don`t have the money for anything but food and a bed, really, so I will content myself with the beautiful scenery and tomorrow I may take that hike to the other little beach.

I`m actually a bit afraid of getting bored here with just a beach and a book to occupy me! I realized today I planned my Aracataca trip badly - it`s a few hours in the opposite direction to Caracas, so I`ve decided not to go, not to spend the extra time and money. Thus I will be here in Taganga for 3 nights, then head to Caracas, giving myself plenty of time (I hope) to catch my flight.

What a strange thing to think about leaving! I still feel that I am so lucky to be here, and for the next 3 days I will do nothing but appreciate the place I`m in, the sea breeze, the smell of salt, the green of the palm trees, the occasional whisper of a flute or shout of a drum... After that I`ll be spending hours in buses and then a plane, so I consider this my last real stop.

As much as I hate to think about finding a job and living `real´ life again (which is more real? to see different kinds of people, another culture, to make friendships and connections and learn to accept all the goodbyes, to grow as a person, to learn and learn and learn and become stronger for dealing with the hardships that come with travelling? or to fall into a city routine, to spend money on little things you don`t need, to wear a different outfit everyday and work at a job you don`t like and eat food that is refined and processed so that you don`t know what you are eating?...), I am SO so excited to see everyone I miss so much. And I will see you soon!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by The Cat 14:15 Comments (1)

Parque Nacional Tayrona

p.a.r.a.d.i.s.e.

Wow what an amazing spot Tayrona National Park is. After arriving at the gate it`s a 45min walk to the first beach, Arrecifes, through tall canopied green rainforest. The beach is brilliant, the water bright blue, with strong, constant waves crashing onto shore. I paused here only to take some photos, and walked the other 45min, past some beautiful little beaches on the way, to El Cabo, a stunning beach in two horseshoe shapes lined with giagantic boulders and filled with the same glorious blue colour. Here, too, I passed by to climb the steep and rocky 1.25hrs to El Pueblito, a small but impressive archaeological site left over from the Tayrona Indians. When I came back down I paid for a hammock on the beach for a night, threw my stuff into a locker, and hit the beach to cool down after a hot and muggy hike.

Oh this place is so gorgeous. On the path I passed army ant highways, countless little lizards that scurry off when they sense your footsteps, colourful butterflies, massive king vultures up in the treetops with wingspans wider than I am tall... I met some good people, though mostly stuck to myself, reading and relaxing by the water. And the lunar eclipse last night was spectacular!

I didn`t sleep well cuz I wasn`t prepared for the chill that came at night, but was happy in the morning nevertheless. I went to look at a couple smaller beaches mostly for the walk, had a nice breakfast, and trekked back to get a ride to Santa Marta.

This is rushed cuz I`m almost out of internet time by the way. Tomorrow I head to Taganga for a night or two, a little fishing village I hear is nice.

8 days left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by The Cat 14:10 Comments (1)

Santa Marta, Day 3

Off to the park!

sunny 29 °C

Yesterday I had a wonderful day just wandering around town and chatting to people in the hostel. Santa Marta is a very small city with good, friendly people, a boardwalk and beaches along the sea, and killer Caribbean drum beats. There was a group of young guys near the beach yesterday playing the hottest fastest tightest beats, and the best drum player couldn`t have been more than 15 years old. I love the Caribbean-flavoured music here.

The only toury thing I did (and the only toury thing to do at all, really) was visit the free Museo de Tayrona, which houses artefacts from the Tayrona and K____ tribes (I forget the name of that second one) as well as some gold pieces, and modern art on the second floor.

The buildings in Santa Marta aren`t as spectacular as Cartagena, but I prefer this city much more, it has a better vibe, and I´m glad to be spending my last days in this area.

In an hour I`m taking a shared taxi to Parque National Tayrona, a unique spot where beaches meet the highest coastal mountain range in the world, full of diverse plant and animal life, and with gorgeous beaches and little archaeological sites. I`m gonna stay the night, so I`ll talk more about it tomorrow night or so.

9 days left!!!!!

Posted by The Cat 06:08 Comments (0)

Santa Marta, Day 2

Skipping towns again

sunny 29 °C

I decided once again to skip a town on my travels: yesterday I sailed right past Barranquilla and on to Santa Marta instead. With only 10 days left (!!!) I figured it was a better place to stop, with more beautiful places to see in the area.

For my last full day in Cartagena, the day after the boat trip, I went to visit the Castillo de San Felipe, one of the few forts outside the walled part of the city that were used to defend key points of the important port town. It`s a massive structure with barracks, a hospital for the wounded soldiers, rest areas, a little house where decisions were made, and an impressive and complex system of underground tunnels to facilitate evacuation and ventillation.

In the afternoon I just relaxed in the hammock in the hostel and packed up my bags, ready to leave the next day.

Yesterday I travelled, and reached Santa Marta in the evening. The first hostel I checked out, Hostal Miramar, turned out to have internet, a restaurant, more people who speak English than I can shake a tail at, and the cheapest price. So despite the crumbling walls it seems to be the best place, and is very social. Last night I went for dinner with 2 Germans, 1 American, 1 fellow Canadian, and 1 Swede, and had a lovely time chatting about the cool things you can do here.

Today I plan to wander around the city itself, but in the next couple days I`m gonna head to the Parque National Tayrona, a huge jungle park on the coast which is supposed to be stunning.

I can`t believe I only have 10 days left!

Posted by The Cat 07:18 Comments (0)

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