Published: September 23rd 2007September 17th 2007
Taganga is a drowsy and someimes very noisy fishing town east of Santa Marta, that attracts scuba divers, snorklers and young hippies. Juice carts abound.... semi-circular restaurants vie for your custom and anyone who has something to sell will find you. Fishermen bring in a fresh catch daily. Many old barques lie picturesquely along the beach. Where I ate one day I was remembered the next mainly because I had brought in six other people.
Cartagena had been left behind early Sunday morning in the driving rain. It had been raining for 16 hours. The streets were flooded. The friends who had brought me back to my hostel after Pablo's Birthday party were caught by a two foot increase of water in the street. They could not get past in any direction. They waited two hours. At my hostel one corner wall was totally soaked. The water came in under the door.
The top news item next day was the flood in Cartagena… mainly because the people who lived on the high hill were La Popa is located …the virgin that grants favours… had their precarious houses washed out from under them.
On the drive to Santa Marta,
east along the coast of the Caribbean, by ill kept, dirty, public bus, many places that had suffered similar damage were observed … streets under water, fronts of houses flooded with yesterdays garbage, hen houses and pig pens under water to deep for the chickens to find food … unless they were interested in fish because small streams and rivulets were running amuck bordering fields and yards. The only places that seemed untouched were the shrimp breading beds. People had to walk to and from bus stops and small businesses thru mud and puddles of deep water.
The group was not staying in Santa Marta but a ways past by the beach in Taganga at the Casa de Felipe, five minutes from the sea. Imagine my consternation when the taxi turned away from the coast and proceeded up a huge mountain. One of the fellow passengers observed, ''Maybe we go back down the other side?'' … so … I owe her a drink!
The hostel is up high and the view is great. The room for the first two evenings was perfect for all five of us including the Nathan from Denmark … fridge, kitchen, terrace, hammocks, fire
pit …. OK the bathroom had to be shared by 6 people.
There is no Wife access. Internet is available but no time limit has been stipulated and the ether hogs are hard to get of the keyboard…
Breakfast included great coffee, two eggs, toasted baguettes, marmalade and butter till 10:30. It was difficult to get started in the morning. Each day was a rush for breakfast.
The day of arrival was spent doing a wander in the small beach town. A fantastic meal was had at a sea side restaurant in the round. The raw freshly caught fish were presented on a platter and each of us chose a fish to eat. We paid according to the size of fish we ate. My red snapper was superb and I ate it from the head and eyes down to the last dorsal fin sucking each bone clean.
Day two meant a trip by local mini cab to Santa Marta for banking, finding a brassiere, and getting meat and veggies for the evenings BBQ. Everyone pitched in to prepare food for the BBQ and we shared our chosen bits. Mint Juleps and strawberry daiquiris were the drink
A Hammock on a high patio is the perfect place to get an overall tan.
of choice. Some drank only beer.
In the air conditioned department store a brassiere was made by Triumf in Germany and cost 78.500 pesos. Before spending $40 on a brassiere that does not fit perfectly … I will go braless! And I did because it was so darn hot.
Day three was spent at the beach. A range of hills was climbed and on the other side lay a lovely cove with beach chairs, long thatched huts that served drinks and food and a myriad of boats that took people for rides and taxied others back to Taganga.
A second BBQ was enjoyed but this time not up on the private patio but down in the main courtyard beside the main kitchen from which breakfast is served everyday.
New rooms and new beds were prepared. English Paul came back early and there was no room at the inn … so I volunteered to share the double bed I had in the room with Hills. At least we had one bathroom for the three of us… All went well…did not have the constant itching from the night before.
The last day spent in Taganga was spent
packing all the belongings … working on laptop in the courtyard… checking and sending email … getting laundry done … and generally trying to stay free of constant sweat. The fact that I had a slight sunburn affected staying cool.
The courtyard was a bit breezy … I put back the book Origins by Irving Stone … I am not going to the Galapagos and I do not need to read about how Darwin tied his shoes or shaved his beard.
The fact that I am carrying an extra pillow makes my yellow pack a bit bulky. As soon as the ‘Monster’ truck catches up with the group, my feather pillow will be given away and I will have only the pillow bought in Panama City.
All o f us took taxis to the bus terminal… ate a meal of the day and got on the bus at 8:00 … make that 8:30 … we were on our way to Medellin. Sixteen hours, two DVD’s, one breakfast stop, one piddle by the side of the road during a gas fill up and one EXTREMELY stinky smaller-than-a-plane-toilet later we arrived. It was hard to see any of the
The Commonwealth Gang
John from U.K., Tony from Tasmania, Merrick from England, Amy from South Africa, and Hills from Scotland.
countryside because the curtains were mostly closed.
Into taxies again, only too arrive at a hostel totally full. A second hostel was suggested and we all went back into the taxies and arrived at Hostel Tamarindo by 1:00 in the afternoon. This will count as one day in Medellin.
There are more photos below