Published: June 26th 2009June 20th 2009
After a few days in Cartagena, we were ready to go to a slower paced part of the country and take it easy for a while. The problem with Cartagena is that while it is on the coast, it's beaches are kind of nasty and that leaves one with just a lot of hot and humid town without the chance to really cool off. Enter Taganga, a beach village about 4 hours East along the coast.
The first thing I noticed about Taganga was that it seemed to have more Israelis than Israel. Seriously, signs are in Hebrew. We went to several street carts that sold fantastic fruit smoothies for 2,000 pesos (about $1). They had menus in Hebrew. Not in Spanish, not in English, just Hebrew. As we found out, the reason for this is that Israelis have a reputation for sucking at Spanish. Thus, the menu was necessary to communicate with them. The locals just assume travelers from Europe and North America can communicate without the assistance of pointing on a card.
While we had taken the occasional day off, Taganga served as our few days of nothing to do. Get up, read in a hammock, go
to the beach, swim, drink a smoothie, swim, swing in a hammock and then go back for a sunset swim before dinner. It was a hard few days. Justin and I had reserved our boat departing for Colombia, so we knew exactly how much time we had before needing to be back in Cartagena for the sailing trip. The downside of the place is that it was rather expensive to get to. 40,000 pesos one way ($20). This is simply reflective of the transport cost of Colombia.
We found our hostel to be great for lounging around during the day. Casa De Felipe
was linked up with Casa Vienna
in Cartagena, so we could get a bus to take us door to door for a few thousand pesos more than the coast of patchin together the whole trip. Lots of hammocks, spread out and comfortable. It may be the most easy going hostel I have been to. The layout is great. However, they don't have any bug netting over the windows. Since this time of year is prime for misquotes and their windows don't have any glass in them (in other words, just bars over
the opening for security), bugs fly into the bathroom and the room at will. Even though they have bug nets for the beds, one does get bitten every time the bathroom is entered. And the beds are too short, which meant that the bug net was touching my feet. I got bitten on my sole. Nice. On the plus side, the hostel in the middle of nowhere has a fantastic Dutch chef. We decided to splurge one night and got a 16,000 Peso a plate dinner. Filet Mignon with red wine sauce. Best meal of the trip. It was amazing. We saw people coming from the expensive hotels in town to eat at the youth hostel. Strange, but I can see why. Too bad one of the fruit smoothies I had gave me food poisoning. I was running to the john all night long, and it started before dinner, so I knew the hostel food was not at fault. Somehow the pills kicked in before my 4 hour bus ride back to Cartagena. Overall, worth visiting, just too bad about the bug problem. Would be nice during the dry season.
There are more photos below