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Published: April 3rd 2009
Day 710 (09.03.09)
Arriving in Taganga at around 9ish after the coldest bus we had been on yet (they really racked up the air con on this one) and therefore a very sleepless night we went in search of the our mate Vic who had made the journey up from San Gill the day before. When we got to the hostel we had mentioned was a possiblity we found her not there, and it was a bit of a dump so we weren't really surprised.
Mark went off in search of an alternative place to stay, scoring a room in a new (well still being finished off really) hotel next to the beach for half the price. Result. Getting settled in Chrissie went for a lie down to try and recover from the sleepelss night before while Mark went for a walk around Taganga to sort out some diving for the following days. This is one of the cheapest places we've found for diving both for fun dives and courses so we wanted to take the chance to get back under the water as it had been over a year since our last diving experience.
We deided to
go with Aquanti, a company recommended by both another traveller and our previous hostel and luckily enough when booking in with the owner we managed to catch up with Vic, just starting her dive course, to make plans for the evening.
With the day pushing on and diving organised we went into Santa Marta (the nearest major town) to do a spot of food shopping and a bank run to pay for our dives before spending the rest of the day on the beach ending in a superb sunset.
Managing to meet up with not only Vic in the evening but Nat and Liam (our other San Gil adventurers) for an evening beer in one of the open air restaurants on the beach.
Day 711 (10.03.09)
We were up and in the dive centre for 8am and started off the day superbly with a pot of coffee and a chat with our fellow fun-divers. Getting kitted out we were also on the same boat (although in different diving groups) as Vic. Before we knew it we were off to the beach and climbing abourd the small twin engined boat that was taking us out to the
dive site. Were were a little apprehensive as it had been so long since we'd last dived but nothing woke us up like the freezing spray that came up off the sea as we raced out of Taganga Bay.
Now feeling a little chilly having had a preview of the water temperature we donned our full kit including thick wettie, booties and hood for the water temperature, and were ready to dive. As it was our first time under water for a while we did a couple of exercises with the Dive Master on the sea bed before we were off.
The diving was great as we drifted across loads of really cool fish, a moray and some really different corals that we hadn't seen before. The only drawback was the temperature. We had been told that the last couple of days' weather had brought about a rather unseasonal cold stream making it colder than usual, which would have contributed to us both (Mark especially) getting pretty cold in the latter parts of the dive.
Back on the surface we had another dousing as we sped to the mainland and a chance to refuel with a snack
and some time to warm up in the sun.
Back out on the second dive and fully comfortable under the water again now we again saw some great stuff and having warmed up over lunch, coped with the cold a little better than on the first dip. We still came out of the water shivering...Brrrrrrrrrrr! Talk about fair weather divers! The water was at about 20 degrees which is not too bad but its a full 10 degrees lower than the water we learnt in.
Back on dry land and still with the afternoon to ourselves we went for a late lunch with Vic and spent the rest of the day relaxing to recover from the exertion of our dives opting to stay in for dinner in front of the TV.
Day 712 (11.03.09)
With a day off and nothing planned we went for an explore along the coastal path to check out some of the other beaches in the area. Taking a dodgy looking and sadly little strewn path around the coast we were soon confronted by the next bay, nice but we thought we could do better. We continued on a little further and
stumbled upon a tiny deserted beach. Perfect.
We spent most of the day lazing back and taking a dip when we were starting to overheat. Not having any snorkling equipment but sporting a pair of goggles we took it in turns to swim amongst the local fish on the coast where we found loads of various species, colourful and camouflaged. It was quite a surprise to find so many little fish right under our noses!
Our day got even better when we saw a fella swimming around the corner pushing an icecream cart floating in front of him. Priceless. We had to get one for the shere novelty of the delivery service.
Just as we were about to pack up our private little beach we had one more unexpected natural phenomenon. Right in front of our beach shoals of tiny little silvery fish were being hearded and chased by their bigger predators and were jumping out of the water hundreds at a time. Waves upon waves of the fish shimmering in the sun were jumping as if in time with one another. We were so gobsmacked that all we could do was watch.
We had planned
a big dinner sampling some of the local fish straight in from the boats so saved ourselves for the evening where we went out to a nice restaurant on the beach that Vic had eaten at before and where we had seen some amazing food being sent out. Unfortunately it must have been a different cook on the evening that we went as they cooked tyhe $*!& out of our Calamari and our fish was also a little overcooked although very tasty. Nice meal but we were expecting more.
Day 713 (12.03.09)
With another trip to town and some more time on the beach we easily wiled another day away with no trouble at all. This is the sort of place where you could lose track of time! Fresh fish, freshly squeezed fruit juices, relaxing beaches and a lovely sunset every night - no worries!
Day 714 (13.03.09)
With Vic now finished with her dive course she'd been given two fun dives included in the price so we decided to go for another dive day and accompany her - what good friends we are! We were hoping the water was a little warmer than a couple
of days ago and were thrilled to find out that it had gone up by a couple of degrees.
Our two dives were excellent with the first dive throwing up a few first viewings for us with a sea snake, some lobsters and the cutest little seahorse and the second with it's higher current giving us a fun time drifting on past the domelike corals of the reefs spotting fish along the way. It had been great to get back underwater again and we are already looking forward to doing some more diving in Central America when we get there.
Back in town we filled in our log books and spent the rest of the day on the beach and had an equally relaxing evening.
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