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Published: November 18th 2011
Firstly, I want to clear up that it wasn’t a case of me ‘finally relinquishing control’ of the blog. In fact, I have been trying to get Donna to write a blog for a good couple of months now, and she only finally agreed recently. I am hoping she will write more in the coming weeks too, a) because Donna is an awesome writer, and b) so you don’t get bored of my waffling and bus stories! (Incidentally, our bus to Taganga did break down, but I’m not even going to mention that at all!)
Anyway, as Donna mentioned, we were leaving Cartagena for a week or so to go up the North coast of Colombia to try get some much missed sun, and to check out a couple of the beaches that Colombia had to offer as we had heard great things about them. First stop was Taganga.
Reading other blogs, and researching Taganga, we had mixed reviews, and therefore went with an open mind. On arrival, we checked into a great place called Hostel Holanda and the first thing we noticed was the price difference to Cartagena, it was so much cheaper here! So, we plonked down
our bags and went for the obligatory walk around the town. During said walk around the town it started to become clear where the mixed reviews came into play regarding this place. First honest impressions…we wasn’t big fans. We have judged places early on in the past though, and ended up really liking them, so we kept our minds open and carried on.
The main road was a bit dirty and scruffy, and the ‘beach’ to the left side of the bay, what there was of it, was pretty small and donned a fair amount of rubbish, and therefore wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing place we had been to so far. However on the flip side, there were plenty of nice looking places to eat and drink, and the bay itself with the boats and fisherman was almost postcard perfect of what you would want from a quaint fishing village. So there were pros and cons for this place already.
In the evening, we sat ourselves facing out onto the water. The sun was going to set behind the West facing horizon of the bay, and therefore we knew the view would be stunning, so we grabbed ourselves
a couple of beers and waited for the sun to fade. This was definitely a reason why people loved this place. Sipping a cold beer, listening to a local strumming his acoustic guitar and singing into the dusk with the smell of BBQ and charcoal in the air, was just so chilled and tranquil. After the light had relinquished though, and the night had woken, this is where the contrast reared once more. We went from an old fella singing softly with his acoustic guitar to banging trance music coming from the various bars and clubs of Taganga’s night scene, where the party was just getting started. Don’t get me wrong, we are not adverse to a bit of loud music and a few festive beers (even at the old age of 30!), but for us, this didn’t seem to be the place to do it. There was just no middle ground here, and it just seemed that the town had gone from quaint fishing village to party town for travellers probably in a very short time period, and that just didn’t really sit too well with us. I’m sure if you asked a few of the fisherman in the
area as to what they thought of the way Taganga was going, you would hear a similar response, although ask the bar owners and restaurants managers, and I would assume they were loving the way Taganga was shaping up for the future.
Whilst in Taganga, we were lucky enough to be there for Halloween. The evening was literally filled with hundreds of little ones running round, dressed up in all sorts of costumes singing songs and harassing shopkeepers for sweets up and down the main street, which was very entertaining and at times very amusing. The adults did manage to have a good time too, however we declined a night in the local trance club, and instead decided to head back to the hotel for a couple of beers instead.
Overall, I think Taganga is actually a nice place, with some really friendly locals, and plenty of travellers to swap stories with and with it’s easy going vibe throughout the day, and party scene in the evening it was easy to see how people get caught up here for months. For us, we liked it enough in order to book another couple of nights in the hostel for
when we were returning from Tayrona National Park, on our way back to Cartagena, and this time hoped to see the other beach that Taganga had to offer that we failed to see on our first visit.
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