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Steve and Emma's Travel Tales

Time Out in Taganga

COLOMBIA | Thursday, 15 November 2012 | Views [514]

Getting to this fishing bay involved another mammoth journey; the bus from San Gil goes to Barranquila to the west, so we were dropped at Cienaga where the highway splits along the coast.  However, the friendly chap in the Brasilia bus office sold us a ticket for P65 000 that would include a transfer from this junction to Santa Marta to the east.  The staff there flagged down a local bus and sure enough we weren’t asked to pay again.  Unfortunately this drops you in a different station from the one you need continue eastwards along the coast.  In the end we decided to get a taxi to Taganga assuming that by the time we’d, taxied to the other bus station then paid for a local bus, it would cost almost the same as our P12 000 fare.

Taganga turned out to be a much more picturesque place than we’d expected with the fishing village being positioned in a small, sheltered bay.  Granted the beach is more gravel than sand and the sea isn’t the cleanest but it’s a pleasant spot to sit listening to the waves rippling along the shore and the breeze rustling the leaves.  With having spent 2 of the last 3 nights on buses we were somewhat tired but were determined to start really enjoying Colombia as the coast had been our main focus all along. 

I sat on the front surrounded by our bags while Steve went in search of somewhere to stay that wasn’t minging and/or expensive.  He came back reasonably quickly looking satisfied that he’d found just the right place.  Pelikan Hostal is just about in budget at P55 000 and from the other places Steve looked at it’s probably one of the best deals.  We got a room with shuttered windows that let in a lovely breeze and over-looked the bay despite being set back from the beach.  There’s a lovely tree shaded sitting area out front and a big communal balcony with small kitchen from which you can see the surrounding hills.  Plus the owners are very welcoming and they make the best mango juices ever. http://www.hostelstaganga.com/

We rose this morning determined to remain in a positive frame of mind and not let noise and prices grind us down.  We’d heard so many good things about Colombia that we were looking forward to it but we’ve found it more frustrating than fabulous.  The money angle I’ve covered (yes, I know, several times!) but the incessant noise it getting us down too.  Why oh why do we have to be subjected to loud films on buses, listen to everyone else’s music at mega-volume on top of the general hubbub of traffic and people?  It’s great that the Colombians are fun loving people who like to party but everywhere and all the time?  Whenever we awoke in the night we could hear music pulsing and it didn’t stop until 7am – ah, finally we can listen to the parrots squawking.  Well for a few minutes we could until next door woke up and put their stereo on!  Fair enough if you want to listen to some music but what’s wrong with enjoying natural sounds too?

On reaching Taganga we realised that we’ve travelled from the Atlantic Ocean (well Buenos Aires Rio Plate is almost part of the ocean) to the Caribbean Sea overland.  Does anyone know how many kilometres that is?  With the last couple of days seeing us covering quite a chunk of that we had a relaxing day doing pretty much nothing.  The following morning we walked over the headland to Playa Grande another little bay.  This bay doesn’t have a road connection but it’s only a short walk along the path or you can get a boat round.  Again it’s not the best beach in the world but it’s a bit cleaner and the lack of fishing boats makes the sea look more inviting.  On the path on the way over we saw some beautiful bright green lizards and there were frigate birds and pelicans flying around.

On leaving Taganga to go on the Lost City trek we left our big bags in the hostel’s free and secure luggage store.  We’d enjoyed our stay so much that we booked a room for when we returned.  In actual fact we stayed another 2 nights as all the clothes needed washing following the trek.  Once again the hostel provided for our needs.  Since we would have to retrace our steps to Tanganga we once again left the bulk of our luggage behind while we went to investigate a beach further along the coast.


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