Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Santa Marta, Taganga and Tayrona National Park

It turns out getting night buses is not as easy as you would think in Colombia. With three of us booked on, and Kat's booking apparently not gone through, it looked like the foursome was quickly going to become a threesome as she was left in the dust. Luckily we had Bex the super translator to sort it all out for us. The bad luck didn't stop there though. When finally aboard the bus, we were confronted by an extremely angry lady in skintight lycra who resented us for making her wait 10 minutes.  The outcome: Kat and Bex were forced to switch seats with her two children and sit at the back next to the toilet. That crafty lady. Our dislike for this woman only increased when we stopped for food and witnessed her buying one plate of  chicken and rice, which she gobbled up...only allowing her children to have one bite each. That greedy lady.

Bussing it to Santa Marta

Our spirits soared upon arrival in Santa Marta; a hot and sunny delight after gloomy Bogotá. A teenage taxi driver took it upon himself to give us a guided tour of the place and we soon realised that there was pretty much bugger all to do. That said, we enjoyed a day of wandering around, finding bargain food and sitting in a cathedral. The evening was a jolly affair, with some good food (apart from Kat's plain chicken) and plenty of happy hour drinks.

Santa Marta

Getting their prayer on

With slightly groggy heads we left early for Tayrona National Park, making our way through a slightly dodge market area to the bus. Soon enough we were trudging along a jungly path, cooing at crabs and marveling at the flora. The first beach we stumbled upon was where we set up camp for the day, what with it being our first time on a sunny beach in six whole weeks! Kat and Bex scrambled up the nearby rocks, while Imy and Livvy paddled in the sea. Not wanting to miss the last bus, it was a rather hurried affair back to the entrance, with only an ice lolly to hydrate us.

First glimpse of Tayrona

Green dabba de dabba di

Climbing wizards

Paddle and a catch up

Tad rocky

Back in Santa Marta, we hopped in a taxi and within ten minutes found ourselves in Taganga - gringo central! By the time we had checked in and got ourselves sorted, Kat and Imy were on the verge of turning carnivorous and tucking into Livvy (soz Bex, you're a bit too scrawny). Stopping at the first restaurant we came across, we soon realised we wouldn't be fed for atleast an hour, so instead legged in to Babba Ganoush. The best decision we have ever made. Although a little pricey, we are yet to find a meal to rival the splendour of Babba. Except for blooming chicharrón, which Imy is still going on about.

Wanting to find tranquility on a carribean beach, we made our way by boat to Playa Grande. Unfortunately, it seemed that every Colombian in the area had the same idea and we found ourselves on a rather packed out beach. Wasting no time on getting to know each other, Livvy jumped at the chance of an oily rub down from a large Colombian man. He seemed to know what he was doing, and his cute little helper kept Kat entertained. Meanwhile, Bex was doing laps of the sea and Imy wasn't doing much. Lunch consisted of a brilliant cup of prawns for the fish lovers, and Imy probably had some plain chicken.

Fishermen gathering in Taganga


Rub a dub dub


After catching some rays, we made the short trip back to Taganga and hit another jackpot when we decided to head for Cafe Bonsai that evening. It had the best BBQ in town and the mojitos were an absolute winner! A little bit typsy, we asked the waiters to make us something stronger. They took this as some what of a challenge and proceeded to pour a mixture of spirits into a glass, before setting it on fire and telling us to down it. A little bit more typsy, we headed to El Mirador, where Imy and Livvy made friends with the owner, and Kat and Bex danced on the bar. Classy for life.





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