Friday, September 4, 2015

#travelpost - Taganga, Tayrona and Palomino, the North Coast, Colombia

So after a few days in Santa Marta, still just me and Harry, we moved over to the next bay recently mentioned, Taganga.

We rented a private cabin from Cactus Hotel, on the hill with sea view and its own little terrace hammock included. We didn't get much done for those few days... we lazed about on the beach, had the best stuffed arepas from a street stall, took a boat trip for 6000 cops (around £1.50) to another beach about 10 minutes away and that's about it. The first night there was a power cut so we were out of lights and more importantly air con.... It was a long slog of a sleep. But the day next we got free breakfast from the lady that ran the hotel and they happened to include the tastiest eggs I've ever had plus fruit juice, coffee, another arepa and a bowl full of papaya and banana.

On Monday 31st Aug we headed back to Santa Marta to leave our big bagpacks with our hostel there and went to meet the others. We took our smaller bagpacks filled with beach things and mosquito nets and headed for a supermarket dash of tinned food and water before we hit Tayrona National Park. No alcohol or plastic bags or packaging can be taken into the park so the supermarket was tricky... In the end we bought plenty of tinned tuna and sardines, sweetcorn, nuts and stacks on stacks of water. We skipped straight passed the alcohol section even though we later learned that no one even checked our bags on entry to the park and a couple in the same camp pleasantly enjoyed a few bottles of wine that they managed to get away with.

Waiting for the bus to Tayrona, a guy pulled up in his air conditioned mini van and gave us a great price to Tayrona so we jumped in with him instead and he managed to take us a little further than the bus would have, saving us a bit of extra walking. I can't remember exactly but price into the park was about 39,000 cops (£8 roughly) but thanks to the kind man at STA travel we used our sneaky student cards and got in for 8000... Just under £2. Every little helps. The park guides sat everyone down before we could set off and showed us a video of the park, it's beaches and wildlife and off we went. We chose the first beach as it's the cheapest and quietest and 1.5 hours later we arrived at Camping Don Pedro to grab a hammock. The walk was pretty tough for me a person that does zero hours in the gym but I managed it, uphill, downhill, dodging lizards, spotting wild pigs, under monkey filled trees and over one stretch in the middle of hot hot sand. Jordan said he'd seen a snake too but I blocked it out as there would have been no chance of me making it if I'd have seen it.

We spent the night there, walked to a few of the beaches, shared our sleeping area with two bats and a tarantula and played a German card game in the evening heat... Taught to us by Julia, a German girl that joined us just after the supermarket that morning.

The next day we took one last swim and bathe on one of the most pristine and well preserved beaches in the world teehee and began our walk back to the entrance. The way back was so much worse. Then we caught a bus to our final place before heading to Cartagena... We went to Palomino.

Other than fincas on the beach there is'nt much else in Palomino but the beaches were beautiful! We stayed in a place called Finca Escondida and pretty much just chilled for 2 days.... Dipped in the sea, took advantage of happy hour and ate some pretty good food.

And that's it for our journey on the Carribbean Coast. Right now we are back in Santa Marta to catch an earlier bus to Cartagena whilst the other 3 carry on for a few days between the coast and forest with a bit more hiking. For us, we are gonna get to Cartagena a bit earlier cos' we gotta lotta love for the cities.
Ciao x

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