I arrived to Taganga very early on Friday morning on a night bus from Bucaramanga to Santa Marta, which I bought for almost half price – nice! There’s a travel tip for those of you traveling in Colombia: don’t forget you can always bargain for your bus fares. As I was walking around the town early in the morning, along the beach front and meandering through the roads in horrible condition, I thought what is so remarkable about this place that makes it such a big tourist destination? The beach really isn’t nice and the town is far from pretty. I immediately thought about staying just one night and heading to Santa Marta.
However, after more people started coming out later in the morning and afternoon, I started to get a feel for the beach vibe of the place and the Caribbean lifestyle and it quickly grew on me. The first few nights I was here, the town was having a festival for the Virgin Carmen just like they were in Villa de Leyva. This entailed cannon-like fireworks being shot off every few minutes and a mass of Colombian tourists in town to party.
Most of my days have spent doing nothing really. I get some work done, swing in the rooftop hammock, talk to random people, and check out the few small beaches around here during the day. The neighbors around the hostel love their music, and they all have these massive speakers as tall as a six-year-old. Yesterday, I thought I was going to go crazy as they were playing their music on full blast for HOURS, drinking Aguardiente, which is cheap, strong liquor, and falling down drunk out of their chairs and stumbling down the road. Not exactly the peaceful fishing village I thought it was… but I find myself here for my 5th day now, which happens to me a lot when I get to a beach. I just get lost… I always forget how much I love beach culture and how at home it makes me feel.
Today I’m heading into Santa Marta to use the ATM since they don’t have one here, and to walk around a bit and see if I want to stay there next or head straight to Cartagena. The question is – can I pull myself away?