Diving & Skiving

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Jun 24, 2010

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Bay View and Hammock

Flag of Colombia  , Magdalena,
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taganga, a small fishing village with a serious amount of gringos.  It is famous for mainly one thing, diving.  Allegedly one of the cheapest places in the world that you can dive it is packed with dive companies.  Never one to buck a trend we sign up to do our 3 day padi course.

We really enjoyed it except Jemma had a few problems with her ears and poor Tim had to hang around at the bottom as she took so long to equalise. The three days went really quickly and we saw two moray eels, a big lobster and loads of cool fish - one that could move its eyeballs to different parts of its head. Freaky!

We were so tired after the diving that we did not do much else in Taganga other than relax and eat but there was not much happening anyway so we didnīt miss too much.

After the course we headed for some r&r in Tayrona national parque. It is a national park with plenty of jungle and plenty of beach and most back packers go here to vegetate in a hammock. There isnīt much else to do!

To get there you can either get a boat or take a bus to thor taxi to the park entrance and hike a couple of hours to the beach. Feeling athletic (kind of) after diving we decided to do the hike. We had a hyper active cab driver called Enrique (we missed the bus) who worryingly kept showing us a newspaper article of a bus crash the day before. A little unnerving, we would have preferred him to keep his eyes on the road.

We bumped and clanged our way in his decrepid taxi up a rugged gravel road, taking brief detours into the bushes on either side of the road. It would have been fun if we didnīt have accident pictures fresh in our minds.

When we finally arrived in El Zaino at the edge of the park the taxi broke down. Crap. As we stepped out of it my flip flop broke. Double crap. Naturally we didnt have any other shoes with us as we had only bought the bare minimum.

We jumped into a jeep for the remaining ten minutes to the trail head. It was the oldest jeep I have ever seen and the doors were held shut with what looked like an old crow bar. Nice.

We took off down the muddy trail stopping every two minutes to adjust the broken shoe, Tim cleverly fashioned a fix out of some reeds. Bear Grylls eat your heart out. It did the job and we eventually made it to the first beach just before night fall.

There was nothing but hammocks and a restaurant plus the beach was absolutley stunning. We ate dinner on the beach front just as a storm began. It was really magical watching the lightning lighting up the sea as the rain hammered the tin roof above us. We spent the night in our hammocks listening to the storm.

In the morning it was bright sunshine again and we began our trek to the next beach. Again the walk was stunning, snaking back from the beach to jungle and back to the beach. We were in heaven. We arrived to Cabo and discovered whrer all the back packers were hanging out! It was still idyllic but loads of tents every where. The coolest thing about it was the hut on a hill above the sea where they strung ther hammocks.

Unfortunately we didnt bring quite enough cash with us as our lonely planet (demoted from the post of bible) told us hammocks were only two dollars. They were ten. Damn! We had two options, stay one more night and eat sparingly or take the boat back that afternoon to Taganga.

Naturally we went for the latter and spent most of the day sun bathing and later hopped on the boat. We had met some travellers who dubbed the boat "death boat" and we found out why. It was a tiny wooden speed boat and the waves chucked it up and down like a yoyo. We held on for dear life the whole way back but to be honest it was quite good fun! We would do the death boat again definitely.

On our return to Taganga we were famished having only eaten a coconut slice and packet of crisps between us so we treated ourselves to a big dinner and caught the bus to San Gil the next day.  Normally this is travelling 101.  We leave by taxi to the terminal and then get the bus, however when there is a protest in the middle of the street blocking off the route out of town it becomes a little tricky.  We never worked out what the protest was about, only that it was 'politcial' and that it was a bad idea for us to be out there with our bags.  We had to wait it out and fortunately did eventually make the last night bus to Buccaramanga and get a connection to San Gil.

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