Thursday, 28 August 2008

el Parque Tayrona

After effectively traveling alone for the previous two or three months I had now stumbled onto he well trodden Gringo Trail where I have resided ever since. Traveling alone had been great but you do work for it so it has been nice to jump in with others and just be lazy about it. By traveling alone, you have the liberty to make your plans up as you go along. I have seriously indulged in this and its great to have that freedom. You are exposed to so many more people. Yeah when you are traveling in a group you get to meet people, but these people rarely become actual proper friends. Also traveling alone allows you get to pick and choose who you hang around with. Any morning you can just wake up and decide to head off again on your own. Fuckin mercenary or wha !?

The Santa Marta region is in Colombia´s North East and is host to many wonderful attractions. I spent the bones of three weeks in the area. After spending a few nights in Santa Marta itself I headed to Taganga - 10km up the road. Taganga is the hub for a lot of the activities to be done in the surrounding areas. Anyone who thinks Colombia is off the beaten track should take a trip to Taganga, its a backpackers mecca like somewhere in Thailand and finally I realised where all the Israeli´s had been hiding, its like little fucking Jerusalem there.

After a night out in El Garaje with my roommate Devon from Seattle, I took a belated boat ride with a boatload of Shron´s to Parque Tayrona. This is a place I´d first read about in a Guardian article about the 10 best beaches in the world, which it voted as its number two. Having been mightily impressed by my visit to its number one choice (the phenomenal Islas Cies off the coast of Vigo in Northern Spain).

Tayrona certainly didn´t disappoint. In fact it was savage. I camped out with an Irish couple Daithi and Sandra with the rest of the backpackers on a campsite at the edge of the jungle fronting onto the Carribean. Magic. While it was the Carribean, it wasn´t the aqua-marine water that you usually associate with it but it was pretty fantabulous nonetheless. Its pretty idyllic to be able to groggily make the ten metres trek at 7 in the morning for a dip in the empty, tranquil Carribean. Luckily, I had my own tent and camping gear but one night I decided to just sleep under the stars in a hammock. I spent 5 days in Tayrona doing, well, fuck all really. It was pretty memorable.

A few of the local lads would come back from a day of fishing in the afternoon and would profer up there catch for a decent price and well there´s not much like a dinner of fresh fish on the beach. Because it is a National Park there´s fuck all there, just a few straw roofed restaurants. So we were essentially hanging around where the jungle meets the Carribean.

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