we arrive mid day and grab a sandwich by the hotel pool- the rooms at the place are "spartan" but clean. We head out to get a city tour with our local guide Diva. She is the one who attempts to teach us the song with the refrain "Santa Marta has a train" and what we find out is that it might have a train but it has no hot water- LOL...Well actually the town might but the hotel does not. Jairo warned us there might not be hot water and I thought- oh not too much and therefore it may be gone by the time I shower. This however was not the case- NO ONE got hot water - the shower only had one faucet and what came out of that was cool to luke- LOL... so they didn't run out - they just never bothered... I really should have save the photo of the "view" from my room but why dwell on the negatives- let's move on to town...
the old city center is where we find the cathedral - we do a walk around town- things are pretty lively - food vendors - people out on the streets- it is the Caribbean coast and people live outdoors here...it is also August and hot and humid so why not be someplace where there might be a breeze.
we stop to play this gambling game involving little numbered disks- with the locals- Jairo tells me to take a seat - I get a less than bare bones explanation of how to play- I am game- but I start off on the wrong foot when I think we are taking turns in a clockwise manner - here they go counter clockwise (a southern hemisphere thing?- LOL) so I show my number prematurely LOL- I lose two rounds abysmally but had fun and they didn't make me pay to play which was very generous.
photo courtesy of Marcia Henze
at the water's edge where we waited for our bus to take us to the Taganga fishing village where we will have a grouper dinner.
overlooking the Taganga village-
we have an excellent meal near the shore and enjoy the evening outside- heading back to the resort area south of town to our "digs" - Jairo jokes about the Olympic size swimming pool (a concrete tub on the ground you walk up steps to a small deck area surrounding the tub where you can get in an call it a pool- LOL)
so the next day we are off to the Tayrona Park (the reason we have come to Santa Marta to being with... we leave early so we can be first in line when the park opens in case hordes of tourists seeking extreme heat and humidity converge upon the jungle park- - -
we do get to see lots of cool things there- leaf cutting and hard working ants; a lot of crabs hanging around in their crab hole homes; a poisonous frog; a cool owl butterfly or moth and beautiful shoreline...
the following photo makes me laugh I spotted one crab after looking with great effort while on the walk- I made a vow not to delete the photo so I could find him again when I got the pictures on the computer- and LOL - when I did I found another dozen guys HIDING in plain sight! I have helpfully circled the additional crabs I spied upon closer viewing!
after visiting the "beach of statistics" we went off to a really cute ecolodge style place for lunch of ceviche, shrimp and rice and the sweet was coconut pudding for the others and for all of us some thing with candied fruit in it I think guava but my memory may be a bit hazy here.
the drive home was uneventful and we stopped along the way at a fruit stand for Kimo to buy some fruit-
later we went to dinner in town- at a beautiful place overlooking the Santa Marta bay from the hills above- we had beef filet and mashed bananas with cheese (tasted more like a flavorful potato than banana- not sweet)
we watched the sun set from the restaurant- stunning!
the yummy dessert sent us on our way- happy campers pretty much all...lovely evening with slight breeze a relief form the heat and humidity of the day...
tomorrow on to Cartagena!