I’ve been laying in a hammock for three days now. Well, I’ve wandered around some, danced some, cooked a little and spoken quite a bit of Spanish. But mostly, I’ve been laying in hammocks watching the sky change. I love it. We´ve had morning showers, afternoon thunder and every color of the rainbow sunsets. A warm wind has been blowing in at night, trying its best to deter mosquitos from eating us alive.
A few days ago, a small bus drove me and a handful of others along the sea here from Cartagena. The trip solidified my earlier vow to never drive in Colombia (in the cities exists a seemingly chaotic (dis)array of cars and motorcycles that swerve in and around one other rapidly; the idea that pedestrians have any right away is laughable. I’m sure there must be some order that is obvious to Colombians, but I can’t see it). The highway we took to Taganga was 2 lanes, one in each direction, but somehow we kept managing to be in between two vehicles, usually large trucks full of gasoline or other busses, one or both of which were using shoulders as lanes. To calm myself, I kept thinking that our driver must’ve been experienced and professional, he would keep us safe. Until we stopped at a toll, where vendors were waiting to sell passengers snacks and drinks, and all 3 men in the front seat bought and popped Aguilas (Colombian beer). Cheers, and there went my theory. I love Colombia and how it follows its own rules, but from now on I think I’ll sit in the back of the bus, I won’t watch the road and I’ll bring some beers of my own. And I will never be in the drivers seat navigating 3 lanes of traffic on 2 lane highways.
Nevertheless, we arrived. Taganga is a small fishing village just recently expanded for tourism- mostly for backpackers on their way into Tayrona National Park, where I’m headed tomorrow. The village is set in a cove, surrounded by steep green mountains, and has mostly dirt roads and cement houses. People are really friendly here, locals are welcoming and vendors are less aggressive than anywhere else I’ve been. Street dogs are EVERYWHERE, some of whom look healthier than others, but few of whom look completely well. I realize that animal population control isn’t high on the practical “to-do” list of impoverished places (clean water, proper refrigeration and a steady power supply are of concern here), but I still wish that neutering services were more accessible. It’s tough watching still lactating mama dogs fight off males who are just being driven by their balls. Snip snip, por favor.
Overall, it´s a lovely place and I´m so grateful to be here. Now if I can manage to leave my hammock, I´ll head into the national park tomorrow for some hiking to make up for days of laziness. Or, maybe I´ll just find a new hammock to lay in. With five and a half months still ahead of me, I´m in no hurry to do much of anything at all. In a month or two, I´ll be excited and ready for some vounteering/working (I´ve already found some great oragnizations in Bolivia)- but, all in good time.