Colombia Chapter 7 - Andy's Travelogues

Colombia Chapter 7

Christmas and New Year's Eve in the fishing village of Taganga

After a few days in the jungle I return back to the sea. Christmas is approaching and with it the end of the year. Tactically, it will be better to take a spot in the hostel somewhere, before everything is completely full. In addition, the more days I spend in one place, the more likely I will meet some kindred spirits and suitable adepts to enjoy saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming 2017.

Taganga fishing village

I’m off to the fishing village of Taganga. It is on a bay, half of the village is built into the adjacent hills. So did the hostel I chose. It takes a lot of work to climb up to it, but the view from the terrace is so breathtaking that I have no doubt that it was the right choice. Just a little glitch… I’m all alone here.

Lucy and her husband-to-be, the owners of the hostel, are gradually putting this place together and it’s not very advertised anywhere, and different parts of the hostel even feel very makeshift. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just a few days away. Well, it doesn’t look very promising in terms of my naive ideas of a grand celebration, dancing exuberant Colombian women, beer gushing from bottles and a pyramid quickly disappearing from sandwiches. No, this idea melts like your dropped ice cream on the sidewalk.

I am slowly learning more about the village from the locals. The fact that you can go from one end to the other in 15 minutes is not exactly a walk in the park, and I am not allowed to visit some parts after dark for safety reasons. It is best to stay in the beach area, where most evenings are quite lively. This is not a tourist area, rather alternative travelers with dreadlocks on their heads, the remains of dog poop on their feet and a strangely crumpled cigar in their hand come here 🙂 But there are also various bars and nightclubs. There will be some life after all.

Taganga - Kolumbie

Going to the village for fresh fish was a great experience. And it didn’t matter if they grilled her straight away with a banana or if I took only killed fish with me and grilled it at the hostel. The fish caught that day always pleases.

Bikers and Germans

Two days before Christmas, more people finally show up at the hostel. A German couple, later 2 Colombian bikers, who arrived admirably in the north of Colombia all the way from Cali (it’s a long way). Cali is the mecca of salsa dancing, and then, like Medellin, it also has a history significantly tainted by drug cartels.

I quickly become friends with a German couple and a motorcyclist and we go to the beach across the bay together. It should be a bit more interesting than the one near the village. It takes about 30 minutes to get there from the village up such a steep hill, but there is a path, so it’s quite doable. But what is interesting are 2-3 stations with police patrols. There were frequent muggings, so uniformed police officers have to bask in the sun. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Colombia Chapter 7 1
Fotbal na pláži v Kolumbii

Soccer on the beach

On the way back, we stop at a place where fishermen go to fish. One of our Colombian motorcyclists arranges with a local fisherman and they cook the fish they caught a while ago on the fire. I don’t remember ever tasting better fish.

For a while we watch the young fisherman boys playing football on the beach and then we join them with Martin from Germany. Colombia vs. CR-GDR. The Colombian young fishermen are kicking the ball here every day and us European boys with our expensively bought bacon stuck to our bellies have a bit of a problem keeping up with their pace. Colombia leads 2-0. We spit blood and drink sea water to replenish sweated fluids. After all, the match has already lasted 3 minutes. Martin and I are both 190 cm tall. We took that and tried to take it as our strong point against the Colombian hobbits.

I pass to Martin, he passes to me, I pass to him and gooooooooooaaaal!!! We are losing 3-0.

That motivates us, we don’t give up and in the end, by some chance, we manage to at least draw. We are already crawling from the beach on all fours and the hobbits are calling us to continue, we just wave our hands limply…

Returning to the hostel, new faces appear. 2 fitness instructors from Bogota, 3 Argentinian students and one French traveler. Now it looks like a slightly more interesting Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebration. Of course I mean it because of the number of people 🙂

For Christmas, we all agree that everyone will prepare some typical food from their country. I put sandwiches and fried fish in the wine. The sandwiches were a bit of a bummer, because the local bread was significantly sweet, which I only found out after I had prepared all the sandwiches. The Germans prepared milch reis (milk rice), the Argentinian girls rushed to prepare pizza. If you are wondering what pizza has to do with Argentina, then know that enough is enough. In Argentina, the influence of Italian immigrants is very noticeable, for example in how they express themselves (they wave their hands and are noisier) and then, for example, in the kitchen.

The Christmas party was a success. Martin from Germany played hits from the Rolling Stones on the ukulele, great food, everyone had fun and it lasted until nine in the morning. There’s only one fitness Colombian Paola left, me and Argentinian Bela. Belu was special in her feminine side – a femme fatale. While her logic of thinking would make even a willing chess player sad, her charm and sex appeal would not compare to Black Mamba or some cool butterfly. That girl was sensuality incarnate, those graceful movements, the intonation of her voice, the way she laughed with the voice of a 60-year-old smoker…

Do you know what the Colombian Triangle is called? This is when a Colombian woman looks at a Czech man, a Czech man looks at an Argentinian woman, and an Argentinian woman looks at a Colombian woman (draw a picture if you are lost). So there we are, helplessly laughing, dancing in a looped triangle at a romantic sunrise, and since we are all in a state of marigolds on dung, merriment and infatuation, we end it and go to sleep too. Everyone separately, a classic.

I already told you what is the advantage of sleeping for 2 years in rooms where you are always at least 6-10 people in a room? … None! By the way, Spanish is spoken in Argentina, but it can be quite difficult to understand them. They have a significantly different pronunciation for quite a few words, and various word combinations simply work differently than, for example, in Mexico. After the Christmas party, I reminded Bela how funny the end of the party was. She sounded so high on cocaine that she had no idea what I was talking about. We became a couple for the following week. It was a bit strange that she didn’t understand me at all. I understood about 70% of her, she understood about 30% of me. That’s why the Argentinian Agnus was always around, she could at least speak English. You can probably imagine our romantic conversations, golden pioneer camps, where you confess your love to a girl by simply throwing a stone at her head. Yes, childhood love was easier 😀 And stop thinking about the “cocaine-ridden” part! We are in Colombia! Good to know: the average Colombian citizen will not admit or want to hear anything about cocaine or any other drug being readily available in Colombia. They don’t like being boxed in like this and fight it by denying it plain and simple. No wonder.

One day in the week before New Year’s Eve, we went on a trip together to Tayrona National Park. The owners of the hostel provided us with a boat that took us to a bay with a beautiful beach lined with jungle. A local chef, who came running out of the jungle out of nowhere, offered us the option to order food in advance and then bring it to us at the place and time we chose. Before cooking, we enjoyed snorkeling and then lunch right on the sand.

End and farewell

Therefore, the New Year’s Eve celebration is a bit milder for me. Bela and I are saying goodbye irrevocably, we didn’t understand each other 🙂 But she enriched me enough, apart from teaching me how to say Argentinean chicken (požo) (in Spanish it’s pojo, written pollo), she also explained to me vividly what is hidden behind by the Argentinian phrase “Marcas de putas”. I won’t translate it for you, but maybe ask me about it when you see me.