Greasy Palms in Santa Marta…
Updated: Jan 28
So on to Santa Marta, a little further up the coast. It was another long drive in a shuttle van with very little room for my 6’3″ frame but at least the roads were better, paved all the way. The scenery was better too as we were kind of following the coast but we did manage to see some abject poverty on the outskirts of Baranquilla. I mean as bad as anything you will see in India or Haiti with row after row of shacks built on a garbage dump. It was really very sad. Once trough this area we traveled right along the ocean much of the remainder of the trip.
Santa Marta was much nicer to me than Cartagena. There was a hotel/condo district which is where I stayed and I didn’t see another hotel anywhere around the city. I must say that the trip got better here. I made the day trip to Tyrona National Park, where some of my previously shared boat shots came from. Along the way I encountered two different kinds of monkeys, Capuchins and Cotton Top Tamarins, some Iguanas and some Cayman. The hike was strenuous and beautiful. I also made it to a water fall near the town of Minca. The falls were great and I was one of the first people there that morning, by the time I left it was packed. Minca was a tiny town but had a couple nice restaurants and a bakery, La Miga Panaderia Francesa, with the best bread I have ever had.
Minca was in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park… or on the edge of it maybe. To get to other areas of interest in the park required a three hour motorcycle taxi down bumpy dirt roads… no thank you. One day I might like to plan ahead and rent a motorcycle of my own or a 4 wheel drive maybe and make that journey but I wasn’t prepared to at that time. Frustrated, I just hung around Santa Marta for a few days and decided to force myself out into the streets to shoot. I actually did better than I thought I would shooting people. There was a lot of interesting people and if you greased their palms a bit, they were happy to oblige. I made the most of the remainder of the trip, hung out a bit at the hotel pool, worked out a couple times and caught up on my reading. Oh, and I found the best burger I have ever eaten at a place called Radio Burger!!!
That actually sounds like a nice relaxing trip to most people but when you have something more adventurous in mind it falls short.