The last week was spent in the sun and sand in the costal town of Santa Marta. I have been here once before and we stayed in the resort centre of Rodadero. This time around I stayed in the actual centre of town. Air bnb to the rescue again a nabbed a room in a penthouse apartment for about $12 a night. Cheaper than a hostel and with my own room and bathroom.
My hostess was a lovely Abeula named Inés who insisted that I make myself welcome and treat this as my own house. This helped with the budget as I was able to make my own breakfasts as per Medellin but found that I spent my other two meals eating out. The coast can be quite expensive if you always eat on the beach, yes expensive is relative but with some time left on the road I love a bargain.
This has meant a lot of soup of varying combinations depending on the area. Most are served with rice, potatos, a big chunk of braised meat and avocado. I never could have imagined craving soup for lunch on a 35 degree day but it is so good and apparently a great hang over cure.
Mornings of being up at 5am seem like another persons life as I easily slip into the costal rhythm. Late nights and bars were a regular this week with a group of locals and expats who call Santa Marta home. Having contact with people who live here makes all the difference.
Most tourists don’t rate Santa Marta at all. To be fair it is loud, the beach is not worth swimming in, it’s a bit dirty and a little rough around the edges. The food and nightlife are great though and good/great beaches are 10 minutes in a cab.
It is also the base point for Park Tayrona, Minca and a host of other locations. I skipped Tayrona this time as I had done it my first time but it is a true jewel of the Carribean. Where the Sierra Nevadas roll down to the ocean, giving you every climate on earth in one location.
This time instead I went up to Minca to get some rest from the coastal sun. More on that next time!