Cartagena, Colombia, South America
I had a brilliant time diving in Taganga today! I got up early and walked down to the dive shop in Santa Marta. There was one other diver coming with me today to do his first open water dive, so we got a taxi from Santa Marta to the dive shop in Taganga. We met all the staff including my dive master for the day, Camila. All 15 of us hopped into the boat and we headed off toward Tayrona Parque. It was only about a 15 minute ride until we got to our first dive site. The visibility was great, there was a lot of coral, and we got to see some pretty cool wildlife as well.
We saw a couple of eels, which are always cool to look at, and some squid. It was the first time I’d seen a squid on a dive and they are pretty cool looking. I used my GoPro with the red filter on it so that the colors looked correct (under water the red light from the sun is filtered out), but at the end of my dive the red filter broke. It fell off my camera but luckily I noticed and was able to go down to the bottom and get it. It just meant that I had to use my camera without the filter for the next dive.
We finished our first dive and then took the boat over to a little beach on the coast of Tayrona Parque to have some lunch. They brought little sandwiched and cookies for each of us, which was very nice, and some bags of water. Yeah, bags of water, not bottles. It’s weird, but we were thirsty, so it didn’t matter. We started our second dive in a location further around the corner, just a few minutes away from our lunch location. The second dive was just as impressive as the first one, just with a very strong current. I really enjoyed my day of diving and the staff with Santa Marta Dive and Adventure were awesome. Camila was an excellent dive master, and we had some good chat in the downtime, which is always nice.
After we finished the dives and got back to Taganga, we all brought our gear up to the dive center, but couldn’t rinse them out because they had run out of water. There is no running water in Taganga, so you have to get barrels filled up by a government truck that runs around giving people water. Apparently the dive center ran out of water, so we just had to leave our gear for them to wash when they get water back.
A few of us got a taxi back into Santa Marta and ended up back at the dive shop. I hung around for a few minutes to get Camila to sell me a log book and get her to stamp it as well. I know when I get to the Galapagos I am going to need to show that I have been diving in the last three months, so now I will have that.
I went back to Zleeping Hostel to pick up my bags, and get a shower, since they do have running water at the hostel. I said bye to the owner Enrique, and then caught my bus to Cartagena. There was a nice english couple in the van when I got in, and we had a nice chat about what they’ve seen in South America and what things I should see as well. It’s very exciting. The ride to Cartagena took about five hours, so we arrived at about 9:30pm. The nice thing was, I took the ride with a company called Hostel2Hostel, so they picked me up and dropped me off at my hostels.
My new hostel is okay. It’s in a good location in the old town in Cartagena. I am absolutely exhausted after the day of diving and traveling, so I’m just hanging out at the hostel for the night. Tomorrow I’ll check out the city of Cartagena.