The hills around Taganga are dry, almost desert. There are large cactus but also shady trees and other shrubs. You can see from a distance that thousands of years of rain and wind have pulled dirt down the hills and into the low, dry delta between hills that the town sits on. Where the silt settled is notably greener than the hills around it from, I assume, newly exposed fertility, and the green goes all the way down to the sea.
All along the coast there are these enormous birds of prey that perch high on the wind and peer down at the towns. There are also flocks of green parakeets and some sleek black racing birds that squack too much at sunset.
The few nights we’ve been here the wind has been amazing. It’s picked up in strong gusts, like what you’d experience in one of our winter storms in Seattle, right when dusk hits dark. We sat on some steps yesterday across the bay from the town and could see the gusts coming across the water at us, then up the beach and in our faces. Last night we layed in hammocks at our hotel and the wind sounded like it would take a roof off. We sleep with our window open and the wind blasts the curtains the whole time. We sleep with the bed under the fan (though we’ve yet to get a mosquito bite here) and Azure sleeps under two sarongs while I sleep under the one bed sheet. We’ve slept well here, it’s not too hot.
The town itself, as I said to Azure, is better from afar. The main strip along the beach has lots of backpackers and hippies selling jewelry. It has the usual gathering of the worst of the local culture – the young men looking to profit off tourists, whatever the price to their integrity. (This is a global phenomenon, the worst locals we meet are transplants to backpacker towns.) There are a number of restaurants, 5 or 6 or which are on the beach itself, and some good ones on the adjacent street. There’s not much to do here except consume food and hang out on the OK beach. The water is a beautiful turquoise and people swim far far out into the bay, as the water doesn’t seem to move much.
The best part of being here is when we’re high on the hill, reading in our hammocks in the wind and looking down at the bay.