On our fourth day in Colombia, we took a cramped and bumpy bus ride for 5-6 hours to Taganga, a charming little fishing village. Though the village itself has an unexplored and remote tranquility about it, La Tortuga, our hostel, was another matter altogether; “tranquil” would be the last word I use to describe this place. As our cab took a turn onto unpaved dirt paths, we noticed disturbing graffiti on buildings; for instance, “We want water, not war!” (in Spanish).

Stray dogs lay idly in the middle of the street, baking in the Colombian humidity and heat; they looked dead. The internets said not to go hiking alone, because travelers had been held up at knife point. There was no hot water because the water was supplied by a big bucket strapped onto the roof of the hostel; a truck would come by to fill it in the mornings. During our first night here, there was no air conditioning and and the fan was broken in 90 degree weather (and don’t forget the 90% humidity). Kyle sat down on the bed, which was too short for him, and as soon as he did, the bed cracked and a piece broke off.

But wait, there’s more.

Around 3:00 a.m., various animals began fighting in a multi-species brawl right outside our window. A rooster would not shut up, which resulted in other angry animals, including a barking dog, a hissing cat [?], and god knows what else. Some 20 minutes later, a person came out to scream at them all to shut up, but silence did not grace us for long. The cross-species gladiator spectacle resumed about an hour later. The hostel was named La Tortuga for a reason, as there were tortoises running around the place; perhaps they were involved in this fracas as well. But the place did have a damn good view:

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We took a boat to Playa Grande, which was a cozy little beach a short ride away. The beach is at the foot of a gorgeous hillside/cliff. We were here for several hours and I moved through many pages of Pride and Prejudice while on these shores, and also ate some delicious shrimp ceviche. There was a beautiful hotel up there, and we took a walk up there to check out the views. We had dinner at a restaurant called Pachamama, and enjoyed drinks at a rooftop bar with an ocean view that night.

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