April 12, 2017:
OK, once again, we had a wildlife disappointment day today. Shawn and Sylvia are beginning to suspect I may be cursed! Our scheduled activity for the morning was a visit to Tayrona National Park, about 30 miles outside the town of Santa Marta. Reportedly, this national park is home to countless varieties of birds, several monkey, some lizards and caimans (smallish alligators). Reportedly …
We docked again about dawn this morning in the port of Santa Marta, which is much further to the east of Colombia, almost to the Venezuelan border. The terrain here is much more noticeably arid, with cactus and scrubby trees instead of jungle surrounding the town. However, as we drove further east, we entered a much more verdant landscape, albeit not the tropical rainforests to which we have become accustomed.
Our excursion to Tayrona had two main parts: a hike through the forested areas along the seaside, and then a visit to a seaside eco-resort with an opportunity to swim at the beach there. As you can see from the pictures, the coastline is striking, but the animals were lacking. In fact, the only wildlife I captured after lugging my heavy telephoto lens through the bush in the extreme heat was a pair of turkey buzzards. Even that would have probably been OK with Shawn and Sylvia, except the the tour guides promised sandwiches at our beach stop, and they were sadly, missing. Suffice it to say, the issue of the missing sandwiches in Santa Marta has been a daily discussion point.
The opportunity to swim in the warm Caribbean waters made the whole day, though. After slathering on some more sunscreen (and bug repellant) we headed for the waves and enjoyed our interlude on the beach!
Next stop: Curaçao, one of the constituent countries of the Netherlands!