October 12. 2013-Lunch at the Blue Lagoon
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“The ceviche es fantastica”.
And so is the companionship in La Laguna Azul (the Blue Lagoon), the small a restaurant under the steps to the old Getsemani Central Commercial Mall in Cartagena. There are just two tables here and a slanted ceiling over the kitchen and movie posters hang on the wall with photos of a young and tender Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins and it serves the best, freshest ceviche (marinated fish) we’ve ever had, anywhere, bar none, plus really cold beer and good wine.
With only two tables there is a good chance you won’t get one so when we arrived on Saturday they planted us outside, nice enough for an ice-cold Aquila Beer, but we said we’d wait for a table inside where the air-conditioning keeps things frigid, before ordering lunch. Apparently my Spanish was undecipherable but after several English-Spanish language consultations with various bystanders the waitress finally got the idea and promptly kicked out the group of four who had been nursing their cervasas for an hour or so, and ushered us inside. Sometimes it pays to be a gringo tourist.
And, we found a party going on!
The other table was littered with empty beer bottles and plates formerly filled with fish and prawns and other piscatorial delights and surrounded by a gaggle of slightly boisterous Colombianos enjoying a long Saturday afternoon get-together. The small eatery was a bit noisy but never mind, it was cool inside after the heat of our morning shopping spree and the food, we knew from a previous visit, was great, so we ordered more beer and wine and a couple of large plates of the delicious marinated fish with red onion salsa and piles of plantain chips.
Before long we were happily enjoying our meal and had become part of the party, it seemed, and one great fellow, Nelson, leaned over and told us the story of how he and his comrades, all from San Juan Nepomuceno, in the mountains far to the south of Cartagena, meet here regularly to keep alive their long friendship.
Then the beauty contestants started coming in.
Several tall and lean and gorgeous young women, smiling and friendly, all wearing satin sashes with their names on them, came in one by one for hugs and kisses, more hugs, more kisses, and photo ops. It seems that the national beauty pageant, which happens in Cartagena in November, is a popularity contest and these girls were out getting the vote. It made my head spin, that and all the Sauvignon Blanc I was drinking with my langoustino cerviche.
Two hours later we finally bid our goodbyes to our new friends and meandered our way back through the streets of old town to Club Nautico and Wings, where we collapsed for a long nap.
I wonder what we’ll do next Saturday?
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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cartagena