Upon the arrival in Camarones early in the morning we were offered a coffee by the owner of the Restaurant Mira Mar which is located right on the beach, La Playa. We immediately liked the relaxed ambience: a palm-thatched place with colourful tables, chairs and other details, and chinchorros to chill between the baths in the see. People from the restaurant were very nice and friendly and we also got a company of the talkative local children. They wanted to take pictures and play with us in the sea.
Our time in Camarones was somehow limited as we had to leave in the mid afternoon to get back to Riohacha and continue to Parque Tayrona. To avoid waiting too long, we ordered the food earlier and set the hour when we wanted to have lunch.
Favorite Dish: The area is famous for shrimp so it was quite obvious that we wanted to taste this freshest possible delicacy. We ordered one dish with shrimp and another with grilled fish, and then we shared. I swear, these were the softest, sweetest and most delicious shrimp that I ever ate, and the fish was just equally tasty and well done. The dishes were accompanied by arroz con coco (coconut rice), patacónes (fried plantains) and mixed salad. We had a bottle of Pilsen beer during the meal. And what about the dessert? Oh, yes, we had that too. We bought a few cocadas (coconut balls - popular on the coast of Brazil and also Colombia - sticky balls of grated coconut held together with caramelized sugar) from sweet local children on the beach. We were very satisfied with our meal. Yummy!!
Our first idea was to eat in another restaurant where the food seemed to be good and it was closer to hotel where we were staying. Unfortunately, it was not open yet when we arrived. We were on the road the whole day, from the early morning, and did not have any decent food that day yet. Very hungry as we were, we thought we would rather look for another place than wait here until they open.
The guy from the first restaurant recommended Restaurante El Meson de Carmen which happened to be a very pleasant restaurant located in a quiet residential area of Riohacha. First thing that draw our attention were the cheerful murals that decorated all the walls. Equally cheerful were the people working there. It did not seem many foreigners ever visited this place so they were quite curious about what brought us there. We had a lot of fun talking to them. Before we left they gave each of us a calendar of the restaurant (it was just shortly after the New Year) with the motives of La Guajira. It is now hanging on my kitchen's wall and it brings back lots of good memories.
Favorite Dish: They offer a great variety of typical dishes of the region, mostly fish and seafood. There was a long table with all the dishes, each in a separate huge pan. You could chose whatever pleased you though looking at all these delicacies, it wasn't easy to decide. At the end we both had arroz con camarones (shrimp rice) - since we were in the area famous for shrimp. The dish was accompanied by mixed salad and we rinsed it with a beer. Or did we have two? ;) The food tasted really good!! We wanted to return after we came back from Cabo de la Vela. But to our great disappointment, that day the restaurant was closed.
On the way from Riohacha to Cabo de la Vela we were treated by the taxi driver to some very tasty arepas. We immediately knew that we would go for more on the way back. The driver from Cabo de la Vela let us out at the crossroads in Cuatro Vías, just in front of this open-sided restaurant. Actually, it's a line of several places, nothing fancy but simple, great little places for lunch. Beside tables and chairs there are a few hammocks where you can swing while waiting for the food.
People make a stop here while on the road, and you'll meet truck drivers, soldiers and other passengers heading either for Guajira Alta or Venezuela or coming from there.
Favorite Dish: The menu here is very limited. But we were more than happy that we could finally taste those most delicious arepas again. We ordered a portion of arepiñas (small arepas) for each of us, along with a plate of goat meat for Donna and platano con queso (plantain with cheese) for me. It was a very tasty lunch and it went down well with a bottle of cold Aguila beer. The service was quick and friendly. We also bought some typical Colombian sweets from a local woman which was our dessert.
There aren't many restaurants in Cabo de la Vela. Most of the visitors arrange their meals with Wayuu families where they stay. Well, this is certainly most convenient. And besides, who else if not the owners of your accommodation would be more interested to please you and thus offer you the best service? We usually had breakfast and dinner. During lunch time we were always away so we had something on the beach or in the village.
Every morning we talked to Maily. She told us what was on the menu that day (this is, what fisherman brought her in the morning). Then we chose among several possibilities and agreed about the time of our dinner. We dined quite early, around 7pm, since after dark there was not much to do here.
Favorite Dish: For breakfast we normally had arepa con queso, a popular breakfast dish in Colombia which I like very much, and coffee. And dinner was a real treat. We always had lobster and fish that was available that day, and then we shared. The fish was grilled and served with rice, patacónes (fried plantains) and mixed salad. Oh, yummy!! And lobster (also served with rice, patacónes and mixed salad) was nicely soft, sweet and most delicious! We thought we were in heaven :))