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On the town

We were in el Descanso del Icue. It's a bar. We were having a snack and a glass of wine. At the bar there were three men. A couple chatted at one of the tables and a red faced man, toying with an unlit cigarette, wandered back and forth between the bar and nowhere in particular. Like us they were all Brits. Earlier in the evening we'd shared a table with two other Britons.

Now it's hardly unusual to come across Britons anywhere in Spain. We're an inquisitive and resourceful bunch. We turn up everywhere. Only the other day I was having a coffee in a bar on an out of town Industrial Estate before I gave a class to one of the busiinesses there. There were three other Britons in the bar, telecomms engineers from the look of their jackets. I noticed them but didn't think much about it. I may have stared a little longer than would be considered polite though when two backpack wearing tracksuit clad British tourists joined us.

There were more of us out tonight in town because there was fun to be had.

The first time we came across a ruta de tapas, a snack trail, was maybe six years ago. It was in Sax in Alicante and then it was just a euro for a drink and a tapa. Down here in Cartagena they are now on to edition number five of their route and this time there are 67 establishments taking part. The idea is dead simple. Each establishment designs a particular tapa for the event, that, along with a drink is offered for a set price and the event lasts maybe for a weekend or maybe for a couple of weeks. Punters trog around the participating establishments usually collecting something along the way. It was jigsaw pieces to solve a puzzle in Sax whilst here it's just stamps. They usually lead to some sort of compettion for some sort of prize.

The Cartagena route costs 2.50€ per pop and our choices tonight were a couple of smart restaurants, three ordinary bars and, at my insistence, a Dunkin' Donuts type snack bar. I felt they should be rewarded for their initiative in taking part. I was wrong.


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