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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Visitors and the Tomatina

La Tomatina-This is both fun and cathartic

It's wonderful to have visitors at any time during the year. The effect on the host family is to reanimate our lives so that we do things and see things through the eyes of our visitors. When our visitors are fun loving and easy going, that is a bonus.

We live very close to the town of Buñol, home of the world famous Tomatina. We have personally been there and done that more than a few times, although for many of the town's locals they never get enough of it. We saw Kevin and Heather on our visit to England and we talked excitedly about their upcoming visit to Valencia. Time has a way of fleeting, so before we knew it, they were here and ready to go.

This year marked the first time that some control, and common sense was added to the original Tomatina program that has run for many years. The event is staged along a narrow street that is one-way. Normally, it can accommodate cars only, but massive trucks need to travel along the route bringing in 130,000 kilos of ripe tomatoes while the road was filled with people. This year entrance was strictly limited to 20,000 people, instead of the record 40,000 + who attended last year in the same space.

I constantly marvel over the fact that no-one has been killed beneath the wheels of the trucks, or at least I don't think anyone has been lost that way. I really don't know how anyone could tell as blood and tomato sauce are the same colour.

Apparently it was a grand success with 15,000 people paying a 10 euro entrance fee, plus another 5,000 tickets issued to locals without charge. Men were much better behaved this year and our visitors really enjoyed themselves. The organizors were happy to report no untoward incidents.

In spite of the continuing crisis every town has presented its fiestas this summer. There has been several things to attend every day, but without visitors we most probably would have ignored all the many events because we have been there and got the tee-shirt. However, when sharing events with people who are seeing them for the first time it's as though we too are seeing them as never before.

We took Kevin and Heather off the plane and straight to a long procession parading handheld fireworks that discharged fire and smoke and explosions. That was the prelude to what would become a street war between the many combatants that was to have started at 1:30 am, and would go through till the sun arose. That night, around 1am the heavens opened and poured the heaviest rains we've seen for a very long time. Kevin and Heather's first night ended in flooding in their apartment. However, I believe the fight did go on.

Since then we did many things between the rain showers and between siestas, and both they and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire ten days of their visit. We have been very lucky to have had a fabulous Summer, between our own visit to England for the family reunion, and Elizabeth's visit to us, (my wife's sister) who had a ten day road trip with my wife, and Kev and Heather's ten day adventure.

I have previously written a couple of blogs about family and the importance of close relationships. That is a continuing story that seems to become more important the older one gets.

Two very happy people who have been at the sauce - the tomato sauce!
Copyright (c) 2013   Eugene Carmichael