Sep 16, 2011

Tomatina 2011

About 5 of our friends have told us...
"Only you two would go to one of the world's biggest food fights on your honeymoon"
So I thought maybe it deserved its own post. 
We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
We left at 5am to get to the train station in the hopes of being on the first train to Buñol from Valencia.
We heard it was best to get there early - so we did as we were told. 
We arrived to a line of mostly Aussies and Americans waiting for that first train too. 
I'm sure the locals know a better way than a 6am departure!
Sun was only just coming up as we arrived into Buñol at 7:30am. 
This is a before shot. 
Do you like Neil's body target shirt? I thought it was perfect. 
Anyway, there were lots of young college age kids there.
Some even spent the night on the street in Buñol since there aren't many hotels/hostels.
(We are wayyyy past even thinking of sleeping on a street to partake in an early morning food fight).
But partake we did.
Anyway, here we are in a sea of people trying to find the perfect spot.
 Can you see the houses with blue tarps protecting them?
They knew exactly what was about to happen.
And I'm pretty sure tomatoes would stain their pretty white stucco walls.
I barely knew what I was taking pictures of since I could hardly lift an arm in the crowd.
So I would just stick my waterproof disposable camera up and snip snap away.
It was crowded on this tiny street, to say the least.
Anyway, at 10am the towns people put up a 2 story high greased pole 
with a ham tied to the top. 
The tomato fight doesn't begin until the brave climbers reach the ham and untie it. 
So for the next hour and a half, we watched those brave souls try with all their might
to climb a greasy pole- you can see a guy in the distance trying his luck.
The crowd would cheer as someone would make some ground and wipe off some of the grease.
Then, inevitably they would only make it so far before they started to slide down.
Guys would kindly forfeit their tshirts and toss them to the climbers to try to wipe off some grease.
Hence the many shirtless folk you'll see in pictures.
Meanwhile, the townspeople who live above the street were throwing buckets of cold water on the crowd.
When one section would get splashed, we would all cheer.
It was all in good fun.
Eventually enough people had attempted the climb that one very strong Spanish guy got that ham down.

I think this was our successful guy above.
The horns blew, indicating the beginning of the fight.
Then there was lots of "Ole ole ole ole, ole ole" being chanted.
And everyone just started cheering in anticipation of the tomato trucks coming.
Goggles went on in preparation.
 Yikes, too tight.
Goggles were a MUST.
Here comes the very first tomato truck. 
There was barely enough room for the people without the massive trucks.
But we somehow squeezed together and let them through.
And then it was pretty much chaos from here as they dumped out tomatoes.
 Complete strangers were launching tomatoes in our faces and we would strike right back. 
 Four trucks came through dumping tomatoes on the crowd. 
I didn't really want to post this next picture.
But let me assure you that I couldn't see much further than 8 inches past my face.
I was trying to capture the pure depth of the tomatoes without being trampled.
And somehow this guy and his saggy pants ended up in my picture. How rude. 
But you can see it's past knee deep! 
Here is a tomato coming straight for my face from one of the guys on the truck.
And before we knew it the horns blew again indicating the end of the fight.
We made it.
I wonder if we were the only honeymooners there. 
Quite possibly...
Then everyone came out of their homes and kindly hosed us off. 
Look at their poor street! 
The hosing didn't do much for my matted hair. 
But we hopped back on the train to Valencia, with a pink hue to our clothes.
It smelled like a big bowl of pasta sauce on the train.
And I think we were still finding bits of tomato in our ears for 2 days. 
It was certainly something we will always remember. 
And we're so glad we went to Tomatina 2011. 
Hopefully our kids will be at Tomatina 2033!

1 comment:

Eventful Life and Style said...

Wouldn't want to be the one having to clean up!! =)