Guest blogger Gulliver here to give our readers (hi Mum) the lowdown on LA TOMATINA!!!
Having failed to make it to the water and wine festival the night before we were up early eager to avoid a similar calamity with La Tom itself. Couldn't have all that pariah White clothing purchased specially go to waste! Got a bus out to Bunol organised by our hotel, and with our possessions in our shoes and our disposable cameras in ziplock bags (Maori waterproofing), we were ready for action! Arrived in plenty of time to scope out some good looking fluro goggles(to protect the eyes from the tomato acid) and have a litre of sangria for breakfast. Possibly should have given Zara something a bit more substantial, as she ended up pissing herself before the first tomato had even been thrown! There was another girl who clearly couldn't handle the jandal and vomited about 2 metres from us, much to the delight of her friends. In such close quarters things like this almost went unnoticed, gridlocked in as we were the only thing the masses were concerned with was yelling "agua, agua!" to the locals in the houses above. Very obliging bunch of locals, they had buckets, hoses and even mugs of water to throw down on the crowds below. A rowdy bunch of bogans near us formed a circle of "shirt ripping" where they claimed more than a few victims, luckily we managed to stay clear of them although everything we wore that day got quickly discarded due to the absolute pong of rotten tomatoes. The first gunshot finally went off after what seemed like forever, and we stood waiting for the tomatoes with 40,000 other people... And we waited... And waited! The first couple of trucks that came down our street had emptied out in the town square, but it was about the third one that made us forget our worries of emerging from the food fight still clean and white. For about ten minutes straight we were pelted with whole tomatoes, all while mushed up against the street walls and everyone around us! When the truck got further down the street we got some room to move and could start chucking the tomatoes in proper food fight style.
The second gunshot signalling that the fight had to stop was pretty well ignored and we only stopped when the water blasting hoses arrived to clean the streets. After a bit of a bath in a local fountain (which turned the water a rather murky brown) we were off on a mission to find our bus to take us back to Valencia! They had strategically timed the return journey to give us plenty of time to dry off and de-tomato, just as well really because not only did it take us aaaages to find our pick up point, it turns out digging tomatoes out of your ears is quite a lengthy process too.
Finally, leaving our shoes at the bus stop, boarded our bus home making friends with a lovely chap claiming he was a pirate and that we should make up a song for him to sing to the bus....from what I remember it went something like "I am a pirate....my sister is a pirate....my mother was a pirate"
Today was a pirate day....