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La Tomatina

Written on: Thursday August 31st, 2006

A journal entry from: Euro Trip

We took the train into Valencia from Barcelona and upon arrival - complete disorganization.  We had no accomodation and could find no accomodation.  Went up to Bunol which is just under an hour on the train and there was absolutely nothing in sight.... teeniest town ever... so had to go back to Valencia... debated, argued, yelled, threw tantrums, and disagreed (thanks to heat and exhaustion) and finally rented a van to go up there.  The van was a 3 seater and unfortunately the back was just a sweat box.  I started off in the back with Neil and Mikey and it was fun for about 5mins and then just got sweaty.  We got lost, couldn´t find our way out of Valencia, and there was more arguing.  Finally swapped some seats and made it up there.

When we got to Bunol it was just madness... all the bars and restaurants were selling sangria and beer in litre plastic cups and the streets were just full of people.  Walk up a bit further and there were markets and street carnivals.  A bit further there were makeshift night clubs just packed out with people.  Sally, Neil, and I stayed out til 5am there.  So much fun.  However, I now have Spanish people as the worst nationality of people in the world.  Was just wandering around this club and was talking to some guys and they have this fascination with blue eyes.  So the guys were pointing at my eyes telling me they were hot (fair deal) and then before I knew it, one of them pried my eyes open and poked me in the eye!!!  WTF?!?!?  Funny but so weird.

Slept outside of the van and woke up before 8am to head into the city.  The girls had matching La Tomatina uniforms (hahah).... we had these 5 euro white pants from H&M and white singlet tops with our bikinis underneath and blue goggles.  Hah.  So awesome.  We walked down to the city and even though the tomato fight didn´t start until after noon it was still quite packed out by 9am.  They grease up a huge pole and hang a ham on top of it and the festival doesn´t start until the ham gets cut down.  People were just jumping up and down on top of each other and trying to scrape the grease off of the pole and sliding back down.  Guys were climbing up 3 or 4 high on top of each other.  It took hours to get the ham down (probs about 3) but never got old.  LOL.  

When the ham finally got cut down the tomato trucks started driving down the road and tomatoes FLEW.  It was so much fun.  I ditched the goggles about 5 throws in.  Neil and JP managed to mash tomatoes all in my hair which was fantastic... returned the favor.  We had tomatoes shoved down our pants and I think into every bodily crevice imaginable.  There was also a truck with water a few feet down so eventually we were standing in tomato slush... dirt mixed with tomato mixed with I would prefer not to know what.  Neil knocked me down so I was laying in it at one point.  It went in my mouth, ears, eyes.... we were just RED with tomato juice and had chunks of it all over ourselves, but it was awesome.  The crowd on the whole were quite good.  When Neil was trying to throw me down a big group of guys were pulling him up and trying to pull him off of me not realizing we were friends.  However, our tops didn´t last long.  One of the rules is no tshirt ripping, but we all lost ours about 5mins in besides Jen, who had JP to protect her.

So that was all well and good and messy.  However, La Tomatina ended in tears for me.... we decided to go to where the water was and over there the crowd was so different.  Everyone around us had been really cool and we had chatted with them, thrown tomatoes at them, been given tomatoes to throw by them, helped up, etc..... over by the water guys were wetting tshirts, knotting them and using them to hit people.  I had someone go for my bikini top and they ripped the strap off, so I was then holding it on with one hand.  Another guy saw that and started to try to rip it off again.  I got quite angry and was yelling at him to stop, and one of his freinds decided that he was going to try to rip my pants off.  I was furious at this point and didn´t know what to do as I only had one free hand... so I used it to smack the guy in the face.  At that point I had about 4 Spanish guys on me.  The guy that I hit hit me back while one of his mates grabbed my pony tail and started jerking my head around.... I thought I was going to DIE.  I managed to jerk my hair free and back up a bit but they were still in the crowd looking for me and when the saw me would start to come towards me again.  Unfortunately to get out I had to get through them.  We were way out numbered and had lost Neil and Mikey at that point... so I thought me, Sally, Jen, and JP were all going to get killed.... Sally managed to smooth things over and we moved on... only to have someone ELSE rip the other string on my bikini top so now I had no top.  Managed also to lose the others because I couldn´t hold onto them anymore.  I got out of the bulk of the crowd and some random guy came up and put a shirt over my head thank goodness.... clearly NOT Spanish and some girls offered to help me find the others.  Found Sally, Neil, and Mikey, so they got us out of the crowd. 

Sooo yeah that was the end of La Tomatina.  Been there, done that, wouldn´t go back. 

Afterwards we drove to Valencia again and went to the beach.  Neil, Mikey, and I were sleeping on the beach coz we wouldn´t all fit in the van, but then it started to RAIN so we all had to pack into the van, which was gross and smelly coz no one had properly showered.  LOL.

 

From avril on Feb 21st, 2007

wow, u are a posting machine! i like looking at all ur photos again. u should explain to the parents how to subscribe to ur blog. it may take some serious explaining though! xoxo

From _robbie on Feb 23rd, 2007

WOW! that is the intense -est (yes, i just said that) spain story ever. I had a horrible experience with my junk flying out the side of my swim trunks at the water slides. To add insult to injury the small boys had waaaaaay hairier armpits, so they were laughing at me. they were all gross, sweaty little GUIDO's staring at my sister.

From robbie on Feb 23rd, 2007

PS you must check out javea! (xabia depending who you talk to) it's on that southeast tip of spain just south of Valencia but north of Alicante. Its a really good place.