Well I had better warn you that this week's post is a bit photo heavy, so I will keep the description to a minimum. It is a continuation from last week, sharing bits of the fiesta that we enjoyed, and I will say here that although most of the photos are my own, a few are taken from the Town Hall's own site. Their official photographer is good, and sometimes get better photo opportunities than I do.
So we will start with last Friday night. After writing my blog, I went into town to watch the children do their traditional dancing. They are a new dance school run by a couple of young girls, so most of the members are very young, but they put on an excellent show, and one or two are real characters and kept us all smiling throughout their performance.
After the evening entertainment there is always an hour or so break while the night time musicians set up, do sound checks etc, and it is fun to sit around on the plaza, with a drink and a tapa if you want one, and just watch the people milling around. There is always such a happy atmosphere at the fiesta.
I like to look up through the lights and lanterns as the sky darkens. They are so pretty.
Temperatures have definitely been in the upper thirties this week, and Saturday was so, so hot!. They even cancelled one event with the small children, we assume because it was scheduled for the hottest part of the afternoon. However we had planned to go an event and am glad we made ourselves leave the relative cool of the house to go, because it was such fun. We only had to walk to the next street to Simon's bar, where a huge green net across the street formed a tunnel of shade. Along each side there were pierced hose that kept us sprayed with a fine mist. We hadn't had lunch - the heat kind of saps your appetite, so we started with a drink and tapa. This was my healthy lunch Spanish style - tomatoes with olives and garlic, and of course, bread.
As everyone was finishing eating I saw this large contraption being wheeled to one end of the 'tunnel'. Do you know what it is?
It is a foam machine and what fun it was. The children had mostly come prepared and soon stripped off to their swimming costumes, and before long, soft soapy foam was being pumped into an area for them to play in. Some needed a bit of coaxing to get involved, but soon everyone was enjoying it.
When the children were growing tired and parents were taking them home, the machine was turned up a notch and it was time for the adults to take the plunge. I didn't hesitate of course!
It felt lovely, so soft and cool, and the solution had a stabiliser in it, because it didn't disintegrate for a while. Then a friend asked Chris to come in too, so he could take a photo of them, and they in turn took one of us.
Every now and then the machine was turned off to rest, and I thought it had finished so I was turning back to the bar when suddenly a huge wall of foam came right over me. I have to admit I panicked a bit. I hate having anything over my face, and when I breathed I was breathing in foam. I was quite disorientated and I shouted at Chris to clear my face, but he laughed and just went on videoing me. Men!
But it was all in good fun. Then the party got a bit boisterous with water pistols and water bombs being aimed at folk so we were all soaked through by the time we went home. But at least we were cool!
Sunday night was the main fiesta; the actual day for our patron saint, Virgen del Carmen, so at 8.00 there was a mass in her honour on the plaza. Many of the villagers dress up for this and I love to see them in their beautiful dresses. All the tiny children run around in 'Flamenco style' clothes, even babies in pushchairs are often dressed up.
And the older girls look stunning. This was one of my favourites from the dresses I saw this year.
Not everyone participates in the mass, but there are a lot who do, and others who sit or stand around the edge to watch. It begins when the statue of the Saint is carried down from the church to the plaza, accompanied by the town band, and a procession of villagers.
The choir are already in place on the stage - wearing bright red dresses this year. Once the statue is in place, a long line of folk queue to give a flower tribute to her, and these are placed around her 'throne' and on a cart at the side.
To give you an idea of how many people were there, this was my view from where I was standing towards the back.
And here is the opposite view taken from on the stage.
The mass is led by our village priest who is a lovely man. I listen to his talk and am often surprised by how much I can understand.
As it ended we slipped away to find a quieter spot and indulge in my own fiesta tradition of a mojito in a quiet bar. Yum-yum!
And so the sun set on another fiesta.
The music continued for one last night, ending around 7-00 on Monday morning. Because the Saint's day fell on a Sunday, Monday was also a Red day (or public holiday), so no-one had to get up for work, but by night-fall, most of the rides were packed up and ready to roll, the bars were dismantled, and the rubbish lorries were out clearing the streets. Now you would never know it had happened.
A couple of other things have happened this week. After our 'foam fun' Chris suggested we get away from the noise for the evening and he took me to a lovely Italian restaurant on the edge of Mojacar, and we had an excellent meal, - all the better for being unexpected.
On Wednesday I had a follow-up appointment at the hospital for my arthritic shoulders, and because I had been tardy about booking a translator, I had to wing it myself. It went really well. The doctor had a smattering of English, so between us we had a good chat. She was concerned about my swollen knuckles, and lack of mobility in my neck, so she has referred me to the rheumatoid arthritis consultant just to check. She also prescribed some better pain killers for me so it was a very positive session.
Earlier in the week, we booked our flights to UK in October so I can have a family party for my 70th birthday. And I am then going on to spend a few days with my sisters down South, and then bringing my sister Jean back with me for a week, so lots to look forward to there.
Today I went to the ferreteria and bought an 'industrial strength' fan for my craft room. It is doing its best to blow me out the window right now, but it is lovely and cool.
And finally, here is an update on the new roundabout at the front of the village. The men pulled out all the stops to get it finished before the fiesta, and very smart it looks too.
We now have a wide, safe crossing, governed by traffic lights, to get us across the busy main road, so as soon as it is a little cooler we will be walking the dogs that way in the mornings.
The village name is mounted at both ends of the oval, and there are eight tall lights keeping it visible. There are a group of hibiscus plants between each pair of olive trees, which are already in flower, and where the road divides into lanes, the new little islands are covered in artificial grass - just visible at the right of my photo. It all looks very good and the traffic is moving well around it, so job well done!