August 17, 2002

8/17/02 Hacinas

Eat, drink & be merry

After six hours of sleep, it was time to get up to eat lunch. On this last day of the fiesta, lunch was a huge picnic at the park across the river. Again more food and drink, but the atmosphere was more subdued. You could tell those that had danced the night away because you found them sleeping on their picnic blankets.

Victor, Nati's mother, Gema, Alberto, Pedro, José, Javier

As always, the band keeps on going

Our peña gathered for a huge group photo to add to the walls of the peña headquarters. Everyone kept asking if I would come back next year. And I think now that if I am able, I will be here. Hopefully my Spanish will be better so I can really get to know these wonderful people who made me feel so welcomed in the peña.

Peña de Alboroto

Again we began to dance and sing our way from bar to bar. I had thought of bringing a small recorder on this trip, but now I could kick myself for deciding not to. After four days, I can hum most of the band's songs even if I don't know the words. Throughout the fiesta, José and Alberto have told me each of the song's style and where in Spain it originated. Even so, I wish I could take some of this music home with me.

Just time for a cold one before we go dancin' again

At dinner with the peña, I was asked with cheers to sing something from America. But for the life of me I couldn't think of anything. When, not if, I come next year, I'll be prepared. We decided to make one more long night of dancing. Even early in the morning, the fiesta was attended by all ages. I talked with Nati's mother and some of her aunts and an uncle at 4am.

Nati's mother, aunt & uncle at 3:42AM

On each of the previous nights, there had been a fireworks display like we have in America. But tonight, the excitement was rignt in the plaza because of the "Toro de Fuego", the Bull of Fire.

Bull of Fire

Several men, each taking a turn, run around the plaza underneath a large metal bull-shape complete with horns. On top is a large array of fireworks that spray out on all sides. While many of us stood at the edges to watch, hundreds tried to keep ahead of the bull as it sped around the plaza.

Nati, Alberto, Cristina, Gema, Pedro dancin' till dawn

Another concert began and we spent a little more time dancing before we made our way home about 6am.