So last night was interesting to say the least. Very noisy with gunfire at times, a little scary especially when I was leaving the van to visit the loos (nearly saved me the walk!) Torrential rain for 2 hours so we watched the chaos as the Spaniards piled in trying to get their caravans parked up in the quagmire of sand and rain in the dark, entertaining to say the least.
This morning we woke to blue skies and Iain’s birthday -happy birthday to you xxxxxx
We walked into El Rocio which is about 5 minutes from the campsite. The town is famous for the pilgrimages here – is the most famous attracting nearly a million people – considerably less here this weekend but still an awful lot. It’s a sprawling, pretty Wild-West-style place (they tie the horses to wooden hitching posts outside the houses that have signs saying “reserved for horsemen”, the roads are sandy and unpaved/untarmaced, and the shops all sell saddles, western clothes and religious gifts and nothing else. We bought a mini rosary to hang in the windscreen to keep in with the fashion here
There are roughly 90 or so brotherhoods and each has its own house with stables and its own chapel. The members come for various festivals and fiesta bringing horses, wagons and carts and the men dress in western wear. The women are either in western wear or wear jodhpurs and long leather boots – Iain is loving this type of bird watching:) Everyone seems out for a good time with lots of drinking and singing as well as the processions. In seems to be more about the men though as there are proper Cabelleros with the outfits and Arab horses – strutting around with a drink in one hand (the riders not the horses).
We headed back to camp for lunch and the site is even fuller now. Seems to be parties all over and even a couple of guys playing flamenco guitars now. We sat in the sun taking it all in then finished off the afternoon with a game of Petang (Iain now 3-2 up in the series). This evening we will have a few drinks in the van to celebrate Iain’s last year of birthdays that start with a 5.