We walked the 5 km from our House-Sit in Moclin, Andalucia to Puerto Lope for the parade that would kick off the festival.
The day was Sunday 6th May, or as our official program said Domingo 6 de Mayo. The parade would leave Calle Felix Rodriguez at 12 noon and progress out of town toward Monte Sol.
Throughout the afternoon the program promised a huge paella – cooked on site, cold beer, dessert, dancing and horse racing.
In the evening, a Dance Show was scheduled for 11 p.m. with the Festival finishing at 3a.m.
Tension mounted as the decorated trucks, tractors and trailers made their way through the streets. Music blasted out, amidst the laughter, waving and bright dresses.
Everyone was in a festive mood. As we walked behind the last float in the procession, they invited us on board. Sitting on the back of the trailer, our feet dangling just millimetres above the tarmac, we crawled bumper to bumper up and down the hills toward Monte Sol.
Suddenly we were jolting off road and into a field where the tables, chairs, food and wine from home were unloaded. The atmosphere reminded me very much of an Australian Picnic Race Day, with everyone dressed to kill and ready to party.
Unlike the locals we had not brought any food or drinks along, and our tummies were rumbling. The paella, enough to feed 300 people, was cooked in a huge pan in the open field. When the paella was ready, the beer started flowing and the band began to play. Cries of Arriba filled the air and rockets, fired stealthily into the sky, exploded randomly, scaring us half to death!
The whole show ran behind schedule and when we left after 5 p.m. to walk home we had not seen the dessert, or the ribbon horse race. But as we left the field and squeezed past horses and cars for the long walk from Monte Sol to home, we were still buzzing with the excitement of our first Andalucian festival.
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