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Posts Tagged ‘Castillo San Felipe’

It’s the clothes crisis to end all clothes crises; the one where my anguished cry of “I’ve got nothing to wear!” is more founded that at any other time of the year.
It’s the clothes crisis that has me eyeing up the bedroom curtains sideways while my mind concocts some vision of me looking like Cleopatra in an episode of Romeand I have to summon reality back to the front of my brain to remind me that I’m far more likely just to look like some ‘saddo’ wearing a curtain.

Carnaval’s so early this year; it feels like I’ve barely had time to put the Christmas decorations away before it’s arrived. I’ve had visitors, still do in fact, and they’re not due to leave until Thursday afternoon; just 2½ days away from the opening night. I’ve had loads of work to do; once Carnaval starts, it’ll be impossible to arrange visits or interviews and deadlines still have to be met.
I can rattle off excuses until the first float leaves Castillo San Felipe on it’s way to the town and I’ll still be kidding myself; it’s the same every year, regardless of when it falls, I’m never ready.

The old mosquito net created the Corpse Bride lookTwo years ago we were watching the Barcelona match on TV just 3 hours before the start of the opening party and it wasn’t until half time that we even started thinking about a costume. That year it was the old mosquito net that saved the day, creating a wedding dress for the Corpse Bride, its torn surface and dusty seams lending just the right look to the ensemble.
Last year, final reductions in the January sales at the supermarket yielded 2 very cheap and nasty Boho/gypsy skirts which, worn one over the other, accompanied by fishnet tights and ankle boots and hitched up to reveal one knee, created the Folies Bergère look to go with the ‘Paris in the 1920s’ theme for 2007.

So I might as well resign myself to the inevitable last minute panic of scrabbling about in the box under the bed where we keep all the accumulated ‘props’ from Halloweens, fancy dress parties and Carnavals and hope that, with the addition of some yet-to-be-discovered item of clothing or of household furnishing, I’ll be able to enter Puerto’s Plaza Charco on Saturday night with some semblance of confidence.
On the plus side, as this year’s theme is ‘fear’, I might even get away with the bedroom curtain outfit and pass myself off as a nightmare.

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Saturday 24th February
4pm
– closing parade. Another 3 hour standing marathon as the various dancing troupes, floats, Carnaval Queens and multitudinous winners of fancy dress prizes parade through the streets from Costa Martiánez to Castillo San Felipe.

10pm – Everyone’s in fancy dress for the closing party and looking forward to the final blow-out. I’ve opted for the Folies Bergère look in line with this year’s theme of ‘Paris in the 1920s’ and Jack’s gone for ‘Zombie Funeral Director’ – all white face, black eyes and top hat – very ghoulish.
Walk down to Casa Blanca and collect a Bishop, a fellow Folies Bergère, a monk, 2 angels and Chris wearing an outfit that no-one knew what it was supposed to be, including Chris.
Things are just beginning to liven up as we arrive in Plaza del Charco and, teenagers despatched to their various peer groups, we open a couple of bottles of wine that we’ve carried down with us, purely for the purposes of reducing the weight we’re carrying…
By 1 am the Plaza and harbour are jam packed with revellers and the music’s just beginning to take the crowd. By 3am the place is bouncing and it’s impossible to move in any direction at will. Allowing the ebb and flow of the crowd to drift us harbour side, we pop into Frigata and run into Cap’n Barbosa (alias Bob) who hasn’t managed to leave the bar yet and is almost oblivious to the thousands who are thronging the streets outside. A circuit of Calle Marina to Calle Perdomo and then to Calle Mequinez, which on an average day takes about 3 mins, takes us over an hour as we dance, centimetre by centimetre, tacking our way through the masses. By 5 am we’re danced out and exhausted, finally making our way homeward to sleep while the party continues to rage, ever more numbers arriving.
Our friends return to Blighty filled with memories and stories to bore their friends with, dates for next year’s Carnaval already noted.

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