La Tomatina 2009

Bunol Travel Blog

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In 2008, once I saw a picture of the massive tomato fight, I decided my next overseas trip would be to Buñol Spain to experience this event for myself.  The fight is on the final day of festivities in this small town west of Valencia.  On the morning of the big tomato fight I arrived early as I wanted to find a good spot where I would be able to get some good photos.  Two hours before a single tomato had been flung, the streets were already crowded and mayhem was under way.  As homeowners poured buckets of water down from the rooftops, groups of young guys would rip the shirts off unsuspecting people(only men though) as they walked by. Before you knew it, soaking wet T-shirts were whizzing through the air in all directions.
  And here I thought all I needed to watch out for were tomatoes!

Once 11 o'clock came around the trucks started rolling through the narrow crowded streets dumping piles of tomatoes every 100 yards or so and  within minutes, tomatoes where flying all around.  Earlier I had scoffed at the vendors who were selling swim goggles around town but now I regret not picking a pair up.  The tomatoes if not properly squished can cause some pain as I found out by getting beaned directly in the face not to mention tomato juice in the eye stings.  I had been standing on some steps which made me more visible to the crowed, therefore a target.  The guy next to me was wearing half a hollowed out watermelon on his head as a helmet.  Smart fellow.  The guy on my right was shielding his girlfriend who was in tears and crying to go home.
  I guess she didn't know what she was getting herself into.

I had placed my point-and-shoot camera in a plastic bag with a slit cut for the lens to pop out but unfortunately the moisture still got into it and quit working on me just a short while into the fight.  I was really bummed because the pictures I've posted don't do the event justice.  At one point I was ankle deep in water and squished tomatoes.

Over all, despite being hit in the face multiple times, I really enjoyed my time a La Tomatina.  I would highly recommend it however I would warn that it is not for the weak or timid.  Think mosh pit at a heavy metal concert but with tomatoes! Goggles are a must too!!

yasuyo says:
Wow! You had a nice experience of tomato!! I'm planning to join there next summer;) Any other advices? Thanks:)
Posted on: Nov 09, 2012
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photo by: tjwood