Monday, July 06, 2009

The Bajada

I was determined to get up and photograph the procession leaving Isora at 7 am, so I slept really badly. But I did it, and I think the photos will be nice when I've had chance to correct the exposure.

They only have three musical instruments: rather high-pitched flutes, castanets and big, deep drums. When I heard HerreƱan music on the telly, I didn't like it at all, because it was far too shrill. I hadn't appreciated that my TV wasn't reproducing the low notes. In real life, the glorious WHUMP! from the big drums balances the flutes perfectly, and you want to dance.

And they do dance. They have people dancing all the way, in shifts. The costumes and dance steps are a little reminiscent of English morris dancers.

It was still dark to begin with, and half light when they danced away up a steep lane out of the village. I was only walking, and I couldn't keep up. Mind you, as Carlos says, they've been practising for months, and most of them probably do physical work anyway. I was on a high when we got back to the house.

We planned to get up on the ridge at 4pm to meet the main procession at 4:45. In the event, we were a bit late leaving. Luckily we found a suitable pista to park quite easily. Unluckily, we still had at least 2 km to go, up a very steep, dusty track, and it was very hot. We weren't going to make it.

And then a family came by in a pickup, and the driver yelled, “Cruz de la Mareta?” So we climbed up into the open back, and had a bouncy ride to exactly where we wanted to go. Of course we thanked him profusely.

It was shady up there in the woods, which felt good after the very hot sun. Better (for us, not the dancers) we found a spot where we were perhaps 5 feet above the path, in the shade, but the road was sunny. Great for photos, if not for the dancers.)

And the procession came through early. We'd never have made it without that lift. As it was, my husband got some good video and I got some nice photos. and then I started to follow the procession, leaving my camera bag behind. Thank goodness my husband was more awake than I was! He grabbed it for me, and we went about 100 yards up the road, where they were handing over the statue of the virgin from one village to another. I got more photos, but my husband couldn't work a video camera, since he was carrying my handbag, camera bag and the water.

Once that was over, it was time to go back down to the car. None of us were looking forward to the long, dusty walk, even if it was all downhill. but my husband went and talked to a guy with another pick up, and yup, we got a lift back to the car.

So it all worked out very well indeed - no thanks to my organising whatsoever.

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