After taking a cab to Joaquin Sorolla station (which was right next to Valencia Nord, the station we initially showed up at), we started our 30 minute bus ride to Buñol to the Tomatina festival.
I’m not usually the sort of person who gets angry on the Internet but seriously, if you’re planning to do this, DON’T use Spaintastic as your festival provider. All we did before and after the festival (which lasts for just an hour was stand in line. 90 minutes to get a locker and our wristbands, 40 minutes to get hosed down by a local shopkeeper, and a whopping 3 hours to get our stuff back from the lockers. And there weren’t even any fun rides
Now that my little rant is over, the Tomatina festival itself was really fun! It’s one hour of no holds barred, tomato throwing frenzy. (On a side note, I think I’ll go off tomatoes for a while). The food fight is for an hour, stating with a canon shot at 11 am and then another to signal the end. It gets dirty quickly, with tomatoes just dumped into the streets by trucks that then run over them. So mixed into this tomato purée is street dirt and people. You’re supposed to squish the tomatoes before throwing, but of course, there are people who ignore this rule, which leads to some tomato shaped bruises all along your body.
By the end, you’re just throwing handfuls of tomato debris. You can feel tomatoes up places it shouldn’t be, and in that exhausted and tomatoey condition, you make your way to the showers. At this point, the sky is completely gray, it’s rained quite a bit already and the weather is cold. We chose to go get hosed down by one of the locals, as it would be faster than the official showers. More of an authentic experience, I think.
To counter the bad customer service, the universe sent us an amazing one instead. The woman who booked us into the hotel left us nice little notes hoping that we enjoyed the festival, along with little candies. We have tomorrow till 3pm to explore Valencia. Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is not as wet and cold as today was.