Monday, January 28, 2008

Summer is Here!

The days are so beautiful, warm and breezy now. And I love it. Has helped a bunch to get rid of the holiday blues. I think it being my first year here, and not many friends that I feel are family yet, had a lot to do with the blues. With it so bright from 5:30 a.m. on, it would be hard not to smile and be happy. I hang out my laundry and enjoy not having to run the dryer because the wind has them dry in no time. The humidity is much lower, and the temperature is very comfortable. I guess the only down side would be having to chance the dirt out each day, but a little dirt never hurt anyone.

I have been emailing and re-connecting with friends from the past, many years ago, when we were in school together. I spend several hours each day at the computer, and I have found so many sites I never had time to search before, or never knew existed. It has been fun getting caught up with their lives as well. Retirement can be a time for re-connecting again. When we were younger, seemed there were so many things needing our attention, our children, our careers, our communities, schools, and if we had a minute left over, we could soak in a bubble bath. No, I don't remember having time for that either. Now, I do pretty much what I want to, and other than paying my bills, I don't have many time lines that must be met.

Ines, a neighbor girl, has been teaching me to speak Spanish, and in return I have been helping her with English. Her family are wonderful people, and I have grown to love their friendship. We recently went to the parade in Palmares, and you might say I connected with nature again. I don't even remember seeing so many horses all in one place, even in my childhood, and I grew up in Montana. Something else that I did not know was that horses can dance to music. We were standing near the stage where the music was being blasted from. I say blasted, because I could feel it pounding in my chest. Even when the horses were standing in one place, they were picking up their feet to the beat. It was pretty cool. The part that amazed me was the massive number of people, and I hear that a local paper estimated 800,000 people were there for the parade. I can't even imagine how many horses were there, I can only guess, perhaps 300 to 500... And it is only a guess. I took pictures, and not the normal way either. I had to put the camera over my head as far as I could reach and shoot. People were body to body, and the streets were packed. There were 5 to 8 horses abreast across the street for the entire 2 hours it took for the last horse to pass. The red coats signaled The End. And horse shit, oh my Gosh! Being shoved by the crowd one direction and then back again, the whole time trying to not get my feet stepped on, or kicked by a anxious horse, were only part of the problem. The parking attendant, upon seeing I was a gringa, double charged me $10 to park. It reminded me of some of the October Fests in Missouri, when open containers were not against the law. Bottles were being passed to the riders, some had clearly had enough already. Many, young and old, were drinking heavily. We were standing on the street at a T in the roads by the park, and I think every policeman was standing right at the point also. I think there are perhaps, no rules to this game, and only if something very tragic happened, would there have been any intervention, IF, they could have even reached the place. I know they have these festivals each year, this one lasts 10 days. Most towns have numerous festivals, but I have not seen the number of people as there were at this one. It is a cultural thing, and one that... I went, I saw, and I probably will not go again. I'm sure there were days in which there were less people, and it was less crowded, I will choose to attend on one of those days, next time, instead of the horse parade day. People watching was very interesting, they have all kinds here too. These are just some of the pictures I shot. As you will see, there was not a spot of street, sidewalk, or grass that did not have feet standing on it. And yes, the horses were that close to us, I did not zoom in on any picture.
Guisel and Ines

The white horse was beautiful!

Dancing and yes, drinking

Yes, they were that close to us! And look at how many abreast. They shine because they are Hot!

Men in Black, the police...vest and I bet they were warm too.

Every spot up through this street is a person! I could not believe it.

Mostly cowboys, but look at the man with the ear his ear, not on it. The skin is around the 2+ inch circle.

Men in Red...signal The End!

1 comment:

Big Dave on Sports said...

This was a great post. I am traveling to Costa Rica soon, and I have a bunch of great ideas thanks to your insight

Keep up the great work