Ok, I am tired and sunburnt and my butt is sore but this has been amazing.
We left this morning under overcast skies, and it was cool, so no sunscreen, and then in the midst of it all while we were sitting on the church stairs for the best view, the sun came out. The sound of wimpy Anglos skin being fried should echo around right about now....and those stairs were some hard boys...
Now I will stop whining. This was amazing, and kind of scary. There are two teams, one in Blue and one in pinkish. The ones in blue were rock solid and very impressive. The ones in pink however trembled and swayed mightily. Those are very young girls up at the top of those towers, they are about 8. You might notice that they are wearing helmets. This is new as last year an 11 year old girl died when she fell from the top of a tower. This is a significantly dangerous sport. They practice three times a week, every week and go to competitions and exhibitions all over Catalonia. Little one said she'd like to do it. I am pretty adventurous, but that no whipped out of my mouth pretty quick.
When she is big enough to be halfway down the pack, then maybe, but NOT NOW.
This fellow is putting on the wide cloth belt that they all wear. It is part uniform, mostly support for their backs and kidneys...the voyageurs wore similar gear, and it also forms the ladder and hand hold for the climbers. I also saw that someone had stored their smokes there as well. You can see the tension that he is putting on it as he walks round and round winding himself into it. It has to be TIGHT.
This is one of the girls headed for the top, they are quite the little monkeys, but you can see how they use the belts to climb. They have to be very focused. They don't even turn their heads from side to side. If they did, they might unbalance the entire edifice.
Here she is at the top. The tower is not finished until the child at the top blows a kiss and a wave.
To give you a little perspective. This is a seven and four. There are four people in the main levels, and they get seven people high. The child is still climbing. I am glad to say that no one was injured today. Last years death was the first in twenty years.
This is the other team, you can see the next layer of people clambering up into position. They have to do it entirely in time.
This is a two and six or seven. They get up pretty high. The most difficult I have heard of was a one and ten. Yup, ten people standing one on top of the other with no other support. They didn't do that here.
This was four singles put together. The highest child in blue was lifted off the top onto the balcony in just one moment, after all four towers were complete.
After it was over the served pica-picas, little tapas bits and pieces, beer, pop, water, chips, olives, artichoke hearts, crackers....and this beer was coming from a porro, they are quite sanitary for these events, no one's mouth touches the spout. You would think it might have an impact on the fizz though.
I took WAY more photos several of them are different towers being erected in sequence, the album is listed in the column on the right, and here is a link to the Castelles album here.
We are back home to eat lunch at 3pm, recuperate before today's museum opening, snail race and children's fire run....*gasp*