So our lazy day in Arequipa turned out to be something quite different…
We’d heard that there was a carnival happening through the town at lunchtime, so thought we should check it out. I’d got memories of the Borrowash carnival growing up as a kid (our local village), where the local marching band would lead several decorated Ford Cortinas and Vauxhall Cavaliers through the streets and an open backed lorry would parade a girl with her best ball gown on as she is crowned “carnival queen”…. Could it get any better than that?
We reached the main square (Plaza de Armas), the roads were already closed off and there were plenty of people starting to gather on the streets. A small stage had been set up and a fairly large band was playing a toe tapping beat.
Within half an hour the place had literally gone bananas… The pavements were a minimum of 4 deep everywhere and processions of people were dancing endlessly by, with every other person spraying foam at you from an aerosol can. Every now and then one of the dancers would grab us and we’d dance with them in the street, before getting doused with foam and making a hasty retreat to the sidelines.
Of course there were plenty of decorated vehicles (much like Borrowash in the 80s) and the various ladies bidding to be carnival queen – the funny thing was though, by the time they reached us, they were all covered in foam, ruining their pristine make up and spoiling the glamourous looks hahahaha….
The focus for us just had to be the dancers, each group in different outfits, all of course traditional for their village, and each dance specific to their area.
The atmosphere was electric, I can only imagine that this is a small glimpse of what Rio must be like…. Perhaps one day we’ll find out? Here’s a few photos so that you can get an idea of the fun.
Getting covered in foam by a giant
All good fun!
Love to all back home
Stefan and Claire