Cadiz carnival cycle-trip

Off down south to put on my dress and fall around again.

I’ve just decided to cycle down to Cadiz for carnival weekend. I’m going to try to moblog it, which means sorting out a camera-phone before Friday night. Any advice on what to get (or a donation/loan in exchange for propaganda on your behalf) would be most welcome–I think my processing script should function OK.

My route will look something like this, although I may opt to go brave the cold and climbs round Teruel. If you know anyone nice along the way, give them my mobile number: 617 039 956. I’m going to take around 12 days getting there to allow time for R&R of this nature.

Why Cadiz? It hosts Spain’s best-known carnival and is just a weird kind of place. Here’s a report from El Imparcial on 1822/2/5 of events in Cadiz on 1822/1/25:

Father Brother Juan Antonio Olarrieta of the Order of St Francis, known in his writings as citizen José Joaquin de Clararrosa, writer on the Diario gaditano [a Cadiz daily] of ill-fated memory, died at his home early yesterday morning attended by his spouse and learned friends. The obituary writers at his newspaper included in today’s edition a statement saying that their hero died an honourable death. Honourable? Scoundrels! They treated him worse than a kaffir.

His burial was a parody. The unfortunate Clararrosa, miserable servant of the perfidious, was honoured by them according to their custom. They were determined above all that both during the funeral service and his illness there should be no mention of religion, claiming that this was what the deceased had wanted. It is, however, utterly opposed to the spirit of our people and that of all peoples of the world, for whom religion furnishes help to the sick, and solemn rites to the corpse. The result was that yesterday the wits had a day of carnival, and simple folk suffered a scandal that is already the subject of vulgar rhymes. The burial committee formed two rows composed principally of blind ballad-singers [jacareros] with olive branches in their hands, who jumped around to the sound of their clubs. In the middle a crazy dressed as a black and also adorned with olive branches performed the office of master of ceremonies, shedding from his eyes trails of pure wine, and beating around the head those who crossed his path and shouting: if this was a procession of those f…ing friars, you’d all show more respect. W…es, he said to the women, if we took ourselves off to a friar, you’d kneel right down. These comments were incessant, and invariably accompanied by epithets to be found in dictionaries of our language. The corpse was dressed in top hat and tails with on its breast a sign, such as is required of defendants by the new criminal code, and between its hands the constitution; I don’t know if the friends who put it there wanted to take advantage of the situation to bury it too. There followed a crowd of some 300 drawn from the the stupidest and most vulgar people in town, of whom the most remarkable was the public press censor, who in this fashion wanted to honour someone who had so broadened its scope, and to give a final testimony of the protection he had always provided in the face of the repeated attacks of Brigadier Jàuregui. This group was followed by a mob of rascally candle-sellers, who from time to time screamed Viva Clararrosa. When they arrived at the cemetery they intoned for some time several songs and, singing Cartucho in canon, and then they bundled the corpse into a niche. Citizens, may his memory stay with us for all time, said the master of ceremonies, and his listeners responded with a chorus of whistles. (Source: Corde)

People are offering me money to do the whole trip in pink ballgown and purple wig. I tried that once in Germany and was stoned by small children in the first village I entered; I’m not sure how it would go down in post-Catholic Spain.

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