Carnaval 2017…. by The Whistle Blower

At Last ……the big day arrived, following many weeks of practice and hard work.  Sunday 26th February San Pedro del Pinatar Carnaval and the ADAPT Carnaval Group were rehearsed and ready.

adapt CarnivalThe day was beautiful; all we had hoped for with a stunning blue sky and only a slight breeze. We were to be “Singing in the Rain” a typical English theme on a perfect day without a cloud in sight apart from the ones we would be carrying.

23 ADAPT members with an average age of 65 years and an estimated total years of 1,500 undertook the challenge of walking, dancing and spinning umbrellas for almost three hours, walking over 10,000 steps (according to the pedometer!)

The hustle and bustle on arrival at the start was full of excitement and noise; a tremendous atmosphere and cacophony of sound as everyone participating of all ages came together.  There were beautifully colourful costumes with feathers and sparkles surrounded our blue and red ponchos, but we were to save our ‘piece de resistance’ until the sun went down. We followed the ‘Dragon Boat’ and once we had donned our sparkly boots we lined up ready for the off. We walked and waved and waved and walked and the people of San Pedro lined the streets; young and old having a good time.

As late afternoon came we pressed the button on our umbrellas (not necessarily all together!) and our light sabres illuminated our way!  The effect was impressive and our red and blue umbrellas going up and down seemed to draw attention.

Finally we arrived at the end of our journey, a little weary, but happy to have achieved what we set out to do and experience the joy of being invited to join in a very special Spanish tradition.

This year we didn’t win a prize, but we were delighted that the San Pedro del Pinatar Pensionista’s took 3rd prize – Congratulations.

Viva Adapt, Viva San Pedro

History of the Cofradia

adapt CostalerosMembers at the March meeting of ADAPT were treated to an informative and entertaining talk by Bob Hill, on the history of the Cofradia and the great pride of being involved as a member of the International Costaleros.

A Costalero is a person who assists in carrying a float, or Paso, around the streets, (in Bob’s case, of Torrevieja), during Semana Santa. Each Paso depicts a different scene from the Easter story.

In Cartagena, there are Cofradias dating back to the mid-17th and 18th Centuries. Bob explained that the Cofradia to which the International Costaleros belong to is known as The Cofradia of our Lord Jesus Praying in the Garden of Olives, and yes, it is heavy, and true, 100 Costaleros are needed each year to carry it along the route.

It was in 2003, that the then Director for Foreigners, Graham Knight, was asked by the Councillor for Culture at the time, Eduardo Dolon, to find 100 men, willing to carry the Paso, during Semana Santa in 2004. Graham, always up for a challenge, not only found 100 good men, but also ladies who would appear in the processions as the hooded Nazerinas or Penitentes. At the time, this new International band of Costaleros, was unique in Spain.

Your Paso needs YOU!

Each year, a few people will leave, for various reasons, so new members are always required. Learning how to negotiate a 1500 kilo mass around tight corners is great fun. New Costaleros will be made most welcome and be prepared for an amazing experience, with crowds that will applaud you every step of the way. Come and be part of this extraordinary event.

Contact David McLachlan
on davidmacspain@yahoo.co.uk

ADAPT meetings take place in the Pensionista Centre, Lo Pagan at 10.30am on the first Saturday of the month.  New members always welcome.

See www.adaptsanpedro.com for further details.