A glorious day, as we’ve come to expect, for the San Isidro celebrations this year. Just as rain can be virtually guaranteed for Feria, the same can be said of the sun and San Isidro.
Shortly after noon, the procession began to wend its way from the centre of town to transport the image of Saint Isidore (1070-1130, Patron Saint of Farmers) back to the hermitage near the Nerja Caves.
The magnificent oxen led the way, pulling the beautifully decorated carts, and Saint Isidore arrived at the caves at around 14:30.
Not renowned as being the fastest of animals, this naturally led to the procession being rather strung out, at one point stretching back for nearly four kilometres. It was approaching 17:00 when the final stragglers made it up to the caves.
As usual it was a great party atmosphere, perhaps even more so than normal for some reason. Maybe a welcome relief from financial crises, exploding volcanoes and other natural and unnatural disasters. It just seemed that way, anyway.
There was one change to events this year and it did cause a bit of confusion. The horses, or most of them at least, were diverted to a new area rather than to their normal location just to the left of the entrance to the caves.
A small group of riders appeared, as normal, at the caves, and the crowd eagerly awaited the main body. Some people were waiting for friends or relatives, cameras in hand and it was only after a long period that they learned that the riders had been diverted and would not be arriving with the rest of the procession. Would have been nice to know in advance.
Be that as it may, it was nevertheless a splendid festival and a good time was had by one and all. It was also a time when many people have a little ‘go’ on a horse, some for the very first time. The horse riders and owners are an extremely friendly crowd and are invariably happy to let members of the public share in the experience.
It is not only kids who avail themselves of this great opportunity, but people of all ages, residents and tourists alike. On this occasion, local musician Mel (from the duo SILK and the band SILVER FOX) was persuaded to mount up for the very first time in his life.
And, of course, we happened to be there to capture this magical moment of grace and elegance. Well done Mel.
San Isidro is a time for young and old to celebrate and there was no shortage of watering holes and entertainment. Several of the town’s pubs had installed bars at the site, as had the three main political parties, all with their own music, ‘live’ or otherwise, blaring out. Stand between two and you got a very bizarre stereo effect to say the least.
The bars operated by the political parties, PP, PSOE and IU, always appear to be patronised according to their electoral status, so the PP bar was jam packed, the PSOE area less so and the IU trailing in third. It may not, of course, be the case at all, but it certainly always appears to so.
Bearing this in mind but ignoring the whole politics business, the best place to get a drink was actually the IU bar as the queue was almost non-existent. It was also, coincidentally, the bar with the cheapest drinks!