La Tomatina Tips
Leave the camera behind
With ongoing memories like those, who needs the evidence? An occasion like La Tomatina is hard to properly capture on film, mostly because of the seemingly killer tomatoes attacking your camera more often than they miss. A hotel room is the best place for a camera during the festivities, as even a disposable can be expected to be ruined by the red stream of sauce. For those more daring, or just desperate for proof, covering your entire camera except the lens in a tight package of bubble wrap might be very risky but well worth it if you do get the shot.
More experienced campaigners will wear goggles and earplugs, rather than a camera around their neck. Both are a good idea as the tomato juice does get in the most unlikely places, where it can cause infection or at least stinging.
As there will inevitably be a few stray tomatoes, the houses and shops in the main street are protected by large plastic sheets. This means that they are inaccessible hours before the tomato-filled trucks arrive, so it is a good idea to bring any supplies with you from Valencia.
Where to stay
As there is little to do in BuÃ±ol once the tomatoes stop flying, it is a good idea to base yourself in Valencia. This major Spanish city sits on the Mediterranean coast and has some interesting architecture and nightlife that will momentarily keep you away from the beach.
How to get there
Despite all this messiness of La Tomatina, the festival has increased in popularity and recognition over the last five years, and the sooner you get to the event the less likely it is to be totally ‘touristised’. Still, there are sure to be a considerable number of travellers at La Tomatina on Wednesday 31August.
The easiest way to get to BuÃ±ol is on the C3 local train from Valencia, or by bus from the main bus station. Those with their own car can travel on the Madrid to Valencia motorway, the A3. Plan to leave early as public transport and roads will be packed in the hours leading up to the first tomato being thrown.
The La Tomatina rules:
* squish tomatoes in your hand before throwing them, to ensure they are soft — the fun is in covering others in the juice, not in bruises
* do not bring glass or plastic bottles to the event, let alone throw them
* any male should not wear a t-shirt, or should ensure it is an expendable one as it will inevitably be ripped off before the first tomato is thrown in amusement
* at least try to resist the temptation to ‘tomato’ those only spectating
* tomato throwing must cease when the second banger sounds, and the immaculate and ridiculously fast clean up begins
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