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San Agustito Fiesta

MEXICO | Thursday, 21 February 2013 | Views [418]

The day of the fiesta!  Breakfast was a casual affair at La Palmitos before everyone started on the day's tasks.  I went to see if Alving needed any help on site.  There's still a fair bit of work going on there - toilets being installed, poles dug into the ground, electrical cabling being routed around, but I got the job of cutting up the drink tickets from various coloured sheets.  It was easier to do it back at Bambo's where he was preparing the food for the the barbecue.  So as I cut up hundreds of little coloured tickets, he made beef skewers with capsicum and onion.  Jiody came by to give him a hand too, and the custom made teriyaki sauce they put together got my mouth watering. 

I think they intend using the drink tickets like they do at music festivals.  "How many people are you expecting?" I asked Bambo. "Oh, 200 - 250? I don't know!"  Ok, we better get cracking then!  I'll be helping out in some way, but I have to admit to feeling slightly apprehensive about seeing the whole town there!  Maybe I can find a quiet patch of beach to sit on with my mezcal to watch the bands, hehe.
 
As it turned out, everything fell into place in that typical Mexican way in its own good time.  There was a little bit of stress early on but as the evening slowly descended on the beach, the people all chipped in to sell the tickets, to run the bar, to cook the food, to set up the stage and lighting, and to keep things running.  It was magical to see the families, the kids, the tourists, the towns people, the hippies, the gypsies all come together for this special occasion.
 
A 'circus' act opened up the entertainment with fire-twirling and crystal ball slight-of-hand to an ambient techno backing track.  I had the privilege of being 'back stage' so to speak, running messages back and forth, and got to meet the musos.  Next up was the gypsy combo that I met the night before, and I videoed their gig for them on one of the girl's camera.  Their music and song is infectious and the beach crowd swayed and danced appreciatively.  By now, the whole show was rolling - the beer and mezcal was hitting the spot, and the beach was alive with cheer :)
 
So the main act had an easy job with a warmed up crowd.  But I didn't envy their load-in, having to carry all their gear about 100m on mostly soft beach sand!  David Rotunda is a Canadian blues man and he and his band rocked and rolled the evening away.  Everyone soaked up the cranking keyboards, the finesse of the guitarist, the rock-solid rhythm section, and David's harmonica and showmanship.  And people still wanted more!  So as the band packed up, out came the djembes and darabukas, and the dancing continued into the early hours.
 
I think it was about that time when I baled and stumbled back down the beach to my bed satisfied that all I could do had been done.  And stumbling was about all I could do!  But hats off to Bambo and Alving (and the rest of San Agustinillo) for pulling off an awesome night.  These blokes are legends!

Tags: beach, fiesta, mexico, oaxaca, san agustinillo

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