port barton festival
Hi everyone. I'm still alive, fit and well and enjoying my time extended time at Port Barton. The past 3 days have been festival time here with parades, cock fighting, beauty pageants, batanga (boat) racing, boxing, dancing, oxen racing and general merriment. I found the parade really emotional and my eyes filled with tears, tears of happiness mind. So see the small children dressed up in brightly coloured majorette outfits and to hear the small band playing. It brought back memories of when I was a little girl and was a member of the majorettes! There were also 20 or so children who blackened up their bodies with used engine oil, they were dressed as warriors and yelled tribal chants as they went by. The village is small and it took 20 minutes for the parade to go up and down every road before ending up at the gym.
The cock fighting was something I've never seen before if if I'm honest don't have any great desire so see again. Huge razor like blades are attached to one of the cockerels legs and they peck, scratch and claw each other until the death of the weakest. Large amounts of money are bet on the fights by the local men and the outcome is met by loud cries of celebration or loss.
The beauty pageant was attended by more or less the whole village. Restaurants and bars closed early to see the 8 young women strut their stuff to compete for the title of Miss Tourism 2012. The girls had to entertain the crowd with dancing and singing. I'll be kind in my description of their abilities, as in my view it takes courage to get up on stage in front of several thousand people but let's just say some of them had more talent than others!
Moving on......one of the big disadvantages of Port Barton is the sand flies. The little blighters are voracious and once you've been bitten nothing stops the itching. The bites are very different from mozzie bites in that they blister. If you've lucky the bite won't blister but they still itch intensely for a week or more. Luckily I've only had 6 or 7 bites so far and only 1 has blistered. I read on the internet that coconut oil stops them so I've added a little to my suncream and insect repellant.
The other bugs around are numerous. Huge, and I mean huge flying beetles. They are harmless but still give me the gitters when one comes flying my direction! I'll add a photo when I get a fast internet connection.
Other wildlife that I've encountered include red squirrels, a green crested lizard that changed colour from brown to green in front of my eyes, hundreds of geckos and rats.
Time to move on again. El Nido tomorrow and more photos. Love and hugs as always. xxx