Tonic for the Soul – The Flower Carpets of La Orotava

Posted: June 2, 2008 in Life, Nature, Photos, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
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A great place for liquid refreshmentThe murder of the mouse played on my conscience; we had cash flow problems due to late payment of overdue earnings; there had been a water burst in the banana plantation (which had at first resulted in seriously poor pressure, then the water company ‘fixed it’ leaving the area without any water at all), but sitting on a pavement outside a palm frond fronted ‘guachinche’ (makeshift bar) in the company of Andy, Pamela from Secret Tenerife and her friend, Jose Mesa with the sun on my face and a cold ‘Dorada’ in my hand during the La Orotava Corpus Christi celebrations proved the perfect antidote to what, up until that point, hadn’t been the greatest of weeks.

It’s amazing how a cold beer, or two, on a sunny day can help you see the world through rose tinted spectacles again, especially when you also happen to be immersed in an atmosphere as warm as the sun’s rays. The Corpus Christi daytime celebrations had the air of a summer fete; full of smiley happy people enjoying the world famous floral carpets and themselves.

A couple of circuits of the carpeted streets had flooded our senses with the most wonderful sights, sounds and smells:

Flower carpets fill the streetsFreshly cut moss, herbs, delicate perfumes from a million petals, barbecued pork, candy floss, hot caramel; the bells of the Iglesia de la Concepción ringing out joyously, competing with jaunty riffs from a group of Asturian pipers and drummers; an image of Jesus Christ made from volcanic sand with a second image, ghostlike, hidden in the design; three nuns admiring a floral carpet of a boy and a lamb; fiesta Queens smiling and posing for anyone who asked: chic elegant young ladies wearing white lace headdresses and picture postcard streets filled with the most vibrant, imaginative, beautiful and painstakingly created floral carpets.

It was, quite simply, a perfect day and a tonic for the soul.


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