Today, when I was picking the kids up from school, another El Rocio hermandad was trundling sloooooowly through the village, from Gines, home to Santiponce. (It had caused a massive tailback, but luckily, I managed to do a sneaky U-turn, went round the other way, and got to school in time – loads of other parents were delayed). I stayed at home for the past two morning to avoid all the traffic chaos caused by their return.
The lot I saw yesterday morning, El Algaba, were all inside their carriolas, no doubt sleeping off their final night's partying. But today, in the Santiponce gang, there was one open cart, and I've never seen such long faces. I guess they were hungover, tired, longing for a shower and bed (how desperate to get home – just a few short kilometres away – does the man in my pic look?). What a contrast to the happy faces and singing we saw heading off a week ago. I have to admit, I had a chuckle with another mother about how bedraggled they looked. We both agreed we'd have to do it in comfort, ie not sitting on a wooden bench in a trailer for three whole days. Sadly I wasn't quick enough to take a snap of the miserables, but here are a few other pix to give you an idea.
Then news came through this evening that one of the oxen which pulls the carretas (gypsy caravans) had given birth to a calf in Bormujos, on the way home. Makes a change, normally you hear about animals dying on El Rocio. Anyway, it was very cute, and you can't help thinking that poor lady ox must have had a tougher journey than most, if she was about to pop.