As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the majority of this week has been centred around the Feria de Zafra, the annual festival here in Zafra. On the outskirts of the town there is a huge site, comprised of fields and buildings, that is specifically used to hold the festival. The rest of the year the site sits empty, awaiting the HUGE quantity of people that descend upon it for just one week each October.
It’s hard to describe exactly what the fair is like, because there is definitely not a British equivalent. Picture huge cattle sheds full of cows, bulls, horses, goats, sheep and pigs, arenas where they do equestrian displays and enormous market buildings where you can buy different kinds of birds, fish and rabbits. Food stalls are everywhere (apparently the prices are so good that the locals stock up on their yearly supply of meat and cheese), you can try all sorts of regional delicacies as well as dishes from other Spanish regions and neighbouring Portugal. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a huge fairground with a ferris wheel, bumper cars and every other ride you could imagine. Around midnight the cowsheds close and the nightclubs open, offering salsa, rock, techno, 80s, pop, house and dance music. The whole thing was a bit like a rural Spanish Disneyland, but with food-tasting, dancing, drinking and live-stock thrown into the mix.
After a day of exploring and an evening of dancing we wandered home at 3.30am feeling well and truly knackered. Amazingly, there were still children and pensioners out and about enjoying the fair, demonstrating that there really is no age limit – all Spanish people know how to party. The festivities continued well into the night with most people heading home at 8am to finally sleep. The Spanish partying style is taking some getting used to, I’ve tried to adopt the ‘siesta before fiesta’ approach but naps still leave me a little tired and disorientated, hopefully my body clock will adapt soon!