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Monday, January 28, 2008

San Antonio Abad Livestock Fair in Buenavista

San Antonio Abad 2008 - Buenavista
Some of the supposedly 1,500 cattle "parked" at the show ground at Buenavista

Yesterday was dull, but warm, for the annual livestock fair and Romeria in honour of San Antonio Abad in Buenavista del Norte and, because there are always lots of cute animalitos on display, of course we were there.

Calf wins a special prize

Along with lots of his older cousins, one of the stars of yesterday's show was this 24 day old "veal", I mean calf, which, I'm told, was given to the boy (in costume) by the Tenerife Island Corporation to foster and maintain the yougster's interest in rural pursuits.

Another star for me was this Shetland pony with a mop dog in a basket on his saddle.

There also were Teno's now infamous polkadot goats; a hen in a "chicmobile" that appeared to have laid eggs en route (the woman joked with me - well I think she was joking - that these were hard-boiled); dancers from the island of El Heirro and more ...

Dancers from El Hierro

Teno's polkadot goats

Chickmobile

Last year, on seeing Teno's goats "dressed" for the fiestas with red ribbons (as bows tied on their horns or around their necks), a commenter asked, " ... how did they keep the goats from eating each other's ribbons?" It's a good question, so being curious and wanting to know the answer myself, I asked the lady from Teno with the polkadot goats yesterday. Her response will astound you: "Because they're not hungry." She then chuckled and said that's all she can think of and puts it down to the fact that the goats roam free, so they are used to constantly grazing (she also supplements their diet with feed), so you could say they are neither hungry, nor bored enough to be bothered with fiddling with their ribbons.

According to Diario de Avisos, there were 1,500 cattle and 18,000 people at yesterday's fiestas. I was there early and didn't wait for the parade, which the report says began after 2 p.m., but I see no reason to dispute the figures, because there did seem especially to be far more cattle than there had been in previous years. Now can you imagine the amount of muck there will have been on the main streets of the town?

Sheep among the goats

There were also lots of horses, hunting dogs, an ever increasing number of pets (not just dogs, but of all descriptions), and back to the farm animals, sheep among the goats.

Tell me, if they're mixed together is it a flock or a herd?

There were also more tourists at the fair this year. Normally, the only ones I meet in this area are lost, but I heard or found myself speaking in English on more than one occasion to people who had come to the fiesta on purpose, which is nice. Not unsurprisingly, the bars and chiringuitos (beer and food stalls), as well as the stalls selling sweets, cheap toys and other tat were doing a roaring trade. As was the cake shop, El Aderno, on Buenavista's high street, who, incredibly, have installed a ticket machine to deal with customers in numerical order like a deli counter of a supermarket. I don't know if that's permanent or was just for Sunday's extra fiesta traffic, but it was a bit of a revelation.

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