Editor’s note: Ryan “The Chosen One” Whitaker just finished up his three months embedded with Stoke Travel, seeing a summer from the perspective of both a traveller and a volunteer. Here is some of the wisdom he picked up over the course of this life-changing experience. We’ll be looking for a new Chosen One for […]
A sleepy Spanish town that sees red once a year with the fruit fight to end all fruit fights – La Tomatina.
Population: 9,835 turns to over 30,000 around Tomatina time
Nationalities: Spanish, tomatoes
Surf report: surf down the streets in juicy, juicy tomato pulp
Cookie-cutter must see’s: feeling serious? Here’s the serious sights:
Castillo de Buñol – fancy a little castle visit while in town? This is the place to go to get a throwback Polaroid of the town’s heritage and to satisfy your mom that you are doing cultural shit.
Bodega Vera de Estenas – a small family-owned winery, rated as “vino de pago” – the highest rating a winery in Spain can get and meaning that they’ve mostly used local grapes in their wine. You get to try three wines at the end of your tour. Would be rude not to.
Paseo San Luis – a pretty area with a park, chapel and bar. An auditorium also opens up there in the summer. Good for a stroll.
The alternative cool shit: feeling avant-garde? Here’s the Stoke choices:
Sliding down the street with a tin of tomatoes in one hand and a box of vino in the other.
Water and wine fight – this happens in a little town near Buñol called Requeña. It’s a bit more chilled than La Tomatina, there is a parade through the streets with a brass band and the local douse you in wine from their windows and doorways.
Posada Venta Pilar – Food fights can really take it out of you. Stuff your face with a bunch of cheap eats at this restaurant in town.
La Tomatina – the biggest fruit fight in the world happening the last Wednesday in August. Thousands gather to vent their rage with squishy, pulpy ‘matoes. Be there or be a rotten tomato.
Under no circumstances does Stoke recommend…(nudge nudge, wink wink)
Racing a billion other crazy humans to climb up the slippery, lard-covered pole to get the leg of ham at the top (and therefore kick off the tomato fight). It’s a weird tradition. If you’re feeling particularly superhuman, or you really like ham, go for it.
Rocking up to the tomato festival without a pair of goggles – tomato juice in the eyeballs stings like a bitch.
No seriously, Stoke does not recommend: tourist traps
Bringing your own tomatoes to the tomato fight – save your money and take the sloppy ones the trucks throw at you.
Visiting Buñol for any reason other than getting coated in tomatoes.
Going into the thick of the tomato fight if you are claustrophobic – rather stay on the edges, you’ll still get pulpy without freaking out.
A helping hand from Stoke to make sure you’re prepared for what this summer has in store. JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY Summer really is finally, almost here. Flights have been booked, knuckles are white from clutching Stoke passports for weeks, the thought of another second spent without a big ol’ jug of sangria is almost unbearable. […]
Always wanted to try something a little foreign and never known how? Our tips will get you well on your sweet-talkin’ way. So you’ve just hit the Spanish leg of your European summer trip. Sun-soaked, oiled-up bodies fill the beaches, dimly lit bars scream tapas and touching-under-the-table and the whisper of the hot-blooded Spaniards has […]
If you’re anything like us you probably left your La Tomatina booking to the last minute. Like, literally the day before the festival. You probably frantically looked up train tickets to Valencia and found out, to your dismay, that they were forty euros and that every campsite within reasonable distance to Bunol was full of […]
Something about a bunch of drunk tourists running havoc on a small Spanish town and marring a years-old tradition with their overuse of waterproof cameras just made me cringe…
Some last minute things to check off before summer disappears JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY It may be hard to come to terms with, but Europe’s summer is actually coming to an end. Before it slips through those dirty hands of yours, here’s a few things to tick off the list so you can make sure you […]
A sneak peak into each stop on Stoke Travel’s European Bus Tour ‘The Rolling Circus’ Q: What do you get when you mix a New Zealand rock band, a red headed magician from NYC, a peace-loving rapper from Cincinnati and a sexy tattooed contortionist with a bus full of Stokies, guests and a whole lotta […]
You’ve just participated in La Tomatina, the biggest food fight in the world. You swear to god you’ll (probably) never look at gazpacho the same way. You’re covered in to-ma-to from your head to-ya-toes. You smell like a B.O.-ey Heinz factory and you’re genuinely wondering if a rogue tomato seed up the stink hole could […]
Oi, Oi Stokies! We hear you’re planning on going on a Stoke Travel festival, eh? Damn good choice we say. But how are you going to get there? Well, we at Euroventure travel might just be able to help you out… Flying is pretty dull right? Yeah, yeah you get there faster and all that. […]
For example – if travelling to a hot climate, invest in a heavy pair of denim overalls, because there’s no better way to impress new friends and keep your temperament down then by sweating more than a nun at a cucumber stall.