Hola! Mantequilla! Zapatos! Orificio Nasal!
‘Tortuga’ is Spanish for tortoise, I’m told, so it’s my new word. I’m home after a whirlwind surprise holiday in sunny Gran Canaria. I won a prize after entering a competition on a box of fly papers and answered the following question correctly….’When is it considered acceptable to electrocute a sleeping relative?’. And would you believe…. Jolly Dee! I won! (Weev is fuming as I tore up her entry and copied her answer, she’s now telling everyone I was in the nick – no doubt she’ll get me back…my wart insurance is due for renewal soon…)
I flew out from St Vitus on a sort of pedaloe with wings, and sat next to the gunner. It was a pleasant flight, with the bugs hitting my goggles and a crap view of the sea. I landed in Bahia Feliz in the early hours of Sunday 14th. The temperature was still very warm, and I found a new level of stench in my sack attire. Nice.
My company was fabulous, a collection of ten of us who enjoyed annoying other tourists, eating everything in sight, and drinking almost anything that was labelled (and some things that weren’t). We haggled in markets with the looky-looky men selling dreadful sunglasses, swam in crystal blue pools (a far cry from the ditch I live near), and poked fun a people changing under small beach towels.
Well, the bonanza was fabulous. Juan de la Vega (above) was there with his matador act. He is my hero. I got his autograph, and he shook my hand. I shall not wash it again, although he washed his very quickly after. He was mildly impaled by one tortoise, but it was only a flesh wound. We were hoping for something more, as the Arguineguin Tortoise Flingers were late, and the act was getting a little stale.
The Arguineguin Tortoise Flingers finally arrived, and broke not only a Canarian record, but a World Flinging record of 320.8ft. The longest fling in history since Edward II had a go, and fibbed about the result.
After tortoises are launched off the cliff, they gather at the bottom to come back up and take their places for the next flinger. The picture above is a birds-eye view of the lift coming back up after the first round. The tortoises pictured are multi-lingual, and are all sponsored by Speedo and San Miguel beer.
This was the picture I took of Juan de la Vega’s tortoise, after it went on the rampage. It is a particularly aggressive species and broke free of its moorings several times. It ate an old lady called Renata. The x-ray I saw clearly shows her in the beasts stomach, still knitting away. Bless.
Apparently it had been fed peanut kit-kat in addition to breakfast, and that is not a good idea.
Then we had music. First were the Fataga Reptile Orchestra accompanied by a small singing gecko from Sioux City. Next up was a variation on ‘Lip Up Fatty’ from the Maspalomas Naked Singing Troupe….nuff said – a little twee for my tastes. Then we were charmed by these two delightful children, Maria and Miguel Vileda, played the tortoise for us. Maria is pictured tuning the tortoise, while Miguel is on standby to hold the legs and begin playing.
Although this picture seems full of jollity, I was suspicious that it was a case of the children fulfilling the dream of the parents. Maria confided to me that all she wanted in life was a bloody Nintendo DS.
Miguel didn’t comment. His face says it all.
So, I finally flew back in to good old Blighty on Sunday, and they didn’t even bother to land. Just pushed me out over the airport with only my double chin as a parachute. Charming. Passport control below got very crabby when I ‘didn’t look like my photo’, and it appears that my unshaven appearance had fooled them. I usually keep a smooth chin (despite the odd habits of my sisters), and a three inch of growth like a pampas grass meant I was immediately whisked off to an office for interrogation as to the whereabouts of thirty pounds of semtex. At that point, I remembered last month that I couldn’t find my passport. At the same time, Aunt Vom had been on a ‘weapons run’ to somewhere, and I just bloody knew she’d stitched me up.
Well, after a bribe with some Honey Rum laced with cuckoo spit, and a naked picture of Jeremy Irons, the customs bugger let me in.
I hope to be back in good old G.C. soon, and take my perfected shrieking act to the Spanish masses. You never know, if you’re familiar with the island, you may well see a haggard, warty, stinking old bat shrieking professionally one day from the top of Roque Nublo. Pip pip and glad to be back with you all! Missed you like buggery….well, not quite like that.
3 thoughts on “Grand Tortuga Flinging Festival”
How nice to hear from you again Aunt Bernard and to know that you got through customs safely. On your return to GC you had better warn the tortoise flingers to be on the look out for members of the Animal Protection League.
Ah, fear not, Canarian Tortoises have a titanium shell and they self-replate every 3 days. They also have a tiny parachute under the nape of the neck.
I will heed your warning, Heather, however the tortoises concerned are flinger tortoises and are miserable if left stationary for more than 4 hours. They’re fine. Disclaimer: I hasten to add this is fictional and not to be tried at home, and if anyone reading doesn’t understand bizarre humour you need to give your head a good shake.