Mick, Jag, Kim, Shantelle and I were joined by Chef Robin and much to my delight Angela. For the second time on this trip Van Damme was full. After a quick introduction between the new comers and a few long awaited tender embraces between Angela and I, we hit the road again for the short trip north from Alacante to El Saler.

On arrival to the camp site we were greeted by some more familiar faces. Lagos party partners Ant and Martina, not to mention Sarah who had traveled with them for the past few weeks. This was a get together of grand proportions and what could cause this mass congregation? Why would ten former strangers now old mates accumulate in the one area? with different schedules of travel, how would this coming together be possible? Tomatoes! I kid you not, tomatoes! or more the fact we would be able to hurl them at each other and hundreds of other strangers in a mass eruption of the red fruit. That’s right you guessed it, the La tomatina festival! (and if you didn’t guess it well just say you did for the purposes of this journal)

It was great to see Ant, Martina and Sarah Again, to swap stories and compare the highlights of the last few weeks. A lot had happened since we had last spoken. The trio had traveled around the south coast of Spain taking time for ant to do a spot of wind surfing along the way. We had planned to drive around the same coastline, but as we had difficulty leaving Lagos we left our run too late and needed to drive across the beautiful olive tree blanketed Spanish countryside within only a few days.

A campsite in El Saler close to Valencia was our temporary home, it sported among other things a pool, a luxury I had not experienced since the local Gym in Colac. Needless to say we took full advantage of it spending many an afternoon cooling down, splashing about and showing off, or the girls laying beside it working on their tans. Yes my friend’s it’s a hard life! We had easily slipped back into the relaxed Lagos lifestyle, but this tranquility would not last, war was on its way. With every conversation came inspiration. The rivalry and competitiveness grew and I found myself staring, imagining what it would be like to mash a tomato into my good friend Ants face. To see what chef would do when slightly over ripe pulp ran through his hair and who would be the first to send one my way? Well I was soon to find out,

The morning came, it was “stupid O’clock am” and we were among a large group of fellow campers waiting for the bus. It was still Dark. The night before had finished late and we were in for a long day so on the bus some liquid energy in the form of sangria and a mix of Rum and OJ was passed around. Not one of us knew exactly what we were getting ourselves in for, but I could already tell this would be a day I would tell the grandkids about…