Sep
13

My tips for La Tomatina!!!

So I have told y’all what my thoughts were on La Tomatina. Now I would like to give you some tips on things that I kept wondering that hopefully will make it easier for you if you go!

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Should I wear goggles to La Tomatina?

To goggle it or not goggle it?

One of our biggest concerns was getting tomatoes in our eyes. My question was though should I waste money on goggles or just wing it. Well here is the honest truth. They were both helpful yet useless. The only time they helped me at all was when the big trucks would pass by and throw/chunk tomatoes at you from above. When they come by you are being squished by 1000s of people and are using your hands to stay up and alive so you cannot use them to protect yourself. When the trucks would come by I would put on my goggles and use them to protect my eyes/face from being hit directly with tomatoes. Once they pass people spread out and you are back at throwing tomatoes after a while though you will have tomatoes on them and in them. You will not be able to see a damn thing from them so they are useless. In the end I’m glad I took them because they also helped me protect my glasses. Don’t bring them in advance you can buy some like the ones I have above for 4euros at the beach.

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What shoes should I wear to La Tomatina?

To shoe it or not shoe it?

In case you are coming directly to La Tomatina from home and not backpacking around the world you will probably be smart enough to bring a pair of shoes you will want to just throw away at the end. If you are like most backpackers coming from some time on the road you may not have that option. What I would recommend doing is going down to the beach and for 4Euros you can get a pair of these shoes. They worked PERFECTLY… not once did they fall off and the entire time you get a real feel of how deep you are in tomato gunk since it is open and everything will just flow in.  After it is over rinse them off to use them to get home and then at home you throw them away.

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How early should I arrive at La Tomatina?

To early it or not early it?

One of the questions we kept wondering was how early we needed to arrive to the train station to make it on time to get a great spot in the fight. I think we figured that out. We left out Apartment at 5:30am and arrived at the train station before 6am. When we got there a small crowd was already there. However a few minutes later tons and tons of people arrived and as you can see from the picture above the line to get on the train got LONG.  Depending on where you are staying I would recommend getting up early enough to get to the train station before 6am. Also be sure to find what station you need to leave from. In our case the Main Station was line was being worked on and not in use so we had to meet at St. Isidre Station.

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Should I stand in the middle during La Tomatina?

To middle it or not middle it?

If you leave on the 1st train out to La Tomatina you will most definitely  be able to get a great spot for all the action. The most action is going to happen in the middle of the long street the fight occurs on. How do you know where the middle is? You will see the greased ham pole. If you are lucky enough to be within eyesight of this you are going to witness humanity like you have never witnessed them before. I warn you though… that the wait before the fight is also going to be one of the most uncomfortable waits of your life. You are in the middle as 1000s of people around you are trying to get to the middle as well and are all pushing each other to see everyone climb the pole. In the end it is 100% worth putting up with misery for an hour or two or three to see it all happen. Then when the fight starts you will see the trucks arrive about 20minutes after it starts and you will be in the middle of the largest food fight in the world. Fucking awesome experience.

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Should I bring my camera to La Tomatina?

To camera it or not camera it?

My biggest dilemma more than any of the above was do I bring my digital camera or not? I had already broke 2 cameras (1 got water in it and the other Volcano Boarding in Leon, Nicaragua) did I really wanna break a 3rd one? I weighed the pros and cons and in the end made the decision that I would be more angry if I didn’t bring it and didn’t take picture then if I did nothing happened and I got pictures. The only precautions I took for my camera was wrapping it in 2 ziplock bags. I bit the corner of the bags off so I could put my camera string through it to make sure it was around my wrist the entire time. I will warn you will be able to take pictures before and after easily. During the fight you will have to move to a wall and man your post as you try and capture antyhing. The shots wont be amazing but well worth it. I’m so glad I took it. In the end nothing happened to it & I got over 300 pictures of La Tomatina.

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Should I wear white to La Tomatina?

To white it or not white it?

This is easy… YES YOU WANNA WEAR WHITE!!! When you arrive you will see it’s like a big WHITE PARTY. I loved it… at the end everyone painted red and looks like a hot mess! If you don’t wear white wear a light color shirt like mine (light green) that you can trash afterwards. If not go to H&M they have 5euro shirts. Yeah I was going to buy a white shirt there, but instead bought a purple one that I could use in the future and thought I would use a shirt I wanna get rid of. So yeah one shirt in one shirt out…lol!!!

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In the end I ended up throwing away my shoes, my shirt and my goggles. I didn’t mind at all cus they were cheap and helped me out during the fight. These are just some of the major things I was wondering about before Wednesday night and attending the biggest food fight in the world. These are just some of the tips I thought I should share with y’all. Don’t hesitate to contact me or email me or comment any questions you may have. I will always be more than happy to help anyone out. Oh & before I got let me give you the most important tip of them all.

MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF THEM ALL: They do have luggage/bag storage for you there at the fight, but I would recommend to not bring anything. It’s much less hassle. I only brought my camera and 40Euros. That is all you really need. So no need to stress about what to take or not to take.

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Comments

  1. Great tips! About the goggles, if anyone thinks they might not like the big crowds, it’s so much easier to fight your way out if you’re wearing goggles. In my mild panic, the last thing I would’ve wanted to deal with was tomato in my eyes. Plastic crocks = perfect shoes for a tomato fight!
    Ali recently posted..Tomatina – Part 1

    • Thanks Ali… Im so glad hung in there and did it. I know it wasn;t the same experience we had but hey you did it and it’s over with. I miss ya~

  2. Jaime I love this post. So many great tips here, all things that I wondered about too before I went. The only thing a little different… I think you hung out near the greased pole… and I went past it. (damn that sounds nasty 😉 ) and I got rid of my goggles early on. Oh and I left my digital camera at home and bought a waterproof disposable in Bunol. What a great time!
    Darren recently posted..La Tomatina: The Ultimate Food Fight

    • Jajaja yeah that does sound very dirty. I think so many people got rid of their goggles early on. You should have brought your digital camera. Ahh it was a great time!

  3. I can’t wrap my mind around this madness! looks like a blast. Can’t even begin to imagine doing it without goggles.
    Kent @ No Vacation Required recently posted..NVR 101 – Visiting Africa

    • Oh it was a blast & wild… yeah tak goggles and then chunk um if they aren’t helping yall! Y’all have got to do it one day… it’s amazing!

  4. Reading this really makes me want to go there next year, looks like such an awesome thing to experience 🙂 Definitely some great tips in here!
    Tijmen recently posted..Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

  5. Your shoes were indeed awesome for it. Up at my end I might have been able to deal without the goggles as long as I stayed out of the fight directly. I was happy to have them mostly to know for sure that my glasses would be ok.
    A tip about the shirts.. even if you do throw out the shirt, wait until AFTER you get home. Remember the train requires shirts and shoes to get on it.
    Andrew recently posted..Scenes of Spain: Ham Obsession

    • Thanks Andi, I know the shoes were genius. Yeah I agree with what you say about the goggles… I felt the same way it’s like I needed them but didn’t need them. Oh yes thanks for mentioning that… throw it away after you get home…lol good tip!!!

  6. Hi, this is a really helpful site, thanks for your tips.
    I was just wondering if you knew how much a train ticket from Valencia to Bunol would be? Or how I could find out?
    Thanks

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Vicky, I think it cost us about 4 or 7 Euro round trip. It wasn’t that much because it was on the city metro system. Just be sure to get there very early to catcht he 1st train. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Great tips!
    If your readers want to travel in style with an international bunch of fun people, check out the Tomatina Tour on thisisvalencia.com. We take you to the heart of the fight in a luxury coach, and afterwards it’s on to a country restaurant for showers, a swim and Paella (with lots of booze) followed by some more swimming an sun before we return you to Valencia with a free tee shirt to commemorate the day.
    They are also experts on the city and can offer all sorts of help and advice on anything from accommodation to drinking, dining and sightseeing – including wine tasting during your stay in the beautiful city of Valencia.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Tim… damn that sounds amazing and like a lot of fun!!! If they see this and are interested I’m sure they will contact you.

  8. Paul Andana says:

    Hi there,

    I’m thinking about going to this festival this coming August. I was wondering, how many days would you advise getting there before the fight – and how many days after? Does the partying die down after the night of the fight?

    I have heard that there is a paella competition in the streets the night before – is there much partying?

    Many thanks,
    Paul

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Paul, oh wow get ready for the best yet worst day of your life jaja. No joke it’s crazy! As for getting there the night before it’s up to you. We stayed in an Apt in Valencia and took the 1st train out there the morning of. When we did arrive we saw so many people sleepng eveyrwhere there. Looks like they had partied quite a bit the night before. I wouldn’t want to do it hungover… it’s very stressful and you have to be ready to be squished by 1000s of people from every angle. I know that night after the fight there is a huge party for everyone to attend. We went & it was nice. Hope this helps along with the rest of the tips I wrote. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Great tips! just wondering though, where is the storage you mentioned for your stuff? at the train station/? or in Bunol? and where in Bunol? thanks so much! 🙂

    last question!!, do the trains let people back on soaked in tomato gunk?

    thank youuuu 🙂

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Cass, the storage was in Bunol… like once you are heading down to the fight you will see places to store things. Also no you will not be allowed to get back on soaks in tomato… you will see showers at the exit to shower & rinse before you get on the train. You will dry fast from the heat.

  10. HI Jaime! would you advise bringing a change of clothes and storing them in the lockers in Bunol..? …are the lockers big enough? are there enough lockers?

    is there a beach near la tomatina in Bunol? or in Valencia?

    also which train station should we take to get from Valencia to Bunol?

    thank you!! 🙂

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yeah I’d bring a change of shirt & shorts if you can. If not you can just ask a small business to watch it for you.

      As for the train station… damn I honestly do not remember. Check my friends blog: http://www.aliadventures.com/ I know she wrote about it too and may have it in her tips post.

  11. That’s me on the ham pole (4th photo)! No, not the one hugging the pole. I’m the one with the tattoo on my back that that guy’s standing on. It wasn’t as glorious as it looks! Do you have any more photos from the 2011 Struggle For The Ham?

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG no way? Sorry Stephen for just now replying. Neglected my blog a bit! Oh wow… I’ll have to see if I have more pics and if I do I will email them to you. Ah man so many crazy memories of this day. How did you find this post? That’s so crazy & random!!!

      • Wow, we are having a conversation that spans over many years! Last year I realized that each Tomatina event every year was unique, and that if I searched for Tomatina 2013, I could probably find pictures of myself (since it is a very specific location and date and time)!

        If you have any more pics, I would appreciate it. Of course, you might be checking this blog in a year or two… 🙂

  12. Thank you for the tips! We’re going for the La Tomatina next week by car and driving from Alicante. I’d just like to ask if you have any idea about parking around in Buñol on the day of the festival? Thanks again.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      MArlon, I’m glad this helped ya a bit. I have no clue where you would park but I’m sure you would find out once there…lol. I took the train. I wish I could be more helpful.

  13. I see very few people wear goggles, can you do it without them..

    Also, how safe is it to carry your mobile phone, maybe wrapped in plastic wraps…probably could use to take pics.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Anil… yes you can go without them. As for mobile phone I honestly wouldn’t. You are knew deep in tomatoes… it’s actually insane. I almsot had my camera destroyed during that and had it wrapped twice in bags. It’s up to you in the end though.

  14. Hi Jaime,

    I realize this blog is a bit older but I’ll be attending this year and I’m trying to research camera information. I’ll be bringing a gopro and want to figure out what mount to bring. I have read that a chest mount is no good as all you will see are peoples backs. I am leaning toward the head mount or wrist mount but would like to know if A. you saw anyone with a gopro mounted to them, B. If you think one would get knocked off of my head/wrist.

    I realize you brought a different camera but would like any information I can get! Thanks!

    Lisa

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Lisa, it’s all good. Wow when I went I don’t even think the GoPro was that common. I don’t remember seeing any. I honestly don’t know what would be better. I feel like if it’s on your head and may fall off because you are seriously in a moshpit of hundreds of people and when the trucks come by it’s a mess. I had my camera on my hand so think if you hold it in your hand it won’t be a bad idea. You just have to hold on to it for dear life, cus it’s beyond crazy in those crowds.

  15. Ok everyone a friend and I are planning on attending the festival this year. Suggestions for tickets?

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