Today I got my Whoosh! Whoosh! wish, and it was fantastic! The priests swung the botafumeiro at the noon Pilgrims Mass.
The cathedral was packed with people, many spilling out of that old, old building, and it was noisy. Before the mass began a nun very nicely asked everyone to please be quiet and reminded us that no cameras or phones were allowed. So everyone behaved themselves…until the botafumeiro was readied to swing and the nun’s words were forgotten. Though the priest was still doing his bit, his words were lost in the chatter, and of course, there were hundreds of cameras trained on the botafumeiro.
When the rope pulling guys got going that botafumeiro really took off. It reminded me of the playground swings at my elementary school—if you worked really hard you could reach that point on the swing when there was a millisecond of free fall. All very exciting for a young child. The botafumeiro was just as exciting, perhaps more.
The camera operator was a bit caught up in the Whoosh! Whoosh!, but you get the message. I tried to follow the thing as it whipped over my head and very nearly ended up with vertigo, and whiplash! Even so, watching the botafumeiro swing provided a dramatic finish to an exciting, long walk. Have a look:
If you’ve seen the movie, “The Way”, this clip will be familiar to you.