Thursday, March 10, 2011

Carnival 2011 Review - TRIBE 'The Way of the Warrior'

Ah it's all over, my shoulders are sunburnt, once again I have a rash from exposure to people and all that dust, not nearly as bad as it was in previous years though...but I had a blast on the road with TRIBE once again.

Let's see on to my review:
As always this was a breeze, made even faster by the fact that this year I went the Fas Track route. The entire collection time from time that I parked in Cascadia to the time I got back to my car was about half an wait to go inside. I was ushered in to the ballroom to the Fas Track station where they verified my payments and printed out my receipt. Went to the collection area and a very very enthusiastic customer service representative reviewed my receipt, and went off to locate my costume. She brought everything back, checked off everything whilst showing me each item, did a mini demo of how the bra for my costume is to be worn and was bubbling and dancing all through the entire process. I did not catch your name, but you did well.
Mind you, I collected the same day as a couple people in YUMA. I had time drop them to Movietowne, get to Cascadia, collect my costume, get back from Cascadia to Movietowne and still had at least a half hour to kill..not cool!
Food - No problems getting lunch at all. I was among the second wave of masqueraders that got to the lunch stop and had from the Food Etcetera tent. Food was good, and for those that know me, yes I actually ate cassava, it tasted that good! A couple friends had food from Pollo Tropical and their reviews were all positive.
Drinks - I started my day with lots and lots of Gatorade, water and coconut water. I was nursing the remnants of a headache caused by lack of sleep. By about 3pm I'd moved on to Uncle Johnny and coconut water...ahhh my day was going good. Some of the trucks had slow servers whilst others were ultra-efficient, forgot to take note of which were the slow trucks...oh and the pace of the trucks, drivers, drivers remember people trying to place orders and collect drinks so please slow down a bit.
On the road - Met the band around noon, took the shuttle to the band which was on Frederick St by then, close to the museum. Lost the first crew I was with by the time we got to Memorial Park, met up with the next crew and limed, chipped, wined onto the greens then waited to cross the Savannah stage. Ohhh the stage, the stage, the stage! It was bittersweet seeing that stage. Bitter 'cause of the usual looong wait and total chaos about waiting to enter the Savannah (oh BTW whose bright idea was it to have drinks trucks turn off and leave the band by Keate Street?! Masqueraders were left with the option of either loading up on water/gatorade and hope it was enough to last till you cross OR patronise those vendors along Memorial or along the greens...and doh give me no talks about small man making money, they made nuff money ok wonder if it was a conspiracy...charging $10 for a small bottle of water wtf!!!) Anyways the sweet of the stage: the vibrations under yuh feet whilst waiting, the build up by the DJs, then the release of actually being let onto the stage that pulsated and vibrated under your feet. I stamped, stomped and advantaged that stage...the soles of my feet felt like they were on fire! We crossed and then headed to the lunch stop. From the lunch stop we headed down to Tragarete Road, turned left and continued on to Stanmore...TRIBE was done by about 6:30ish on Monday night.
Other - Truck movement was on the fast side...WHY?! Bathroom facilities at the lunch stop were efficient. Security was on point, but they were not nearly as strict as past years 'cause I saw several non-masqueraders in the midst of the band at several points during the day.
Food - Got to the band around 8am, I'd eaten breakfast at home, so did not partake of TRIBE's breakfast offerings. From the reviews I heard it was aight. I was among the third or fourth wave of masqueraders that got to the lunch stop and this time I took Pollo Tropical...yumm yumm! Saw lollies and yogurt being distributed as well. Later on we got chips from the various bar trucks and when the band got closer to Stanmore got my Marios pizza slice. All in all quite decent food experience.
Drinks - Started off with gatorade and water again and by about 11am was onto Uncle Johnny and coconut water alternating with gatorade and water. No complaints this time, I'd found the truck with efficient service and decent pace.

On the road - Met the band around 8am, took the shuttle to the band which was partly on Frederick St with the rest of the band on Park St. Tried to walk back to see IP and YUMA who I'd heard were behind us, but after walking back and only seeing bits of IP around Globe I turned back and met up with my crew who were up near the Royal Jail. Saw a bunch of Gladiators in full garb, capes included. Again the journey to the stage along Memorial Park and then the greens. That was a looooong wait in noonday sun...we left the band, walked up and saw Oasis ahead of a us and another smallish band. Oasis looked good, but they were soooo small. Same feelings on seeing that stage, but this time I was in full costume, I crossed from the first section and went back and crossed again and again until Amazon or Mongol Fighters I think. Met up with the remainder of the crew after crossing, and then headed to the lunch stop. From the lunch stop we tried to keep up with the trucks only to realsie that they were headed into St. James...not a problem, we waited near the British Embassy, saw IP as they were headed to their lunch stop after crossing the stage and met back up with the band jsut as they were passing in front Fatima. At that point apparently a masquerader had climbed the railings outside the school, slipped and got impaled on the spikes. Blood everywhere... medics assisted him until an ambulance could get to the band. That was quite a sobering experience and I hope others keep that in mind. After that, the band moved on along Mucurapo onto Robert St at alternating brisk and slow pace depending on the amount of spectators in the area. The band continued chipping along eastwards till Carlos, turned north to get to Tragarate and then east till Stanmore. With it getting darker and darker, security was still in place, then they announced that masqueraders with bands were able to enjoy las lap in Jenny's car park...quite a sweet touch. All this time folks in YUMA were trying to get me, by then it was about 8:30ish sooo I left the band then and proceeded to the car park
Other Bathroom facilities at the lunch stop were efficient, with foot massages and full body massages on offer if so desired. Clean facilities, wipes, mouthwash, body and feminine sprays, painkillers, hand soap and hand cream...yep usual bathroom amenities were in place. Security was on point, but they were not nearly as strict as past years 'cause I saw several non-masqueraders in the midst of the band at several points during the day and also in the park...though I did see more than one non-masquerader being removed from the lunch stop.

So my rating for TRIBE 2011 out of 10: 8.5, points lost for lapses in security and trucks leaving unannounced after the lunch stop.

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